Time to stop the madness. Time to stop estimating.

Episode 153 - 22 Mar 2023

📎 Grab your FREE "Estimates vs. #NoEstimates" Cheat Sheet: 🎬 Watch this 4-part series from the beginning: 🎥 Watch Woody Zuill at Agile India 2017:

Today’s episode isn’t just the end of this series, it’s the end of a journey that began 6 years ago…

In 2016 - I asked the viewers if this channel about worst bit of agile And discovered that I wasn’t the only one that had concerns around estimates. It’s a thorny issue - especially as the process of estimating - is generally well-regarded as a great way of getting shared understanding o the work. A weird case of the means justifying the end? A couple of years went by and I eventually knucked down to build a course on how to get better at estimating. I had most of it done and dusted when I stumbled across THIS VIDEO. And it really spoiled my day. This is Woody Zuill. Woody, as you may know, is the originator of #NoEstimates. I’ll put a link to the full 90 minute talk in the description below. But I want to play you a very short section where he shares an analogy // is that enough

“Maybe not eating the junk food is the best solution“ The moment that I saw that, … I couldn’t say how or why but.. I was sure it was true. What we’re trying to do with estimates … … what I was trying to do with my course
… is the same as trying to “chew junk food better.” We shouldn’t be trying to get better… get rid. For the first time I saw that there’s a whole industry out there dedicated to “how to estimate” and “how to get better at estimating”. And I knew right then that I couldn’t have any part of it: I had no choice but to take a hatchet to my course. // I’ve worked this in later

Of course, eliminating [getting rid??] estimates is easier said than done, given that they’ve somehow weaved their way into, well, just about everything we do: Take a look at this: We start by estimating. That gives us Estimates. From estimates (over multiple Sprints) we can calculate (derive??) velocity And estimates and velocity are used jointly and severally for, well, all kinds of things:
And for all manner of charts and reports - Burn ups, burn downs, that sort of thing Including… Forecasting // Say why splitting out?? selecting items from the Sprint Backlog So yeah, we’re tied in. Sadly, there’s a lot here that isn’t… ideal Not just the [potential] evil-ness of estimates (as we talked about in Part 1) But also the impracticality of Forecasting, requiring, as we saw in Part 3… the entire backlog to be estimated.