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Comments on: The Real Reason We Estimate



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By: Michael

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 15:25:04 +0000

Hi, Mike - Agree that estimation opens the platform for the team to have a shared understanding of the problem and enable the team to have clear understanding of what work actually needs to be done. But I can also argue that the team doesn't necessarily have to do estimate to understand the work. The team can organize a technical design session to brainstorm, discuss and understand the actual work that needs to be done. It is only when the team actually understands the work that needs to be done before they can estimate the level of effort. So if the team actually understand what needs to be done, then what is the need for estimating. Cheers, M.



By: JS

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 03:36:35 +0000

Great post I work in an organization that has little understanding of value, and have no means of estimation. We can only find problems once there is a fire to put out and our solution is to spend a bunch of money on consultants and tools to make a one-off solution. We have hundreds of confederated tools being used around our organization and there's absolutely no governance standardizing on monitoring tools and workflow. We have gargantuan stockpiles of inventory: legacy databases and unused data. We have a highly-skilled IT staff, but people tend to do their work in a vacuum and as a result we can't throw out any of this inventory because we're not certain if it's being utilized somewhere in the business. We need to stop wasting bankroll on so-called 'superhero' tools and straighten out the ones we have. I think the first step is like you said, we need to prioritize our objective, and to do that we need a shared understanding of value. The business and IT folks need to come together to understand what's working and what is not. Then we can move forward with cleaning house I think you have tremendous insight into these scenarios- any guiding directions you would have for my organization?



By: Rene Rosendahl

Mon, 16 Feb 2015 18:56:10 +0000

Hi Mike, just came across your blog post. I recently wrote about The Art and Waste of Estimation as well (http://rogility.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-art-and-waste-of-estimation-and.html). Maybe the discussion needs to change from "if" to "when"/"under what circumstances".



By: David Lowe

Mon, 12 Aug 2013 10:09:15 +0000

I'm with you Mike. It's not the number, it's the process.



By: Mike Cottmeyer

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 11:42:30 +0000

Jim... I'm a big proponent of estimation. i just think the process of estimating can be more valuable than the estimate itself. At least in the kinds of projects and companies I work with. Software product companies. Lots and lots of people building stuff that don't have shared understanding of what's being built.



By: Jim Young

Thu, 21 Mar 2013 19:23:53 +0000

I must have missed something here. No doubt estimating is difficult, particularly for pioneering endeavours, and we know that an exact estimate is an oxymoron, but without estimating how can we demonstrate that project benefits will exceed costs - a key project selection criterion surely?



By: Agile Metrics | Development Block

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 16:47:05 +0000

[...] Work In Mike Cottmeyer’s recent post on The Real Reason We Estimate, he points out that many times, an estimating problem really isn’t an estimating problem at [...]



By: Shared Understanding | Development Block

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 16:03:05 +0000

[...] a previous post I mentioned a post on Mike Cottmeyer’s blog entitled The Real Reason We Estimate. If you haven’t read it yet I highly recommend it. In the post Mike mentions that often, if [...]



By: The most powerful step in software development | The Merchant Stand from Bob Williams

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 01:32:05 +0000

[...] acknowledges that estimating for numbers is a tough step in software development in his post The Real Reason We Estimate. But Cottmeyer’s main point is that  “Estimating is about creating a shared understanding of [...]



By: How to Think About Estimating | The Agile Radar

Mon, 12 Dec 2011 09:14:19 +0000

[...] couple of posts ago I made the case that the real reason for estimating is to create shared understanding around what we are going to build and how we are going to build [...]