Agile, Agile Estimating, Coaching, People, Software Development

My #NoEstimates disappointment

I must admit I usually come right in the middle between No Estimates proponents and the traditional estimators. I usually like the process of estimating on my projects, but I certainly see the downsides of such estimates.

I also do think estimates and no estimates and Lean Start up are not mutually exclusive. I can still do estimating on a project that I am executing in a Lean Startup method. Sometimes I think we search too much for discrete and absolute answers.

Anyway, that wasn’t what disappointed my about No Estimates this weekend. Rather it was a link to this announcement.

My Opinion

If you haven’t clicked on the link, it is an announcement to a No Estimates workshop in October 2014. The link also asks for questions to be submitted to be answered in the session.

So why did this disappoint me?

I’m always disappointed when the pursuit of new ideas, methods, and practices become an economy. I’ve asked some questions of the presenters before and it was mentioned that they would add it to their list of questions and perhaps they would do a future blog post on the subject. Now it appears to get those answers I may need to attend a workshop in Europe. I’m disappointed because I was hoping to hear the answers to those questions other the next few months. Now perhaps I’m wrong and hopefully this workshop will not hinder the flow of ideas over the next few months. But there still does seem to be many questions out there that are unanswered.

For example, “What you you recommend I do first to try No Estimates on a project?”

I Wonder

I also wonder if the No Estimates workshop will be done in tune with No Estimates principles? For example:

1) Will a full price for the workshop be estimated and required up front? Can I attend for a day and leave for a day if the value I expect isn’t being realized? Can I pay day by day?

2) Will the workshop have a set agenda or can the attendees define the agenda in the first hour collaboratively?

3) Couldn’t we try to answer a few of the questions listed first and validate people would get value out of the session before committing a week of time, considerable training budget, and fossil fuel to jet to Europe?

It almost feels like a week-long workshop is against the principles of No Estimates.

Summary

I’m disappointed as I fear there may also be No Estimates certifications down the road ala PMI and Six Sigma.

But I fear that No Estimates will join the establishment of training courses and specialized consultants. No Estimates to me was always about challenging the establishment and not joining the establishment.

As Obi-Wan said in Revenge of the Sith – “You were the chosen one! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them. You were to bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness.”

Hopefully I’m mistaken.

 

 

 

About Terry Bunio

Terry Bunio is passionate about his work as the Manager of the Project Management Office at the University of Manitoba. Terry oversees the governance on Information Technology projects to make sure the most important projects are being worked on in a consistent and effective way. Terry also provides leadership on the customized Project Methodology that is followed. The Project Methodology is a equal mix of Prince2, Agile, Traditional, and Business Value. Terry strives to bring Brutal Visibility, Eliminating Information islands, Right Sizing Documentation, Promoting Collaboration and Role-Based Non-Consensus, and short Feedback Loops to Minimize Inventory to the Agile Project Management Office. As a fan of pragmatic Agile, Terry always tries to determine if we can deliver value as soon as possible through iterations. As a practical Project Manager, Terry is known to challenge assumptions and strive to strike the balance between the theoretical and real world approaches for both Traditional and Agile approaches. Terry is a fan of AWE (Agile With Estimates), the Green Bay Packers, Winnipeg Jets, and asking why?

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