'No Estimates' in Action: Our Thoughts

On November 5, Matthew Heusser posted on an article on CIO.com, "'No Estimates' in Action: 5 Ways to Rethink Software Projects." The article purports that estimates are not essential in development, and this idea has been pushed by Woody Zuill, a development manager at Hunter Industries, through the use of the hashtag #NoEstimates.

Obviously, we at DCG believe in estimation and its value. Our clients do too. It's a key part of our business.

However, I quite understand the distraction that an over-focus on estimates can bring to the development process. But, whether we like it or not, software development mainly takes place in a business context.

This brings two constraints to bear:

  1. At the micro level, selection of the best option for any development problem has to consider effort (cost) and duration;
  2. At the macro level, while I agree that tracking against customer satisfaction is a powerful strength of Agile, at least part of the customer's satisfaction will always relate to on-time, on budget. Hence, some form of estimation is not just management overhead but a development best practice.

So, it's fair to say we at DCG disagree, and we say #YesEstimation! Still, we'd love to hear your thoughts - so please share in the comments below.


Mike Harris
DCG President

Written by Michael D. Harris at 10:26
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"It's frustrating that there are so many failed software projects when I know from personal experience that it's possible to do so much better - and we can help." 
- Mike Harris, DCG Owner

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