Almost everyone agreed that we need to get better at estimation.
I heard this recently from a team. It’s not the first time, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Teams struggle with estimates; others needlessly obsess over it. And while I agree with the sentiment, it’s true but useless. It’s unactionable. In order to appreciate how teams gets there, let’s take a step back and ask ourselves a simple question.
Ask the team, and I expect we’ll hear that we or others need to know how long the work will take. Or that we’re required to put story points to all the things we do. Or we need to create a roadmap so leaders know when we’ll be delivering. While all this is true, none of it is at the heart of why, which is to make the implicit explicit. Unfortunately, even that neglects something even more fundamental.[Read more…]