The Origins of Scrum and Empirical Closed Loop Control

Herding Cats

This took me back since Scrum is derived from an empirical closed loop control system developed in the USAF by Col. And of course: Assessing the outcomes of the feedforward and feedback loops is the basis of all Closed Loop control system. See link below on Closed Loop Control).

Principles of Cost and Schedule Estimating

Herding Cats

One of the 4 summary root causes of project performance failures is Unrealistic Cost and Schedule Estimates based on inadequate risk-adjusted growth models. If you have no uncertainty, then estimates provide no value. Herding Cats: Basis of Estimating Software Development.

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Five Immutable Principles of Project Success and Estimating

Herding Cats

In order to manage risk - and act as an adult when spending other people's money - you must estimate many aspects of the project. The Five Immutable Principles of Project Success layout the aspects of project success that must be managed using estimates. .

Closed Loop Control and Granularity of the Estimating Process

Herding Cats

For any closed loop control system ‒ let’s assume we want to manage our project with such a system ‒ has a signal representing the current state of the system. To control this process using feedback and corrective actions ‒ in the same way, your closed loop controller for your air conditioner or heater does - a sampling rate is determined based on the rate of change of the underlying processes. Managing software development projects is a Closed Loop control system.

What is an Estimate? What is Estimating?

Herding Cats

I work in a domain where estimates are made every single week. Estimate to Complete (ETC), Estimate at Completion (EAC), Estimated Completion Date (ECD) are the life blood of our software intensive system of systems programs. But Estimating is NOT Guessing.

A Reminder of the Pseudo-Science of #NoEstimates

Herding Cats

That is, ways to make decisions with "No Estimates". How would you assess a decision in the presence of uncertainty without making an estimate of the outcome of that decision. Defies the principles of closed loop control systems in the presence of stochastic non-stationary systems. .

Definition of Done

Herding Cats

Do those capabilities meet the Measures of Effectiveness needed to accomplish the mission of the system in operational units of success closely related to the achievements of the mission or operational objectives evaluated in the operational environment, under a specific set of conditions?


A Wrap Up of the #NoEstimating Conjecture Analysis to Date

Herding Cats

The conjecture that we can make decisions in the presence of uncertainty without estimating the impacts of those decisions is without any principles that can be tested beyond personal anecdotes of I know people who spend other peoples money without providing estimates. Estimating

Concept of Operations

Herding Cats

How we can't possibly estimate the work since all the work is emergent. Measures of Performance ‒ characterize physical or functional attributes relating to the system operation, measured or estimated under specific conditions.

Control, Stability, Short Term, Long Term all needed for Success

Herding Cats

They have to be estimated in the start. Estimate what's right in front of you - the trail is rough, bumpy, rutted, off camber, muddy, thorny, and many times some animal runs across my path - rabbitt, prairie dog, a snake. A quick estimate is needed to decide what to do.

Misinterpretations of the Cone of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

Closed Loop Stochastic Adaptive control in the presence of Evolving Uncertainty. Management of this reduction work and measurement of the progress is a Close Loop Control System paradigm. Closed Loop Control, has a goal, an action, a measurement, and a corrective action.

From Mission Capabilities to Done

Herding Cats

These measures are: Measures of Effectiveness (MOE) – are the operational measures of success that are closely related to the achievements of the mission or operational objectives evaluated in the operational environment, under a specific set of conditions.

Revisiting the Double Pendulum Problem

Herding Cats

Sensitive dependence to initial conditions means that nearby trajectories separate exponentially fast, i.e. two identical systems set up together in the same way such that the initial conditions are arbitrarily close together will have their trajectories rapidly diverge. Close Loop Thinking.

2009 26

Beautiful Example of the Disconnect Between Those who Pay and Those Who Spend

Herding Cats

Perhaps Mr. Elliott could provide answers to these questions to our clients, when he suggests that estimates are worthless. . No Estimates Needs to Come In Contact With Those Providing the Money. Closed Loop Control. NoEstimates Business Estimating

The #NoEstimates Paradigm and Response

Herding Cats

This is a good starting point for answering the mail on the notion that decisions can be made in the presence of uncertainty without estimating the impact of those decisions. But his conjecture starts with estimates are a waste , not saying for whom they are a waste for.

Economics of Software Development

Herding Cats

This is the foundation for estimates. Estimates with accuracy and precision values needed to make credible decisions. These estimates are critical to both developers and customers. These estimates are used for generating requests for proposals, contract negotiations, scheduling, monitoring, and control. Managing in the presence of uncertainty requires a Closed Loop Control process. No Estimates?

Top 13 Project Management Methodologies and Styles


By closely analyzing and estimating the amount of time it should take for each event to be completed, the manager can then easily create realistic timelines and budgets for those aspects of the project. Getting your team organized around a project is often easier said than done.

2016 134

Managing in Presence of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

Let's start with a clear and concise description of the problem of successfully managing projects in the presence of uncertainty: Accurate software cost and schedule estimations are essential for non-trivial software projects. Why did the estimates NOT get better?

2010 14

Misunderstanding Making Decisions in the Presence of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

What happens if you shift focus from "accurate estimation" to "reliably shipping by a date"? . If your project has no uncertainty, there is no need to estimate. All estimates have precision and accuracy. Accuracy - how close is the estimate to the actual value?

2003 15

Probability plays a powerful role in project management

Kiron Bondale

From foreign dignitaries to the stock markets, the prevailing opinion leading up to June 23 was that while the final results would be close, the majority of voters would choose to keep Britain within the European Union.

2016 83

Software Economics

Herding Cats

To make those economic decisions, we need to estimate both business value and development cost. Why Do We Need Estimates? It's not the developers that need the estimates - they take the money and turn that money into value. They should estimate if the needed value can be produced by that money. But if the developers decided they don';t need to estimate, then they'll be subject to the whims of management, just like Dilbert. Decision Making Without Estimates?

Risk Management is How Adults Manage Projects

Herding Cats

The identified risk is then submitted as a candidate and either accepted or closed by the program. Typical decisions made during the step are: continue as planned; re-plan (develop a new or updated mitigation plan); change the primary plan to the fallback plan; accept the risk; or close.

Risk 39

Cone of Uncertainty - Part Cinq

Herding Cats

The Cone is a project management framework describing the uncertainty aspects of estimates (cost and schedule) and other project attributes (cost, schedule, and technical performance parameters). The BLUE bars are the probabilistic ranges of the current estimate date.

Integrated Master Plan - Revisited

Herding Cats

Supporting artifacts such as the WBS, WBS Dictionary, Basis of Estimates (BOE), and the Systems Engineering Management Plan (SEMP) are available to help define the scope of the work to be performed and especially the entrance and exit criteria for key program Events.

Project Manager Roles and Responsibilities: What does a PM Really Do?

Project Bliss

Identifying activities, dependencies, sequencing, and time estimates. You’ll w ork closely with the team and those who’ll be doing the work. Work closely with the customer and stakeholders. Closing the project.

The Trouble with Charts

Herding Cats

The other statistical issue is the chart showing #Noestimates versus other types of estimates. But the sample space of the total population of projects with #Noestmates as their estimating technique is only 3% of the total population. They look pretty close.

Cone of Uncertainty - Part Cinq (Updated)

Herding Cats

The Cone is a project management framework describing the uncertainty aspects of estimates (cost and schedule) and other project attributes (cost, schedule, and technical performance parameters). Estimates are needed but are subject to large level of uncertainty.

Scrum Master vs Project Manager: What’s the Difference?

Project Bliss

Identify activities, dependencies, sequencing, and time estimates. Close the project. The Scrum Master works closely with the team and ensures that they adhere to the ceremonies. Are you considering a career move? .


Quote of the Day

Herding Cats

Far from being close-minded killjoys, most scientists in the “never aliens” camp desperately want to be convinced otherwise.

The Cost of Too Many Projects in Portfolio

Pawel Brodzinski

I assumed some time required for transition from one project to another yet still, it shouldn’t be close to what we waste on context switching. Of course there’s also an argument that with bigger initiatives we have more uncertainty so we tend to make bigger mistakes estimating the effort.

2015 55

Fallacy of the Day

Herding Cats

In the Project Controls paradigm, Value is a measurable attribute of the project controls process - a Closed Loop Control measure. Each of these measures participates in the Closed Loop Control Systems. This is the basis of Closed Loop Control. Closed Loop Control System.

Playing Whack-A-Mole With Risk

Tyner Blain

Before your window of opportunity closes? The easiest way to think about this it acknowledge that your impact and likelihood “measurements” are not measurements – they are estimates.

Scrum Master Responsibilities: What Does a Scrum Master Do?

Project Bliss

The output is a committed Sprint Backlog with estimated, allocated and prioritized user stories. This will often include working closely with the Product Owner to remove roadblocks. This is closely related to removing roadblocks, and could overlap.


#NoEstmates and the System of Profound Ignorance (SOPI)

Herding Cats

The leadership of this notion that decisions can be made in the presence of uncertainty without estimating seem to have missed the core knowledge of the principles of decision making. Lack of Appreciation for the System of business management - business management is a closed loop process to maximize the Value in exchange for the Cost. Estimates of how much is it going to cost to produce the value - which is itself an uncertain outcome means the business must estimate both.

Process is King Part 2

Herding Cats

I should estimate that in my experience most troubles and most possibilities for improvement add up to the proportions something like this: 94% belongs to the system (responsibility of management) 6% special. This is the very definition of closed loop control. No Estimates is a Hoax.

Assessing Value Produced in Exchange for the Cost to Produce the Value

Herding Cats

As random variables, both need estimates to make informed decisions. Measures of Performance - is a Measure that characterize physical or functional attributes relating to the system operation, measured or estimated under specific conditions.

Book of the Month

Herding Cats

I've been working in the probabilistic estimating business for a decade or two. . As well - of course - is the nonsense that Forecasts are not estimates, popularized by #NoEstimates advocates. From stock markets to Estimates to Complete and Estimates at Completion. This is then used to make adjustments to the Plan or the Estimate from the Root Cause of the variance. The Flaw of Averages and Not Estimating.

False Equivalence

Herding Cats

In other words, in false equivalence, someone will state that the opposing arguments have a passing similarity in support, when, on close examination, there is a large difference between the quality of evidence. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing.

5 Common Scheduling Mistakes (And What To Do Instead)

Girl's Guide to PM

Keep your plans current and as close to accurate in real time as you can. What to do instead: You’re going to have to redo the fictional schedule again anyway, so why not start with a version that involves real data and real estimates from your colleagues and team?

You Can Unlock the Power of Integration Management

Project Risk Coach

After completing the WBS, she facilitated an exercise to identify significant risks and estimated contingency reserves for her “Known Unknown” risks. Close Project. Closing process group.