No more initial estimates? NOOOOOOOOOOO!

Kiron Bondale

You are assigned to manage a project and before you or your team have had an opportunity to start to chip away at the looming mountain of uncertainty, you get put on the spot to provide a cost or schedule estimate by your project sponsor or some other stakeholder.

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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Decisions Without Estimates?

Herding Cats

Can you make a decision without an estimate? There are NO means of making a credible decision in the presence of uncertainty without estimating the outcome of that decision. These two points of view are the basis of any credible business management process.

Estimates, Forecasts, Projections

Herding Cats

Estimates. An Estimate is a value inferred for a population of values based on data collected from a sample of data from that population. The estimate can also be produced parametrically or through a simulation (Monte Carlo is common, but Method of Moments is another we use). . Estimates can be about the past, present, or future. We can estimate the number of clams in the Pleistocene era that are in the shale formations near our house. Estimate to Complete.

Estimating Tools and Resources

Herding Cats

Tools and resources for cost and schedule estimating, when you here estimates are hard, we're bad at estimating, estimates are a waste, estimates are misused All those statements are fallacies. iceaaonline.com International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association.

Process Improvement In the Second Grade

Herding Cats

When I hear about some corrective action to an unnamed cause - not the symptom but the cause - like estimates are the smell of dysfunction, I think of a chart she has hanging in her room for her students, where they are learning critical thinking skills they will need in life. .

Why Johnny Still Cannot Estimate

Herding Cats

He doesn't know how - He doesn't understand how estimates fit into the process of business and managerial finance of product or service development. He doesn't understand why estimates are needed - He doesn't understand the impact on the business for not knowing how long, how much, and what will be produced for the time and money. Coding work is much more fun than making estimates, documenting the requirements, writing tests. Herding Cats: Decisions Without Estimates?

Why Johnny Can't Estimate?

Herding Cats

Since all risk comes from uncertainty - reducible (Epistemic) and irreducible (Aleatory), estimating is a foundation of all we do. There is no discussion of the conjecture that estimates are a waste, estimates can't be done, estimates are evil, estimates must be stopped immediately. To be informed how to estimate in this broad range of domains, problems, and impacts - education, exp[erience, and skill are needed. Gow to avoid common estimating mistakes.

Estimating the Risk

Herding Cats

Aleatory uncertainty, which is the naturally occurring yields variances in the underlying processes. Epistemic uncertainty comes from probabilistic processes that can be addressed with handling responses. In order to make risk-informed decisions, we must estimate the outcomes and the impacts of those outcomes on future activities (cost, schedule, and technical performance of products and services). Without these estimates, there is no risk management.

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. .

Estimating is a Learned Skill

Herding Cats

Estimating is a learned skill, used for any purpose from every-day life to management of projects. When I left for the airport this morning to catch my flight to a customer site I estimated, given the conditions, how much time I need to get to my favorite parking spot at DIA. The same process for estimating is applied to multi-billion dollar projects we work. And the same process is applied to the Scrum development processes on those projects. .

2013 23

Governance and Estimating

Herding Cats

If your business is not subject to any external governance process, you’re free to spend your money as you please. make use of estimates in their decision support processes.

4 Fallacious Reasons to Estimate and Why Those Are Fallacious

Herding Cats

There's a recent post titled Four Fallacious Reasons to Estimate. It lists the usual suspects for why those spending the money think they don't have to estimate how much they plan to spend when they'll be done producing the value they've been assigned to produce for that expenditure.

The Bad Apple Syndrome in Process Improvement

Herding Cats

When process improvement starts with the solution, it's common to anchor this improvement on the Bad Apple syndrome. Estimating and Making Decisions in Presence of Uncertainty. Are Estimates Really The Smell of Dysfunction?

When to Estimate and When Estimates aren't Needed

Herding Cats

Paul Boos has a post about estimating and makes a case for the Principles of when NOT to estimate. This struck a cord around a bigger topic - the inversion of estimating. When should we NOT estimate? What business decision making conditions could be in place where we don't have to estimate the outcomes of our decision in the presence of uncertainty? Then on to the original conjecture for No Estimates from Paul's post. Not principles for NOT estimating.

Independent Cost Estimating (ICE)

Herding Cats

Unless you have skin in the game your estimate for the work can't be credible. Let's look at the potential for such an approach in light of the credibility of an estimate. No one getting paid to estimate likes to present bad news. NoEstimates Estimating

Software Development Process Improvement Opportunities

Herding Cats

Estimating and Making Decisions in Presence of Uncertainty. When we hear about all the suggested ways to improve the effectiveness of our development effort, if we're to going work on improvements, let's go where the REAL money is. . Here's the IT budget for the Federal Government.

Principles, Processes, and Practices of Project Success

Herding Cats

Practices and Process are Fads. A Process is a series of steps and decisions involved in the way work is completed. Here's my version in the form of questions that when answered form the foundation for the Practices and Processes. Principles are timeless.

Agile Estimating Methods and Impact on Project Development Performance Index

Herding Cats

The presentation " Quantifying the Impact of Agile Practices ," Larry MacCherone at the RallyOn 2013 Conference, presents some results on estimating impacts. The Higher the number the better the performance of the process. How to Estimate Software Development. Estimating

2013 28

Principles, Processes, and Practices of Project Success

Herding Cats

Over the years (30 something years) I come to understand and write about the Principles, Processes, and Practices of project success in a wide variety of domains. There are 5 Principles, 5 Practices, and 5 Process that can be applied to increase the probability of success of all projects.

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.

Wilo's Law and Mature Communications Processes

Herding Cats

To make some conjecture that some process will fix the problem - Estimates are the smell of dysfunction and NOT Estimating will fix that dysfunction - is naive at best and willfully ignorant of Root Cause Analysis at worse. Avoid Verbal Orders is a critical process in any critical situation. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing. A popular quote in the agile community is Wilo's Law.

Common Ground for a Conversation about Estimating

Herding Cats

Neil Killick posted a good question, what's the common ground for talking about estimates. All estimates have two attributes - accuracy and precision. The values of these two attributes are what those needing the estimates are after. With the knowledge of the two values of these two attributes the decision makers can assess the "value" of the estimate. That request comes from those asking for the estimate. But that dysfunction is not "caused" by the estimate.

How to Estimate Any Software Problem

Herding Cats

ways to make decisions with No Estimates. can we make a decision in the presence of Uncertainty without making an estimate of the impact or outcome of that decision? Let's put aside for the moment the missing principles of managerial finance, probabilistic decision making, microeconomics of decision making, Real Options, Bayesian decision networks, and other decision making processes used in modern business when spending other people's money. An estimate is.

Value of MVP and Knowledge Discovery Process

Pawel Brodzinski

When we were figuring out whether our no estimation cards make sense as a business idea we discussed the numbers. By now Minimal Viable Product (MVP) is for me mostly a buzzword.

2015 31

Estimating on Non-Trivial Software Projects

Herding Cats

A nice conversation on twitter about estimates on software brought up the topic of estimates as commitments. The #NoEstimates advocates see estimates as making commitments. Yes, commitments are made when we estimate. I have an 80% confidence (an estimate) I can deliver what you need on or before September 15 (an estimate), at or below $15,000.oo (an estimate) with a 15% error band (an estimate). . Estimates are not needed.

How Does Probabilistic Estimation Reduce Project Uncertainty?

LiquidPlanner

When you replace fixed-date deterministic scheduling with probabilistic estimations, you’ve got a whole new ball game. Probabilistic estimation is one of the reasons LiquidPlanner is the most realistic project management tool in the world.

Forecasting versus Estimating - are they Different or are they the Same

Herding Cats

One of the escape clauses of #Noestimates is to re-label Forecasting as NOT Estimating , It is forecasting, based on empirical data. This is in comparison for estimating purpose for a theoretical model that produces data, parametric from empirical or theoretical models that produce data.

The Magic 7 Project Portfolio Management Process Steps

Project-Management.pm

And the answer to all of these is in the guise of project portfolio management process steps. The project portfolio management process steps mentioned below cater to all types of organizations that execute portfolio management to reach their business objectives and their strategic goals. Remember that these project portfolio management process steps don’t fix your woes within a day or week; treat it as the start of your path towards an efficient portfolio. .

Closed Loop Control and Granularity of the Estimating Process

Herding Cats

DP6Jw is an overview of this process. 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. These measures, corrective actions, and resulting outcomes operate in the presence of statistical and probabilistic processes. Stochastic process control is the field of study.

Large Programs Require Special Processes

Herding Cats

When we hear estimates are hard, we're not good at estimating, estimates are possibly misused, or any other dysfunction around estimating, they're just symptoms of the problem.

2013 10

The Classic Misunderstanding between Principles, Practices, and Process

Herding Cats

I've since lost my handbook issued at TRW for the Software Development Lifecycle processes used on the programs we worked, but the loop approach of plan, do, study, act was at the basis of that method. A recent Twitter post make the false claim that.

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Hiring Process for Growing Businesses

ActiveCollab

Instead, it will be a constant process of attracting new candidates, figuring out who’s the best, and keeping the talent pipeline full. You will need to adapt your hiring process in order to scale. Hiring process. The process has 3 stages: sourcing, screening, and interviewing.

Behavioural Economics, Estimating, and Decision Making in Presence of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

The behavioral aspects of these decisions involve individuals, organizations, processes, procedures, and governance principles. . Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing.

Basis of Estimating Software Development

Herding Cats

The estimating of software development is both straightforward and complex. When it is suggested that estimating is hard, of no value, and unnecessary, always ask what principle is used to support that claim? Here are some resources that will provide guidance to produce credible software development estimates, in both traditional and agile domains. Software Sizing and Estimating: Mk II FPA , Charles Symons, John Wiley & Sons, 1991.

GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide Applied to Agile

Herding Cats

The GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide has 12 steps. Risk Management has 6 processes, see SEI Continuous Risk Management. Maintain the Baseline with Repeatable Processes. These describe the increasing maturity of the project's artifacts.

Can You Make a Decision in Presence of Uncertainty Without Estimating?

Herding Cats

They started with “Estimates are a waste, stop doing them.” Those advocates also started with the notion that estimates are a waste for the developers. The size of the “value at risk” is also the starting point for estimates. If the project is small (de minimis) meaning if we over run significantly no one cares, then estimating is likely a waste as well. Next comes an original post from Woody – “you can make decisions with No Estimates.”

Process Reduces Agility? Only on De Minimis Projects

Herding Cats

A popular toss off aphrase in some agile circles is process reduces agility. In this domain today, Agile processes are the basis of engineering those systems. IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW ACQUISITION PROCESS FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS. NoEstimates Agile Estimating Risk

Estimating is an Everyday Life and Everyday Projects

Herding Cats

A recent twitter post started out with I predict my train will depart from platform 12 in 10 minutes: degree of predictability correlates with length of time I then asked and what is the evidence on which you base this estimated time of departure? I got back I didn't estimate departure, there is a timetable there, but Trains someone's run late & platform sometimes changes. But in fact - mathematical fact - there was an estimate made. NoEstimates Estimating

Increasing the Probability of Project Success

Herding Cats

This means having a set of Principles, Process, and Practices to test the suggestion against. These Five Immutable principles are time phased into Processes that provide answers to the Five Principles. With some details for each process area.