Friday, September 25, 2015

It's agile! Why plan? Why schedule? Why estimate?

Remember the Trinity of Estimation? Why plan, why schedule? Indeed, the question might even be: Why estimate? It’s all going to change anyway.

The answer -- as we discussed a couple of weeks ago -- is quite clear:
If there are no plans, any outcome is acceptable; if there are no plans, there is nothing to estimate; without estimates, there is no reason to measure. Without  measurements,  there  will  be  no  benchmarks,  no improvement, and no answer to the questions of where are we? And, oh by the way, what are we doing?

The Estimation Trinity feeds forward into Agile Principle 5
"Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the
environment and support they need, and trust them to get
the job done."

Trust them to get the job done. I say, what job is that?
  • It is the job described in the business plan, if you have one, but what if you don't?
  • It is the job estimated and scheduled? Ooops, no estimates?
  • It is the job as interpreted in near real-time by the functional user?
  • It is the job that evolves over several iterations and is adapted to the emergent value proposition? And, where is it we are going with that?
Trust them to get the job done. What is the definition of done?
  • Is it done when time/money runs out?
  • Is it done when the backlog is fully exhausted?
  • Or, is it done when the customer says it’s done, or someone else says
  • it’s done?
If you are trying to do a project without management, good luck to you.

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