Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fred P. Brooks on Estimates


Dr. Fred Brooks, Jr.'s "The Mythical Man-month" is still required reading, even if written decades ago.

And, as these things go, it has a lot of humor, but also a lot of wit. There are dozens of quotes from this book floating about, but here's one worth writing down:

"It is very difficult to make a vigorous, plausible, and job-risking defense of an estimate that is derived by no quantitative method, supported by little data, and certified chiefly by the hunches of the managers"

Of course, some would say, in response: Then, make no estimates at all!

Yuk! No estimates is actually worse because that means that there's been no thought put into outcomes, value, and worthiness. No one can run a business very successfully for very long if that's the mindset.

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