Estimates or NoEstimates?
The default use of an "estimate-driven" approach is pervasive in software development efforts, and while estimates can be useful, it is worthwhile to scrutinize our use of estimates for cost, time, and effort, and to seek better ways to manage software development projects. We say we depend on estimates to make important decisions, and yet we’re often disappointed by the results.
We'll explore the purpose and use of estimates in the management of software development efforts, and consider possible alternatives. There are a number of things to explore and many questions to ask. For example, do we really need estimates for all the things we are currently using them? Are we getting a reasonable benefit from estimates? Is there a way to prove that estimates are helping us make good decisions? Is it possible to manage software development projects without these estimates, or at least with fewer estimates?
In this session we’ll participate in interactive information gathering exercises to see if we can gain a shared understanding of the purpose and use of estimates. We will examine the nature of software development projects and explore some real data to shed light on the art and science of software estimation. Our exploration goal is to see if we can work together to come up with some ideas about improving on the traditional approaches to using and perhaps moving beyond estimates.