When we hear something like estimates are the smell of dysfunction. That's a logical fallacy. Estimating is a business and engineering activities that produces numbers, confidence intervals on those numbers, and confidence interval on the confidence intervals.
We have an 80% confidence in completing on or before the 3rd week in November, 2011.
Or an example of Doing Stupid Things on Purpose
Let's give Mary this new proiect which is 427 times bigger than any project she's every worked in her life and then expect it to be successfull and be shocked when it goes in the ditch and blame the business governance process of estimating as the root cause of her problems.
So don't fall victim to the logical fallacy of using the symptom in place of the root cause. Identifying the symptoms is very easy. It's the root cause and the corrective actions that's the had part.
The smell of dysfunction in estimating the cost, schedule, and technical performance in software development is not the estimate. It's bad management, it's uninformed application of microeconomics of decision making, it's laziness in learning how to manage the expenditure of other peoples money. It's missing governance.