On the way home last week from a program managers conference, was listening to Bob Dylan's Idiot Wind
Everything's a little upside down, matter of fact the wheels have stopped. What’s good is bad, what’s bad is good. Idiot Wind, Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks, Copyright 1978
Remindeds me of the current discourse of #NoEstimates
- Estimates are Bad, #NoEstimates are Good - you can get out from under the oppression of deadlines, bad managers, and commitments by making decisions with No Estimates.
- #NoEstimates are good, they can increase your productivity ten fold. That's 10X. That's an order of magnitude increase.
- Forecasts are #NoEstimates and that's good. Estimating is not the same as forecasting. Estimating is bad since we can't possibly determine what's going to happen in the future. But we can forecast what's going to happen in the future and call that #NoEstimates.
- Commitments are bad, commitments result from estimates, and that is bad. Commitments ruin the collaborative aspects of the project and that is bad. No committing to each other for a shared outcome is good.
- Making decisions with No Estimates is good, asking when we'll be done and how much it will cost is Bad.
- Knowing when you're wrong is Good, determining the probabilistic confidence of all estimates, updating those estimates with new data from performance and emerging uncertainty, Bad.
- Making predictions about the future using past performance and calling that #NoEstimates Good. Using past performance, adjusted for future possibilities and calling that Estimating, Bad.
- It's bad to have a backlog of needed work, estimating that backlog is more bad. Revising the backlog with updated information is the worst Bad. Having no ability to know if you can meet the need date for the needed cost is Good.
- Changes for 50% of the requirements in the Backlog is Good, because it's just the way it is. Managing the Backlog like an adult and considering changes on the need date and cost, is Bad.
- Comparing yourself to Kent Beck is Good and being called crazy is Good. Ignoring there are 100's of 1,000's of people applying Kent Beck's processes. This is called the Galileo Gambit.
- Focusing on Value is Good. Asking what's the cost to produce that Value and when that Value will be available for use so we can start recovering that cost is Bad.
- Estimating means you're getting married to a Plan, is Bad. Ignoring that when Plans change - and they always do since a Plan is a Strategy for success - the new Estimate to Complete does not need to be updated is Good.
The more those in the #NoEstimating community try to convince others that Estimating is Bad, can't be done, results in a smell of dysfunction, the more Bob Dylan resonants.
We’re idiots, babe
It’s a wonder we can even feed ourselves
We in the management of other peoples money domain must be, since we must have missed the suspension of the Microeconomics of Software Development when making decisions. We must have missed the suspension of Managerial Finance applied when we're asked to be stewards of the money our customers have given us to provide value for the needed cost on the needed date. We must have missed the suspension of the need to know when and how much so our Time Phased Return on Investment doesn't get a divide by Zero error.