Much of the discussion around project management processes, especially around agile, and most especially around the misconceptions of Estimating as espoused by the #NoEstimates advocates, starts with the misuse of reductive reasons based on single factor analysis.

Here's how it goes.

**Single Factor Analysis**- is a statistical method used to describe variability among observed, correlated variables in terms of a potentially lower number of unobserved variables called factors.- The first assessment using SFA is
*Estimates are the smell of dysfunction*. There may be a correlation, but causation has yet to be determined. - There are others -
*estimates are evil*,*estimates are commitments*, and similar conjectures around a claim that somehow estimates, the making of estimates, and the use of estimates is somehow -*unstated how by the way*- are the cause of problems in the software development domain.

- The first assessment using SFA is
**Reductionism**- is about connections between phenomena, or theories, "reducing" one to another, usually considered simpler or more basic- This is seen in the quest to reduce complex issues to simple issues,
- Or worse make the claim that
*non-simple*systems are somehow undesirable and*if we only simplified everything*the problems we see in our*real world systems*would somehow be removed.

When we see these two concepts used together we get things like as the *cartoon* of the Reductionist view of a single concept - *If you did it this way, you'd be from 3X to 10X faster.*

So here's the problem and the solution. Complex systems are part of the solution to all complex problems. Anyone claim complex problems can be solved with simple systems, needs to have a testable working system, in that complex problem space. I work in a *complex problem space* - literally space flight, aircraft flight, the ground systems that enable those systems to *Fly*. As well as biopharma, electric utilities (nuclear and conventional fired), complex enterprise IT systems (dozens to many dozens of interacting systems).

When you hear a simple and many time simple-minded solution to a complex problem - *Applying **No Estimates will remove the dysfunction on software projects* (this is the ontological inverse of the statement *estimates are the smell of dysfunction*). We can be reminded by H L Menken's quote:

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.