Topic Title: Do We Need Estimates? #NoEstimates

Initiator: Beth Galambos, PO, Healthesystems

Participants: Ryan Dorrell, Isa Jelez, Marilyn Brislin, Kate Leonardo, Bill Somerville, Sherrie Hanrahan, Patrick McClain, Liliana Talice, Prachi, Gordon Ridge, Riccardo Reimers, Ruchir Shah, Linda Cook, Bashanth Prasannathiotha

Discussion Highlights:

  • High/medium/low confidence on estimates 
    • Seen by business as ‘scientific’ 
  • Minimal business increment (MBI) 
    • What MUST go out the door to be value to the user 
  • Why even bother with estimating? 
    • Dev teams debating point values 
    • Teams may overestimate if there is a penalty for being ‘wrong’ in their estimates 
    • They have to learn, especially if coming from a waterfall environment 
  • Fixed vs variable outcome deliveries 
    • Fixed – more time estimating 
    • Variable – less valuable estimating 
  • Larger efforts not focusing on risk and project management, but should 
  • Customer education is important because some think that it’s about ‘more and faster’ 
    • What it’s really about is eliminating waste 
  • Who gets involved with estimating? 
    • Whole team, part of team? 
    • High level – representatives of the team 
    • Detailed – the whole team 
  • Retrospecting on stories’ estimates 
    • How did we do on that estimate now that the work is done? 

Ideas for Action/Next Steps:

  • Anchor stories – bring a 3 pointer and 5 pointer to refinement/planning and point all stories compared in size to the anchor stories 
  • Kanban – try using a mean or average point value for every story. Do this if you have data to support it.

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