No estimates-thinking is used in so many situations but when it comes to using in it organisations, people (read: managers) get panic in their eyes — how come? As always with fear, it is not based in facts but rather in emotion.
Let me take an example where the thought of no estimates is used today.
Machine learning. It is hot, it is the talk of today. Machine learning doesn’t guess or estimate what it will find, it rather starts with searching through the most important data first and so on.
So what is this fear coming from? Let me guess… the lost of control.
Or so they think since they dont have guesses infront of them then they know nothing. So how to come to transform this fear in to love?
Start by reading Vasco Durtes book No Estimates, he explains this very well.
I know this fear so well I have seen it since the first time I started with XP back in 2001. The project managers screamed, literately, to stop us developers from doing it. They said that nothing good would come out of it, everything would be late. Three months later they came with a excuse.
Change it not easy and is not what many people like but change is necessary to move forward, get static and you will dimish and in the end disapear.
And this also gets me into my other belief, agility, yes agility not agile. Agile is to conencted with Scrum these days and No Estsimate and Scrum isn’t best friends. What I see with No Estimates is that we are taking one step back and two steps forward.
It has to be better to know when the project will finsh than discover it to late that you will not finish in time?