Last week I left you hanging. In How To Make Meaningful Estimates For Software Products I basically said that estimates don’t work for software projects. That’s still true.
But the fact that software estimates don’t work doesn’t mean that features don’t get completed and delivered. They do get finished, you just can’t predict with accuracy when that will happen. So, how do you make software delivery predictions if you have terrible software estimates?
So the question arises – can we get to any degree of predictability, despite that?
Here are ways you can approach predictability, even in a world where estimates are impossible, and you can use them in combination:
And there are some mitigations for the fact that estimates don’t work. The most obvious is the one that Steve Johnson (@sjohnson717) mentioned in a comment on last week’s post:
The smaller the feature, the better this works, of course, because uncertainty grows with the value of the feature.
I have more thoughts on estimates and product planning predictability in my next post.
Your host and author, Nils Davis, is a long-time product manager, consultant, trainer, and coach. He is the author of The Secret Product Manager Handbook, many blog posts, a series of video trainings on product management, and the occasional grilled pizza.
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