Software Practice Advancement Conference

SPA Conference session: #NoEstimates does not mean "no estimates"

One-line description:The #NoEstimates hashtag has been generating a lot of heat in software development circles for the past couple of years, but what does it really mean? It�¢ï¿½ï¿½s time to find out.
Session format: Tutorial 75 [read about the different session types]
Abstract:When Woody Zuill first started using the hashtag he sparked a debate that has caused tempers to flare and blood to boil, but Woody himself doesn't think that estimates are inherently bad:

"If our response every time we reach the end of a project is to say 'we must produce better estimates' then we're in a cycle of continuous 'no improvement'"

In this session we'll cut through the #NoEstimates rhetoric and sketch out the dysfunctions at the heart of software development that gave rise to the hashtag in the first place. We'll investigate some possible ways that we can turn this around, so that we can improve the outcomes for customers AND development teams. We might even find out how to use estimates effectively.

- a review of the origin and development of the #NoEstimates 'movement'
- exploration of how things could be done better
- some games

Entertain, inform and challenge
Audience background:Anyone who has ever asked for or been asked for an estimate (i.e. everyone). No special experience needed.
Benefits of participating:A deeper understanding of estimates, their uses & misuses.
A view on some of the current alternative thinking around #NoEstimates
Real-life examples to motivate changes back in the workplace
Materials provided:String
Game cards
Process:Mix of slides and group working
Detailed timetable:00:00 - 00:10 Intro & motivation
00:10 - 00:35 Group work: "Estimate this"
00:35 - 00:55 #NoEstimates dialogue in detail
00:55 - 01:05 Game: "How long is a piece of string?"
01:05 - 01:15 Wrap up & questions
Outputs:Blog post possibly.
Games written up for reuse.
History:Presented at ACCU 2015, NorDevCon2015
1. Seb Rose
Claysnow Limited
2. 3.