Planning & Estimation In A Nutshell

Planning & Estimation In A Nutshell

When it comes to sizing/estimating work, you will get the best (or least worst) answers from the people who are responsible for doing the work, so the Developers in Scrum. Once they size the work the Product Owner may use this to create a plan of how many Sprints could be required to deliver something.

Remember that when doing complex work, where more is unknown than known it is incredibly difficult to accurately predict what will happen or how long things will take ahead of time. Most of the answers you get will likely turn out to be wrong. This won’t be anyone’s fault. It will be the result of inevitably incomplete information when the planning was carried out.

You can set whatever targets you wish around all of this. Whether they are achievable or not will only start to become clear once you start working in Sprint and attempting to deliver Done Increments.

Developing complex Products is hard. Predicting what will happen accurately is often impossible and we as humans struggle with this. We want control and predictability even if it is impossible to attain. Efforts to increase predictability that are traditionally applied serve to introduce waste and reduce the value that can be delivered.

Some level of plan is almost always needed, but we need to learn to embrace uncertainty if we are to succeed in an ever more complex world.

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