Transcript and some more thoughts about the topic below…

Comic about a company that says it tried NoEstimates, but really didn't. Transcript below.


PO: We tried #NoEstimates, it doesn't work here.
Coach: Interesting...

Coach: How long did it take you to implement all the checks, balances and controls that #NoEstimates advocates propose?
PO: Huh?

Coach: Slicing stories so that they become extremely small, deploying immediately, continuous feedback,

PO baffled

Coach: Always verifying that you work on the most valuable increments, continuous forecasting and steering,

PO baffled

Coach: Assessing and extrapolating team capacity by...

PO: Wait, no! We just stopped estimating our stories!

So, About #NoEstimates…

Estimating and planning our day-to-day work in software development does not provide value for our customers directly: We (might) need them to steer our development. To stay within a given budget. To recognize when we are late so that we can re-plan. At best, they provide value indirectly. In lean terms, estimating and planning are waste.

People gathered around the hashtag #NoEstimates to discuss ways to reduce estimating. They were playing with ideas for how we can reduce our need for detailed, time-based estimates and their derivatives (like story points).

To be still able to steer development, people proposed multiple solutions. Like, we should always work on the most valuable increment, seek feedback immediately, do capacity-based forecasting, etc.

But many understood the hashtag “#NoEstimates” as “just stop any and all estimation”. And when you really did that, you would probably face some problems. This comic is for those people…

See also: “We Tried Baseball and It Didn’t Work” by Ron Jeffries