Let’s explore and the purpose and use of estimates in the management of software development project efforts, and consider possible alternatives. We depend on estimates to make important decisions, and yet we’re often disappointed by the results. Are estimates for cost, time, or effort always needed? Is it possible there are other ways to approach our work?

The default use of an "estimate-driven" approach is pervasive in software development efforts, and while estimates can be useful, it is worthwhile to scrutinize our use of estimates for cost, time, and effort, and to seek better ways to manage software development projects.

There are a number of things to explore and many questions to ask. For example, do we really need estimates for all the things we are currently using them? Are we getting a reasonable benefit from them? Is it possible to manage software development projects without these estimates, or at least with fewer estimates? Is there a way to prove that estimates are helping us make good decisions?

In this session we’ll participate in some interactive information gathering exercises to see if we can gain a shared idea of our current understanding of the purpose and use of estimates. We will examine the nature of software development projects, and see if we can work together to come up with some ideas about alternatives to using estimates.

Learning Objectives:

Gain an understanding of the purpose and use of estimates. Understand some of the issues with using estimates Discover ways to work without estimates