Agile Software DevelopmentAgile Thinking

Why Must Developers Bother About Estimates At All?

Estimates might benefit the customers and stakeholders, but not the developers. If you produce deliverables before a timeline or budget, nobody appreciates. Meanwhile, your team lead yells in the standup if you overshoot them. To appear capable in front of the higher-ups, we forget to plan it right. In this article at Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn shares why developers should bother about estimates.

Planning Estimates

When you provide real estimates, you will achieve your milestones, and stakeholders would start believing in your power to deliver. For that to happen, start making realistic estimates. You might deliver just in time and maybe extend a few weeks. Nonetheless, you will be able to produce deliverables close to what you have projected. Let’s find out from the following teams how reasonable estimates make a difference:

Team 1: Your leader wants a feature to be out in six months. After analyzing, your group says it cannot be done in six months. The catch is, the team members have never delivered any project per the estimates. So, the boss does not listen to your plea and orders it to be done within six months.

Team 2: The same leader comes to the next team and wants the same functionality to be done in six months. Team 2 has a history of delivering projects per the scope. They also say to the boss that they cannot deliver within six months but can do so within eight or nine months. Since they have delivered before, the boss agrees to their timeline.

The Result of Good Estimates

With a history of delivering near-perfect estimates, stakeholders would consider your say in the matter. Your boss might even discuss your issues and remove any bottlenecks to facilitate faster delivery. Once you start delivering close to your estimates, you would have a good relationship with your higher-ups as well. They will value your opinion and not order a steep estimate.

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