ESTEEM                      AND                   ESTIMATIONGaetano MazzantiAgile42Gama-Tech@mgaewsj
Rumeli hisarı
estimates are not   “the” problem the problem is inhow we use estimates
why do we estimate?
how do we estimate?
where are you?      The Marshall Model of Organizational Evolution
classicdysfunctions in   estimates
padding (bottom-up)imposed deadlines/unrealistic goals(top-down)planning fallacy (overoptimism)fractional task time (multi...
estiqaatsi!                      (WTF)“we estimate theproject will take 18726.35 hours”
unrealistic    targets  that’simpossible!              that’s why               I chose               you :-/
fractional task time Task A   essiamonoi (50%) Task B   essiamonoi (30%) Task C        essiamonoi (20%)            dthe my...
we live in  systemsprojects                “good”on target             estimates            padding
being on target       !=delivering value
being “good” at estimating              !=being good at delivering value
we live insystems...         fear        stress       turnover +              R   -       imposed           targets     fa...
Critical Path                 Critical PainCritical Chain
traditional planning: single loop “learning”                     uncertaintyestimation            discovery               ...
Sisyphusan eternity of useless efforts   and unending frustration
judgement and  decision making under uncertainty+ other limitations    of our mind
the planning        fallacyhumans systematically underestimate howlong it will take to do a taskthey are over confident in...
overconfidenceclinicians in a study werecompletely certain of thediagnosis antemortem: they werewrong 40% of the timeappea...
estimating others  and the pastpeople underestimate their ownbut not others completion timespeople focus on plan-basedscen...
retrospective    estimationthe fallacy holds also lookingback to the past:reported time is typically lessthan the actual t...
we are good atcomparative estimating
mmm not too good
illusions wecannot resist
anchoringis the height of the tallestredwood more or less than 250           meters?             vs  what is the height of...
framing effectodds of survival one month after        surgery are 90%               vs mortality within one month of      ...
loss aversionlosses cause much more pain thangainswe don’t close a project when weshould for a small hope of avoidinga los...
affect heuristic “he likes the project so muchthat he thinks costs are low and         benefits high”
posture affects     estimates (!)when leaning to theleft we produce smallerestimates :-/  Erasmus University research     ...
need for        causalitywe attribute causality to events in thepast when in fact no cause-effectrelationship exists (Retr...
we can’t stand   uncertaintywe always look for causalexplanationseven when events are due just tochancewe favor certainty ...
welcome touncertainty
being uncertain      != I don’t know
uncertain     !=unpredictable
approximately right        vs  perfectly wrong
we need (some) predictability forportfolio management, budgeting,release planning, etc.
Agile to the rescue?
estimates& the Manifesto               processes and toolsindividuals and interactions                     comprehensive d...
Agile to the  rescue?small tasks (stories) comparative sizing  short time-scale    fast feedback
“estimating and planningcan (and should) belightweight.you should stop whenfurther planning is notlikely to lead to improv...
when starting a    projectwe simply want a rough idea of size and an understanding of         (un)certainty
do a pre-mortem!
Agile has ritualized estimationactivitiesthere is some goodand some bad in this
planning pokerrocks.. really?      .conversation rocksrelative estimation                           treated as ranges...ki...
biggest value of theestimation process is     conversation     (exploring,    discovering)   instead of sizingwe should ca...
velocity &           variability33#30#27#                                                                       average#ve...
velocity related       smellsall sprints end with a100% story completion rateall sprints have thesame velocityvelocity is ...
estimation == waste? “time spent estimating is       time not spent doing        value adding stuff”    mmm, yes and no...
fromlearning to estimates
an alternative to  Story Points?  just count thenumber of Stories
we can use historical data   (story count) to predictscope delivery on a given date        and to estimate cost (ROI) of s...
counting & measuringinstead of estimating
measure cycle (lead) timebacklog      to do   in progress        test   done              1             2            2    ...
selection & pullbacklog              to do   in progress   test    done                      1            2           2   ...
flow, pull &     commitmentcommitment = starting somethingcommit only when you pullless WIP = less commitment =more options
“ok, but I need to  sign a contract!”  contract: a piece of paper todefine consequences when theresno trust and something ...
esteem and respect
respect estimates    !=commitments
imposed         deadlinestop-down deadlines force people tocompromise, motivation goes downno control over the scope or sc...
rebooting teamsexecs need to understand/respectwhat makes a system work and whatmakes it (un)predictableyou can’t reboot t...
pretending decisions     are shared“shared” decisions (estimates)      are often extorted                                 ...
bullying“when will it be done?”          ==   I dont trust you                                   C T!                     ...
the right questions                               RES    it will                          PEC                             ...
safe to fail  culture              RES                    PEC                          T      mistakes are      fine! (wit...
limit WIP                             RES                                   PECwhen you limit WIP you are               Th...
in closing1.traditional approaches fail(they ignore uncertainty and complexity)2.our mind will anyway deceive us3.Agile ca...
estimates cant be wrong   theyre estimates! "accurate estimates" or"improving estimates" =>   just a waste of time
estimates are not   “the” problem the problem is inhow we use estimates
looking at our models andassuming they might be wrong   is the heart of respect                      Liz Keogh
Gaetano Mazzanti         @mgaewsjgaetano.mazzanti@gmail.com
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Esteem and Estimates (Ti Stimo Fratello)

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Esteem and Estimates (Ti Stimo Fratello)

  1. 1. ESTEEM AND ESTIMATIONGaetano MazzantiAgile42Gama-Tech@mgaewsj
  2. 2. Rumeli hisarı
  3. 3. estimates are not “the” problem the problem is inhow we use estimates
  4. 4. why do we estimate?
  5. 5. how do we estimate?
  6. 6. where are you? The Marshall Model of Organizational Evolution
  7. 7. classicdysfunctions in estimates
  8. 8. padding (bottom-up)imposed deadlines/unrealistic goals(top-down)planning fallacy (overoptimism)fractional task time (multitasking)precise values instead of confidenceintervalsno specific risk estimation (knownunknowns, unknown unknowns) itm ent = c omm mat e = e sti
  9. 9. estiqaatsi! (WTF)“we estimate theproject will take 18726.35 hours”
  10. 10. unrealistic targets that’simpossible! that’s why I chose you :-/
  11. 11. fractional task time Task A essiamonoi (50%) Task B essiamonoi (30%) Task C essiamonoi (20%) dthe myth of full capacity
  12. 12. we live in systemsprojects “good”on target estimates padding
  13. 13. being on target !=delivering value
  14. 14. being “good” at estimating !=being good at delivering value
  15. 15. we live insystems... fear stress turnover + R - imposed targets failed or quality challenged + projects* *68% according to Chaos Report 2009
  16. 16. Critical Path Critical PainCritical Chain
  17. 17. traditional planning: single loop “learning” uncertaintyestimation discovery impediments delays plan poor quality over budget more detailed planning
  18. 18. Sisyphusan eternity of useless efforts and unending frustration
  19. 19. judgement and decision making under uncertainty+ other limitations of our mind
  20. 20. the planning fallacyhumans systematically underestimate howlong it will take to do a taskthey are over confident in their ownestimatessaying “estimate better” or “rememberhow long previous tasks took” won’t workdeadlines are more significant indetermining when work will bedone than many of us realize,or would like to admit
  21. 21. overconfidenceclinicians in a study werecompletely certain of thediagnosis antemortem: they werewrong 40% of the timeappearing unsure is considered aweaknessthe admission that one is simplyguessing is unacceptable
  22. 22. estimating others and the pastpeople underestimate their ownbut not others completion timespeople focus on plan-basedscenarios rather than relevantpast experience when predictingpeople undervalue past experience(“this time is different”)
  23. 23. retrospective estimationthe fallacy holds also lookingback to the past:reported time is typically lessthan the actual time
  24. 24. we are good atcomparative estimating
  25. 25. mmm not too good
  26. 26. illusions wecannot resist
  27. 27. anchoringis the height of the tallestredwood more or less than 250 meters? vs what is the height of the tallest redwood?
  28. 28. framing effectodds of survival one month after surgery are 90% vs mortality within one month of surgery is 10% vs mortality within one month of surgery is 1 person out of 10
  29. 29. loss aversionlosses cause much more pain thangainswe don’t close a project when weshould for a small hope of avoidinga loss (not achieving a goal)agreement is difficult to reach(i.e. to renegotiate a contract:your gain is my loss)
  30. 30. affect heuristic “he likes the project so muchthat he thinks costs are low and benefits high”
  31. 31. posture affects estimates (!)when leaning to theleft we produce smallerestimates :-/ Erasmus University research http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-11-physically-affects-decision-making.html
  32. 32. need for causalitywe attribute causality to events in thepast when in fact no cause-effectrelationship exists (RetrospectiveCoherence)to estimate we need to assume thatcausality existsin a complex environment, this assumptionis not valid
  33. 33. we can’t stand uncertaintywe always look for causalexplanationseven when events are due just tochancewe favor certainty over doubt
  34. 34. welcome touncertainty
  35. 35. being uncertain != I don’t know
  36. 36. uncertain !=unpredictable
  37. 37. approximately right vs perfectly wrong
  38. 38. we need (some) predictability forportfolio management, budgeting,release planning, etc.
  39. 39. Agile to the rescue?
  40. 40. estimates& the Manifesto processes and toolsindividuals and interactions comprehensive doc entworking software omm itm e ! = c sti mat e contract negotiationcustomer collaboration following a planresponding to change
  41. 41. Agile to the rescue?small tasks (stories) comparative sizing short time-scale fast feedback
  42. 42. “estimating and planningcan (and should) belightweight.you should stop whenfurther planning is notlikely to lead to improveddecisions worth the extraeffort” Mike Cohn
  43. 43. when starting a projectwe simply want a rough idea of size and an understanding of (un)certainty
  44. 44. do a pre-mortem!
  45. 45. Agile has ritualized estimationactivitiesthere is some goodand some bad in this
  46. 46. planning pokerrocks.. really? .conversation rocksrelative estimation treated as ranges...kind of rocks initially these should bestory points & velocitymay become dysfunctional
  47. 47. biggest value of theestimation process is conversation (exploring, discovering) instead of sizingwe should call it just understanding
  48. 48. velocity & variability33#30#27# average#velocity# UCL#24# LCL# velocity#21#18#15# 1*Feb# 1*Mar# 1*Apr# 1*May# 1*Jun# 1*Jul# 1*Aug# 1*Sep#
  49. 49. velocity related smellsall sprints end with a100% story completion rateall sprints have thesame velocityvelocity is increasingregularly at each sprint
  50. 50. estimation == waste? “time spent estimating is time not spent doing value adding stuff” mmm, yes and no...
  51. 51. fromlearning to estimates
  52. 52. an alternative to Story Points? just count thenumber of Stories
  53. 53. we can use historical data (story count) to predictscope delivery on a given date and to estimate cost (ROI) of story delivery
  54. 54. counting & measuringinstead of estimating
  55. 55. measure cycle (lead) timebacklog to do in progress test done 1 2 2 F C A E G D B H I J cycle time lead time
  56. 56. selection & pullbacklog to do in progress test done 1 2 2 F C B A G E D  H ? I J
  57. 57. flow, pull & commitmentcommitment = starting somethingcommit only when you pullless WIP = less commitment =more options
  58. 58. “ok, but I need to sign a contract!” contract: a piece of paper todefine consequences when theresno trust and something goes wronguse data from the pastacknowledge your ignoranceconstantly monitor progresscross your fingers(optional) be transparent withyour client
  59. 59. esteem and respect
  60. 60. respect estimates !=commitments
  61. 61. imposed deadlinestop-down deadlines force people tocompromise, motivation goes downno control over the scope or schedule, onlyone variable left: quality.if bonus is tied to delivering on-time theonly way to achieve that goal is tocut corners C T! S PE RE NO
  62. 62. rebooting teamsexecs need to understand/respectwhat makes a system work and whatmakes it (un)predictableyou can’t reboot teams, project toproject, putting together differentpeople each time and expect to havepredictable outcomes C T! S PE RE NO
  63. 63. pretending decisions are shared“shared” decisions (estimates) are often extorted C T! S PE RE NO
  64. 64. bullying“when will it be done?” == I dont trust you C T! S PE RE NO
  65. 65. the right questions RES it will PEC T take 3 days why not 2? why not 4?
  66. 66. safe to fail culture RES PEC T mistakes are fine! (within boundaries) you need to learn from them
  67. 67. limit WIP RES PECwhen you limit WIP you are Thelping the team:finishing stuffmaking fewer commitmentsgiving them options
  68. 68. in closing1.traditional approaches fail(they ignore uncertainty and complexity)2.our mind will anyway deceive us3.Agile can help but beware offalling into the same trap as 1.4.respect is key
  69. 69. estimates cant be wrong theyre estimates! "accurate estimates" or"improving estimates" => just a waste of time
  70. 70. estimates are not “the” problem the problem is inhow we use estimates
  71. 71. looking at our models andassuming they might be wrong is the heart of respect Liz Keogh
  72. 72. Gaetano Mazzanti @mgaewsjgaetano.mazzanti@gmail.com
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