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Zen estimation - bare minimum iteration planning

December 14, 2015 in Engineering philosophy

I think agile story estimation à la planning poker isn’t agile any more. It breeds too much verbal discussion that doesn’t lead to improving productivity. The ability to put down a number produces false confidence in expected outcomes by letting you wrap an unknown and undefined number of complications into a clean-looking (albeit higher) estimate. What you are really saying with that number is that you don’t know how long the task will take.

I made up a new way of estimating software development scope (as a thought experiment this morning). I call it… zen estimation.

I feel like this approach to estimating would bring focus from fiddling with abstract numbers of “points” to planning out work into actionable steps.

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