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Reluctance to estimate Backlog Items

Page history last edited by Mark Levison 15 years, 9 months ago


Reluctance to estimate Backlog Items


1. Smells

  • Team refuses to play planning poker
  • Individuals guessimating


2. Discussion


[ Describe the background concepts and/or context relating to these smells. ]



3. Causes

  • R&D Project
  • Fuzzy release dates
  • Management actively discouraging estimation


4. Consequences

  • Poor prioritisation (inaccurate cost data)
  • Missed releases or substantial feature reduction
  • Lack of estimate improvement


5. Prevention


[ How can we avoid this problem occurring in the first place? You may like to refer to a pattern to illustrate how things can work more satisfactorily. ]



6. Example Remedies

 Remedy to open-ended schedule:

  1. (Re-)do release planning with whole team
  2. Make release burn-down visible to team
  3. Retrospective focus on the difference release targets and estimation is making


Remedy to address uncertainty:

  1. Focus estimation on an area in which there is the clearest need for it
  2. Use estimation to identify uncertainty
  3. Plan spikes for areas of uncertainty
  4. Retry estimation, review uncertainty
  5.  Make commitments based on estimates
  6. Review how team met commitments


Credit: this is based on material from "Sharing More than Deodorant for Scrum Smells" by Rown Bunning.

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