We can find several techniques for Agile planning: Planning Poker, clothing sizes for task classification (S, M, L, XL, etc.) or Team Estimation Game, but, let’s face it, they’re difficult to integrate in a traditional development environment, and even harder to integrate for the clients who purchase our products (or at least, for the clients’ I’ve been able to work with).
We’re not used to seeing a team “playing cards” for a session of Planning Poker (at least, I am not used to it). I do, however, agree with the philosophy behind those techniques. I believe that they’re becoming more and more popular partly because it is necessary to dispel some myths regarding estimations. Let’s try and do just that:
We do estimates wrong
We need estimations—that’s obvious. We must try to predict what will happen, so we can make decisions. But unless we’ve gone through that specific task many times before, with the same team and under the same circumstances, we need to be aware that our estimates will very likely be wrong.
The more effort we put into an estimation, the closer we’ll be to reality
We’ll estimate better with this or that technique
You can find texts like this and many other about how to manage agile projects in my book Agile 101: Practical Project Management (available on Amazon).
Translation by Begoña Martínez. You can also find her on her LinkedIn profile. Proofreading by David Nesbitt.