How do we guestimate

What is part of an estimate?

Facilitated this, https://scrumworks.nl/workshop/what-do-we-actually-estimate/, workshop to remote teams, working for BAS. These teams has some inspiring results. Assumptions! Assumptions! Assumptions!

  • Before crossing the train tracks one said: I assume trains will pass every seven to ten minutes.
  • While exploring how to pass the pool of lava another said: We can’t travel around the pool.

Assumptions, Assumptions, Assumptions. As a former collegue said: ASS.U.ME – your ass and my ass.

Doing an assumption or more assumptions is perfectly OK in an agile environment. Only, when doing it make sure that:

  1. Make clear in your conversations that you are doing some assumptions:
    “under the assumption that…”
    “I assume that…”
    “Can we assume that…”
  2. Next thing is: validate your assumptions, are the assumptions TRUE or FALSE. The sooner you learn, the earlier you can use the outcome in future discussions & estimations.

So on the train tracks, validate if a time schedule is availble. If so can we see it? While exploring the pool of lava, verify if you can walk around the pool and what impact that might have on the journey in front of you.

Thus said: Make assumptions & validate them directly. Use that outcome as input for your next steps.


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