The Real Reason We Estimate

This post is from by Mike Cottmeyer.

Over the past few months, various blog posts have popped up talking about estimation, how estimation is unnecessary, how estimation is waste… and that maybe we should stop estimating entirely and just get down to the business of writing software. If our estimates are always wrong, and most of the time they are, why should we even attempt estimating in the first place?

Agilists eschew absolute estimates in favor of relative estimates, and absolute values to estimates made in more abstract units like story points. Story points are measured in non-linear sequences like Fibonacci to further abstract their value from any notion of absolute time. As a result, agile estimates are only relevant in the context of a stable team with a known measured velocity.

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