Does the Perfect Estimate Exist? (Free Video Training)

This post is part of a free series of training videos covering challenges teams face when estimating with story points. We aren’t charging for this training and it will be available until Wednesday, November 24 at 9 p.m. Pacific.

To watch videos one and two, and to find out when the next one is available, sign up here.

Today’s video looks at the problem of perfect estimates.

If a team believes that their estimates will be treated as promises, they can feel under pressure to get them exactly right.

Managers need to know when something will be delivered, but teams may worry that if they miss that deadline, they’ll be punished for it.

What happens next? Exacting high pressure can result in teams refusing to estimate, or padding the estimate until they feel one hundred percent confident they can meet that deadline.

Both of these results are bad for the team, and for stakeholders.

This video provides four coaching techniques to resolve the problem of perfect estimates, including how to make sure teams and stakeholders are aligned regarding the type of estimate being produced, and helping stakeholders understand that estimates are not guarantees.

More than 13,500 people have registered for this training, and you can watch it for free now:

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Have You Experienced Problems with Perfect Estimates?

Do you feel that your estimates need to be perfect? Have stakeholders expected them to be a guarantee? Watch the videos and let’s discuss it there, or leave a comment below.


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Mike Cohn

About the Author

Learn scrum and agile processes directly from Mike Cohn, one of the industry's most well respected Certified Scrum Trainers (CST). Mike Cohn is the author of User Stories Applied for Agile Software DevelopmentAgile Estimating and Planning, and Succeeding with Agile. He is a co-founder and former board member of the Scrum Alliance, and a co-founder of the non-profit Agile Alliance, home of the Agile Manifesto.