Steve Fenton


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Budgets not Estimates

This is an early view over a process we are experimenting with in my organisation; budgets not estimates. It represents a re-ordering of components in the planning process that generates more options and reduces single-option big bets. There are lots of different terms for how people plan software, but very often it involves someone turning […]

When I worked on the technical side of software development, I talked a great deal about #NoEstimates. I’m now on the business side of software development (in charge of all products and data for a global SaaS provider). I thought it would be a good time to revisit estimates and put them in context using […]

Schedule compression

When a software team gives an estimate, it is not uncommon for the estimate to be “rejected”. I wanted to explore my thoughts on this matter. When an estimate varies wildly from what you expect, want, or need; you have lots of options. But the following is not an option: “come back with a lower […]

#NoEstimates in practice

A fader is a control you can use to vary the volume of sound, the intensity of light, or the gain on a video or audio signal. We have all seen giant sound desks in expensive studios with arrays of motorised faders controlling the mix of a recording. The important thing to remember is that […]

The NoEstimates philosophical divide

The key arguments on #NoEstimates reflect a split between social responsibility and corporate responsibility. They are not mutually exclusive. What I mean is, there is a philosophical difference between the two main threads of argument when #NoEstimates comes up. Let’s begin with a quick recap for anyone who hasn’t spotted the discussion. The #NoEstimates hash-tag […]

Beyond estimates

In order to stop the flow of people who are so keen to tell me what my opinion is on the #NoEstimates debate – I have documented here my current position, which is neither entirely for nor against the use of estimates. This is my current position, as of today. I may change my mind […]

Definition of estimates

One of the sticky points in the #NoEstimates debate is the lack of agreement over the definition of estimates. This causes logical fallacies to gush forth, flooding the thriving field of debate with its unsanitary waters. So let’s see if we can agree what estimates are, before we decide how we go beyond estimates. Dictionary […]