Random Acts of IT Project Management

Project Management for Information Technology

Are Accurate Estimates a Myth?

Posted by iammarchhare on 22 July 2009

Yesterday, I pointed you to Robert Merrill’s post about “A Tale of two processes” comparing waterfall and Agile.  So, it seems appropriate today to point you to another of his posts “Software sanity: Accurate estimates and other myths” to round things out.

What is an “accurate” estimate, anyhow?  What is a “good” estimate?  Merrill writes:

Most people equate “good “with “accurate.” I equate “good” with “unbiased and complete, with reasonable accuracy given the time spent on estimating.” This is within every organization’s reach, relatively quickly. Getting incrementally more accurate may not even be worth the effort. Instead, we need to learn to account for estimation errors when selecting and running projects. We will never be accurate enough to let us off the governance and methodology hook.

You can read the rest here.


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