Making Better Estimates, Part 2: Team Estimates

Part of a series on Making better estimates.

The team needs to own the estimate, so the team needs to make the estimate.

If you’re estimating with the team, then you need to work to consensus on each chunk you’re estimating. The conversation that comes out of differing opinions on the complexity of a task helps reveal the nature of that task, the diversity and importance of assumptions, and the range of optimism within the team. The results improve from simply talking about all this stuff.

You need to watch out for an overly strong voice, or overly influential person negating the benefit of the diversity of perspectives. Junior or less-experienced members of the team may not feel there is value in disputing a senior member’s estimate. Planning poker can help in these cases.

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