Experienced delivery folks can have surprisingly good instincts for macro-level estimation, as long as we are careful to manage blind spots and cognitive biases. This can be an important tool in early project investment discussions, and can remove roadblocks where people are uncomfortable or unwilling to provide estimates.
A curious phenomenon
At the end of 2009 I left the world of agile delivery and consulting to join a small team in a trading firm. I was member number three. The team grew to five in the next few weeks. This team was the most insanely effective delivery machine I’ve ever been a part of. A handful of programmers sitting in amongst a handful of traders, producing state-of-the-art trading systems - with all the integration pain (back office, risk management, connecting to electronic exchanges) that involves - in weeks. Not months, weeks. This is, of course, impossible.
I’ve just come back from the excellent NDC 2012 event in Oslo, where they published my article about opportunity cost in The Developer magazine ahead of the conference.
It’s November, and it seems I haven’t posted anything here since January. Partly that’s because I have a Proper Job™ these days, which means I spend a lot less time writing and blogging. Partly I’ve rediscovered the joy of actually programming, which means I get to spend most of my time hacking on code.