Category estimation

Monte Python Simulation: misunderstanding Monte Carlo

One topic that came up from the Cost Accounting camp was the use of numerical methods as estimation tools, in particular Monte Carlo Simulation. I questioned the method’s applicability in this case and ended up a side conversation with the lovely Troy Magennis He asked me to elaborate on this, and in particular about where I think Monte Carlo is useful and where it is misapplied.

Blink Estimation

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. Prologue Back in 2003 I was working […]

Are we nearly there yet?

The goal of software delivery is to minimise the lead time to business impact. Everything else is detail. The longest journey When I was young our summer holidays usually involved a drive to somewhere on the south coast of England. From where we lived in London this would be a 5 hour journey for a […]

The perils of estimation

Business people want estimates. They want to know how much it’s going to cost them to get a solution, and they want to know how likely it is to come in on time and on budget. And of course quality is not negotiable. Agile teams I encounter are at best nervous about estimates and at […]