Initial assessment: Blink Estimation
I got a group of really smart people in a room, with at least 10 years’ experience each, and asked them.
Dan North, “Blink Estimation”
- Ensure all relevant perspectives are represented
- Requires experienced participants
Just enough refinement before starting: User Story Mapping and Swimlane Sizing
Talk about the user’s journey through your product by building a simple model that tells your user’s story as you do.
Jeff Patton, “User Story Mapping”
After the initial rough sizing, in order to get just enough refinement to start delivery, I prefer using User Story Mapping to further break things down and design releases. If additional estimation is needed to roughly size releases, I prefer using Swimlane Sizing.
- When User Story Mapping, go for full breadth and just enough depth
- Just enough detail and only for the first release or two. Refine the rest later.
To reduce the risk of inaccurate estimates: Early Release
If you aren’t embarrassed by the first version of your product, you shipped too late.
Early Release is the main trick to avoid having to worry so much about whether estimates are super accurate or not. If you have a target launch date, design your release strategy such that a minimally acceptable version is ready by at…