#NoEstimates seems to be the thing to practice if you want to be The Cool Agile Guy in 2013. For example Henri Karhatsu has written a great article about estimating and how they ended up in #NoEstimates.
Don’t get me wrong. Most of the posts written about #NoEstimates are solid, golden stuff. It’s just that they quite often miss one quite important perspective:
Estimates = bad. Quite often misused.
Estimating = (usually) good! Can also be misused.
What do you do when you estimate? You create mental models of the possible solutions in your head. You notice too large entities and break them down into smaller pieces. You think about possible pitfalls. Which tools to use. External interfaces. You know, the usual stuff that matters.
I’d like to think that the time spent to think about these things isn’t going to waste.
So if you think about it, estimates are just a by-product of an important process — estimating. You can call it grooming, if you like. Or whatever substantive that best fits your organization. If estimates are required by your boss/organization/PO, just make the journey to estimates worthwhile!
Using the estimates as the basis of decision making is a whole different story, which I don’t dare to cover.