Most people think about estimating as a way to figure out how big stuff is, so we can decide what we are going to build and when we are going to build it. More often than not, I find myself using estimation to help teams figure out what we are NOT going to build. Rather than create an IN list… I like to think about creating an OUT list.
Many of my clients are so overcommitted, they can’t have a conversation about focusing on a well groomed, prioritized product backlog until they come to grips with the fact that most of what they want to build just isn’t going to happen… at least not right now. Once they’ve got the noise out of the system, we can start breaking work down and looking at what might actually be possible.
Ever though about using estimation as a way of committing to what we AREN’T going to do?