What #noestimates might be missing

Brilliant must read by Steve McConnell.


Now what is an interesting question is: What unfulfilled needs does the #noestimates movement really represent?

The #noestimates movement is very vocal. But are they barking up the wrong tree, and not really aware of what they need rather than what they don’t want.

And I would reflect on how #tameflow can or could full fill those needs. Any ideas?

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Thanks for sharing the post Steve, indeed a very insightful read.

I think what #noestimates might be missing is how to account for delivery of value. The article is pretty much spot on in highlighting that in a business context there must be some sort of cost/benefit analysis, I believe that’s what they are missing.
Why do I say that? I keep coming across software professionals with the “it’s done when it’s done” mentality. No consideration or heed to the value that is being delivered whatsoever. That’s a dangerous mindset when trying to run a sustainable business in my opinion.

I think TameFlow fits in nicely in the cost/benefit analysis as it uses past performance to be able to estimate a work packet (cost) and blends it with Throughput Accounting to optimize the flow of value.

It is the flow of value part I haven’t heard anybody from the #noestimates movement to mention, and something TameFlow addressed. That’s the unfulfilled need I see.


Average flow time metrics have the benefit of including the ‘bad’ times such as Wait time, Feedback delay time, Blocked time, Idle time and Induced work.

That is an important consideration.

One point that I find interesting and seldom addressed is that Agile states that they use ‘empirical evidence’ …

So why don’t Agile use the ‘empirical evidence’ that they have regarding Flow metrics and use them?

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The need #tameflow can meet is self-awareness.
For me, an underlying factor that made ‘#NoEstimates’ resonate is the need to feel connected to the reason for my actions and the impact I can expect to make. I’ve always appreciated Woody’s emphasis that it was never about eliminating estimates but about questioning why we need them (and building the muscle to examine other things we do). Steve’s write-up is perhaps the most extensive and level-headed response I’ve seen.


I love this question about unmet needs, and I would like to extend it to NEAR communication.

Which needs, expectations, assumptions and reasons are behind #noestimates?
If we look closely, the noestimates movement itself has become an agglomeration of ideas from scientific to esoterical, from a genuine desire to improve performance to an absolution of personal responsibility.

If you’d map all ideas from the #noestimates movement on a quadrant matrix, I would say that Tameflow can only integrate quadrant 1 - scientific ideas that support a genuine desire to improve.
All other ideas should be discarded.
I do see a massive value that we could add to the world of work simply by producing this matrix and revealing how Tameflow addresses quadrant 1.

Any collaborators if I stick my head into this matter?


Go for it @Michael_Kuesters!

And while you do, keep in mind all the huge body of work under the Thinking Processes of TOC.

Definitively the mantra of #tameflow is that we want it to be based in empiricism and driven by metrics and reason. Not believes in authorities or… esoteric!


I’d be up for working together on that.