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InfoQ Homepage Presentations The Guessing Game: Alternatives to Agile Estimation

The Guessing Game: Alternatives to Agile Estimation



Neil Killick proposes ways to reduce risk and uncertainty, calculate a product’s price, determine delivery dates and roadmap, do Scrum and XP without using estimates.


Neil Killick is an independent coach and consultant with over 17 years of experience delivering software in various capacities. He is a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) and Certified Scrum Professional/Practitioner (CSP). He has spoken at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Agile BA & Scrum groups, Limited WIP Society & LAST Conference.

About the conference

Agile Australia is the national Australian conference on Agile, attracting over 850 delegates in 2013. In its fifth year, the conference was themed Accelerate Innovation and featured thought leaders on innovation and business, including Dave Snowden, Bjarte Bogsnes and Ryan Martens. Agile Australia 2013 was sponsored by Rally, ThoughtWorks, IBM, Telstra, and Atlassian and is managed by SlatteryIT.

Recorded at:

Nov 23, 2013

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Community comments

  • Difficulties with Estimates

    by Glen Alleman,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    What Neil is taking about is not with estimates it's with bad management - business management and project management. Stop doing bad management on purpose.

    Read "Little Bets," as a start, we use this book on large enterprise and defense system programs. This is the theme Neil is talking about.

    Treating things in big lumps is actually forbidden in US DOD procurement. The answers to Neil's needs are in the market place and the basis of IT Governance processes. Success comes when you ask and answer "how long are you willing to wait before you find out you're late?" Same for requirements, cost, technical performance.

    All the topics presented may be in place on many projects, but fixing them starts with learning how to be a mature project manager and a mature business process.

    Without starting with the "needed capabilities" as the drivers of the requirements (capabilities are not the same as requirements). is a framework in the domains we work.

    Regarding the UNK UNK needs a context. Was it "knowable?" If yes, could you afford to seek out the risk. This is the role of management reserve and margin.

    "Risk management is how adults manage projects" - Tim Lister.

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