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Estimating agile projects is subtly different to estimating traditional projects.

In a traditional project you are presented with a rigid definition, a specification, an agreed stable design and flexible resources. Around this platform of pleasing certainty is a budget with contingency when things go wrong, when they change or if errors need accommodating. Furthermore you probably have a management that will not be overly surprised if you come asking for more budget at one or more points in the project.

Maybe they are even expecting it. During an agile project the workload, priorities and environment are dynamic and changing. We do this because our organisations are changing and because, at the outset of the project, we do not know all the answers to the questions and challenges our projects will present to us. In agile development we focus on deliverables not on tasks. Tasks can quite often deliver nothing, so we do not plan or focus on them and whilst we deliver in an agile fashion, we take a different approach to estimating.

The three planning products are produced to make sure we all know what is being delivered and what is going to be released, to where and when. The plans also tell us what is expected from us and what is expected from others, our responsibilities for true accountable collaboration on our project.



But this time we will fix a budget and deliver to it. OK, let us see how we provide estimates and improve our estimating processes.
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