Days like these are the most challenging.
You know that they’ve asked for a rough estimate (see this post for my thoughts on the accuracy of estimates early in a project), and you provided a range, and wrapped it caveats, and yet you just know this is going to happen…
To things always seem to happen:
- The statement that “we estimate this effort will take 200 days ± 50 days” seems to magically become “we estimate this effort will complete in 150 days, though maybe up to 200”.
- To add insult, this then seems to become “we will do this in 150 days.”
The only way I’ve found is to try and correct this each time and try and keep them focused that this was an estimate and we’ll get more accurate as we move through the project. I can see now why on Agile projects they try to avoid any ideas on velocity until after the 3rd iteration.
Some days, I *really* want to be a ScrumMaster…