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Discussion on: ⏰ How to nail time estimations

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jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy

At work, I tell the PMs that I don't know, they then put a time on it themselves, and it just takes as long as it takes - I'm not going to waste my time estimating - or worse, rushing out poor quality products to meet arbitrary deadlines.

Outside of work, all my clients for freelance work have always been happy with just seeing progress from time to time - and a good final result when it's ready

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carmenhchung profile image
Carmen Chung Author

Interesting! I think you're really fortunate to work in a place where you can take as much time as you need. In my experience, it's not very common for most workplaces - even if it's just because other colleagues (sales, communications, marketing, customer support etc) need to know when something will be launched so they can prepare their end of the work. Management in particular, I've found, need to give at least quarterly updates to the Board on how things are progressing. You're super lucky! :)

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jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy • Edited

You can do it at any workplace. Stand up for yourself. If you produce good work you'll be valued. Don't waste time on activities that are detrimental to the production of a good final result.

Deadlines and being held to estimates almost always results in inferior code which ultimately makes the project take longer as there are more issues and technical debt to address - not to mention the time spent estimating!

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carmenhchung profile image
Carmen Chung Author

I agree spending time estimating can be annoying, and that badly-estimated deadlines are very often dangerous, and detrimental to code quality.

I think we'll need to agree to disagree on not doing estimates at all though. I think being a good team player means keeping the rest of the company informed of when they can expect a feature to launch. In my experience, partnerships needs to prepare workshops for partners (and customers, in my current situation), communications/marketing needs to get media releases ready, and management needs to inform investors/the Board about how their money is being spent. It's unfair on them to suddenly spring a feature launch and expect them to scramble to get their work done, especially if there's time-sensitivity to what they do (i.e. they need to get their media releases/workshops done within a week of the feature being launched).

But again, that's just my experience - if you don't have people relying on your time estimates, then by all means, estimates are pretty pointless!

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190245 profile image
Dave

Why the hell can I only click "love" once on your posts? You deserve a lot more than that!

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carmenhchung profile image
Carmen Chung Author

Thanks so much Dave, really appreciate it! Also love your "go back to the drawing board" comment - it's super important for people (not just devs) to raise when things aren't possible early on, and to encourage re-thinking the solution (and sometimes the problem, haha).