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Manage It! by Johanna Rothman

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Conduct Interim Retrospectives

Discovering Why Our Estimates Are All Off
by Stanley, beleaguered project manager
Stanley

I was stumped. We kept having the problem that we didn’t meet our estimates—for anything. We couldn’t keep to our timeboxes. It didn’t matter how small the estimate was, we didn’t meet one. I thought it might be a systemic problem, so I decided to hold a retrospective before the project was done—just to look back at the past few weeks.

At the interim retrospective, several people explained they had been approached by people in marketing and sales to add “just one more thing.” I didn’t have to say a word. Stella, my technical lead explained, “If we take changes without adding them to our backlog, we will never finish what we ...

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