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Manage It! by Johanna Rothman

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Use Inch-Pebbles

Joe Can't Estimate More Than One Week of Work
by Adrian, development manager
Adrian

I have a really talented guy, Joe, on my team. Joe does great work—his architecture of that piece last year was phenomenal. Joe can estimate little pieces, but he can’t estimate big tasks. Whenever he does estimate large projects or tasks, he’s off—underestimating—by an order of magnitude or more.

In this last project, Joe and his team were in charge of a big piece. It was a big lump. Because the tasks were too big, Joe couldn’t see all the pieces. He would estimate only the pieces he could see. And we had some tasks that were like icebergs. The only thing you could really understand before getting into the task was the very tip of the task. ...

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