Ron Jeffries on Prediction

It is common practice to make a list of essential features, think about them for a while, and then decide that they define the next release of our product. The next question, of course, is “when will all this be done?”

The answer is that no one knows. We could do a lot of work to improve our not knowing, and in some areas and at some times some of that is worth doing, such as when there’s a large contract waiting to be bid. But when we’re in the business of developing solutions for internal or external customers, we do best to provide small amounts of value frequently, not wait for Big Bang releases that seem often to recede indefinitely into the future.

You’re trying to get into a frame of mind where you think “If we just did this one little thing, Customer Jack could actually use this”. Then, do that little thing and let Customer Jack try it. We want to move as quickly as we can to continuous delivery of value.

We want to make the value of what we’re doing so visible that our Product Owner and other stakeholders can’t wait to get it out there. Then … we’ll be doing the right thing, with, or without, story estimates. 

Ron Jeffries - Story Points Revisited