Fast & Loose Estimates
I want to praise @SteveKuhn for giving fast and loose estimates. He’s a busy guy @CrowdTwist and I can’t imagine he actually stands behind some of his estimates when he makes them based on the number of things he’s juggling in a given day. But what he does is incredibly important and worth highlighting.
Often I’ll hear him say, “I think I can have that for you shortly after lunch.” This is intriguing: what time is lunch and how much time does “shortly” mean? Even with so much ambiguity, he’s still doing a few very important things for the people he works with and those that are dependent on him:
- He’s created a forcing function for himself. He’s made a commitment that he needs to honor.
- He’s given the person waiting on him a rough sense of how much time they must wait before he delivers so they can go off and fill the time with other tasks.
- He’s reinforcing that it’s important, as a team member, to respect other people’s time and give them some sense of what to expect.
- When he can’t deliver he’s forced a touch point to communicate his status and a new deliverable. This continues to help the people waiting on him plan their time more effectively.
- He quickly time boxes his tasks. This let’s him plan his own time better and forces him to finish tasks in the time he’s allotted.