Don’t Confuse Estimates with Commitments

Estimate: an approximate calculation of quantity or degree or worth

Commitment: the act of binding yourself (intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action

  • Estimates are not commitments.
  • Plans based only on estimates are bad plans.
  • Commitments based only on estimates are at best foolish, at worst dishonest.

Estimates are certainly a useful tool for making realistic commitments, but there are many others too that are equally, if not more, useful. Working at a sustainable pace, measuring data about past performance, and facilitating the genuine consensus of the whole team when committing are the way to make plans that can actually be achieved.

Published by Matt

I write software, and love learning how to do it even better.

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  1. A commitment to work consistently at a sustainable pace is the most valuable commitment of all. Commitments to unprovable plans are just an exercise in blame-shifting.

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