Your Agile Project Needs a Budget, Not an Estimate

Your Agile Project Needs a Budget, Not an Estimate

Something that we have struggled with is keep the expectations of shareholders realistic without making the project sound incredibly expensive before it even begins. I like using estimated range of costs, and I like what the the author say about how we only have enough information if the project budget is outside those bounds. But a problem I’ve experienced is that stakeholders balk at the higher-confidence but higher-cost upper bound estimate, while having a hard time accepting the uncertainty of being within those bounds. 

We’ve fortunately been able to build trust with a lot of our customers through our previous projects– trust that we are giving realistic estimated ranges and not trying to deceive or overbill them. Transparency along the way is necessary to maintain that trust that that we’re making convergent progress.

The Monday demo I’m about to give is one of the best (and fairly inexpensive) ways we are implement transparency. Nothing makes people feel better about spending money than seeing what that money is going towards. For a recent large project, we built a POC that showed them how we develop things and how we do “transparency”. Seeing weekly/biweekly releases and demos is sometimes a shock for a customer not used to scrum and gives them a lot of confidence that things will get done (or even if there are problems, it’s transparent and a resolution can be worked on very quickly).

Plus demos get us great feedback from the people who actually use and maintain the system.

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More on Project Cars VR

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I just got back from a weekend in Davis for my brother’s graduation (Go James!). Davis is a great town for a lot of a reasons, not least of which is their proud biking and walking culture. You see bike motifs everywhere, from local restaurants’ glassware to the garbage cans on the street.

Another reason is Sudwerk brewing. I’ve seen their stuff distributed around LA, mainly their Cascaderade IPL (great name), but was not super familiar nor knew they were Davis-based. They have a series called Brewers Cut, which are barrel aged wilds and sours and my favorite style, so I left Davis a happy beer fan and with three bottles to “cellar” (aka like never drink. Sometimes I wonder if I’m more into buying, collecting and talking about beer than drinking it…).

The weekend was also fruitful for my VR setup, since I received a Logitech force-feedback steering (Driving Force GT) wheel that Emma’s parents weren’t using anymore. It is seriously immersive in Project Cars and that feeling is multiplied when combined with VR. Each car feels so different. I really enjoy driving the smaller classic cars that have a large power-to-weight ratio and poor traction control. Each fast turn feels real and stressful, compared to something like the big, heavy, sophisticated AMG SLS that feels like it’s on (very front-weighted) rails.

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Regardless of the car, I spend a lot of time in the grass. Driving is hard.

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Losing “Losing Tic Tac Toe”

I posted about building a big decision tree that proved that player 2 could force a win by player 1 in tic tac toe. Turns out I was reading my results incorrectly (a result of ”2″ at a node meant player 2 could not force a player 1 win). That sucks.

I have proven the inverse of my hypothesis, so that’s something! Next up to see if P2 can never win (so P1 wins or draws).

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