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Ignite Challenge #3: Committing to an Estimate

Few things give us more anxiety than having to provide and commit to an estimate of work, particularly given it may come back to bite you. Even more so when we might not know enough about what it is we are estimating. So imagine when we run our Ignite workshops what happens when we ask people to provide an estimate when all we know about an initiative is its heading! In reality though, we are just looking to provide an order of magnitude, based on experience, so we can draw a line in the sand. So how do we overcome this anxiety during an Ignite workshop? Firstly, T-Shirt sizes are a great way to provide an order of magnitude – XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL. Secondly, we evolve the estimate until it is no longer owned by the individual and instead is owned by the collective team. I can guarantee you this will automatically eliminate any estimate anxiety. Start off by capturing individual “guestimates” using t-shirt sizes, then at a macro level have the group assess whether the estimate “feels right”. If it doesn’t feel right, agree as a team what does “feel right” by discussing some of the assumptions that underpin the estimate. Pretty soon you will end up with an estimate that the team will own and defend. The other awesome thing about this approach is that it works fine if you are struggling to get the right expertise at an Ignite workshop – the group collective will always land on an estimate they are all happy to agree with. Finally, starting with an indicative estimate will then set you up to be able to respond to changes as they occur. #200Ignites AdaptivOrg + SEISMA GROUP


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