Home > management > Set The Price, Or Ask For An Estimate?

Set The Price, Or Ask For An Estimate?

This tweet from a #NoEstimates advocate is interesting food for thought:

setprice

Let’s say you are one member of a software development team of 5, and each of your salaries is $100K per year. Now, assume that an executive in your org requests that your team build software product “WhizzBang” for $500K. If your team accepts the request, then your deadline date becomes automatically set in stone as one year from the selection date. If you don’t accept the request…. well, then you and your teammates should look for other work.

An alternative approach for getting “WhizzBang” built is for the executive to ask the team for an estimate of how long it will take to get the software built.

I, as a software developer, would prefer the bidirectional “asking for an estimate” approach rather than the unidirectional “setting of a price” approach. Neither approach is ideal, but the “asking for an estimate” approach gives me the opportunity to provide information to the executive that allows him/her to decide whether or not to move forward on his investment.

In either case, history sadly shows that neither approach is likely to lead to the derived deadline being met. In those cases where the deadline is met, the team has most likely worked tons of unpaid overtime over a sustained period of time and has cut quality corners to do so 😦

setask

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  1. January 23, 2017 at 12:31 am

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