The Best Estimating Technique

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When you think of estimating and planning techniques, what method do you think of first?  Do you use a parametric technique, Monte Carlo simulation, or something else?  I was over at the Implementing Scrum website and found an awesome post, asking this same question.  If you think people get crazy whether or not you should utilize an Agile approach or a traditional project management approach on a project, wait until you talk about how to estimate work.  In the traditional project management world, I’ve seen people use SLOC and PERT to arrive at an estimate.  In the Agile world, I’ve used story points and have seen others use gummy bears and t-shirt sizes.

In the end, I really don’t care what estimation technique is used and I’m pretty sure the customer won’t either.  All anyone should be worried about is if the estimates are accurate and if you get the work done.  Am I right or am I wrong?  I would love to read your input.

Thank you to Mike Vizdos for letting me use his cartoon and for the inspiration for this post.