Before the next release planning of Brasigo and BlogBlogs, I called each team to show them the hour-glass metaphor. The message I wanted them to understand was: estimation gives us predictability, and this is crucial for every business, including ours.
To achieve this, I played the hour-glass estimation game exactly as I did with the product owners. After the third sprint, they correctly estimated the total amount of time needed to pass all the sand from one side to the other. And then I said: “Do you know what we did? Before the end, we know how much time it will be needed to pass all this sand to the other side. This is very similar to release backlog estimation: after a few sprints, we have a very good estimate of when we will finish it! This gives us and our stake holders predictability, and this is crucial to our business!”
Both teams liked this metaphor very much, and they truly understood why we need to estimate, and why we need to take it seriously. Also, I felt that they liked to be with me in a meeting explaining this, and also that they liked the gaming thing. Based on that, and on this recently post that I read, I’m now researching some other kinds of games to play with them. But this is the subject of a future post.