No New Year resolutions this year. In fact, I don’t do any any year. However I am resolved to creating a mind map of my goals and aspirations for this year and beyond. Yes, it’s a resolution; but it’s not a New Year’s resolution.
It’s something I’ve never done before and never really understood the point; I think because it’s so far removed from the day-to-day business of getting things done – to-do lists, projects and next actions. Plus, they’re very often cited in the context of a spiritual journey, which put me off & made me somewhat sceptical of their usefulness.
Here’s some sage advice from Johanna Rothman’s “Managing Product Development” blog:
Never, ever, ever provide a single date for a project or a single point for a budget without a range or a confidence level.
Expect to iterate on the release date and on the budget, and train your managers to expect that from you.
If you get a ranked feature set, you can provide working product in the order in which your managers want the work done, while you keep refining your estimates. This has to be good for everyone.
If you can say this without being patronizing, practice saying, “Remember, the definition of estimate is guess.”
I urge you to read the whole of the post – it’s a good précis of the difficulties in estimating budgets and timescales. I’m looking forward to future posts in the series. The home page of her “Managing Product Development” blog can be found here.