Product Myth #3: It’s Not Worth Estimating The Work, It’s Always Wrong Anyway.

Product Mythology 

A series of blog posts outlining commonly-heard myths from the product community.

Product development has historically been much more of an art than a science. In turn, the way the product vertical operates often feels more like putting out fires than running a successful team. Because of its artistic nature, the vertical as a whole has done a large, collective shoulder shrug in determining how to solve many of the problems that face it:

  1. Poor estimation of work
  2. Inability to set reliable expectations
  3. Lack of predictability across the entire product development process

Cardagraph has set out to solve these problems. Join us as we debunk a couple of the most widespread product myths!

Product Myth #3: It’s not worth estimating the work, it’s always wrong anyway.

Ignoring estimation and timelines only hurts.. well.. everything.

Product leaders have less faith than ever that developers/product teams are accurately estimating work. And to be honest, it could be malicious (sand-bagging, etc.) but it’s more likely that estimating is just really hard to do well. 

And that’s frustrating because the rest of the business depends on the timelines that product and dev teams communicate. Miss a timeline, and you throw all other verticals out of whack.

Typically, there are a few reasons why estimation ends up being bad, but the solution isn’t to get rid of them. The solution is to get better at them. 

The main reason that estimates and timelines are inaccurate is because leaders plan using assumptions and what their perspective tells them. Actual reality-based, data-backed planning is very rarely employed. And that’s for a number of reasons. Usually, the largest problem is that the inputs you need, so you stop assuming and become more accurate, are not easy to find and work with. 

The data that you need is housed within your ticketing tool. It’s hard to get to, and requires a lot of work to normalize. And that’s before you start to execute the calculations that give you context on what to expect. 

There are all kinds of ways to do it, excel pivot tables, google data studios, dataviz tools… But in each of these scenarios, things only update when you make them update. Automatic maintenance and continued data input isn’t manageable.

So yes. 

It makes sense that estimating is bad.

But again, don’t get rid of estimates. They’re the foundation of a well-oiled, low-cost organizational strategy. 

Instead, 1. automate data gathering, 2. automate maintenance of that data and the calculations being used, and 3. store and organize everything in a simple, user-friendly way.

Predictability is the goal of our platform at Cardagraph. For too long, product has been setting itself up to fail because estimations are flawed and the inputs that you need to factor into a calculation like this are both hard to get to and hard to use.

Cardagraph takes the required inputs from ticketing tools and automatically calculates reasonable expectations. Then, as you work towards that projected completion date, it keeps you in the loop as to when the project is off-track and allows you to create simulations of what would happen if you made changes to scope or resources. 

Instead of making guesses based on assumptions, set expectations based on reality with Cardagraph. 

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