Review: #NoEstimates - the book

· October 15, 2015

The #NoEstimates movement have lived a turbulent life on twitter. I guess that happens when you present ideas that challenges how we, as a collective, view the world today.

What’s funny is that after awhile, when the dust settles, it seems so natural and you ask yourself; “well, what was the fuzz about”. This is when the idea has got traction and maybe some of the early rough edges has been rubbed off.

My friend Tobbe puts it nicely;

One of those moments I think is when someone decides to write something (substantial) down to present compelling, practical, solutions to some of the discussions that’s been had so far.

The NoEstimates book is just this; a set of tools pointing towards another way of doing software development.

The thing that strikes me throughout reading the book is that it feels so natural, in line with the agile principles and just value-focused that I find myself just nodding along through the story.

Yes, the book is driven by a story of a big project that falls into the lap of Carmen, our heroine. She’s faced with many of the nigh on impossible tasks of prediction and estimations that I myself have struggled with.

Through the book we follow her tribulations and learnings that she picks up from a bearded co-worker who happens to be interested by #NoEstimates. Wonder who that character is based on?

Interjected into the story is principles and theory of the things that Carmen picks up along the way. The practicalities is often manifested and exemplified using the context of the story.

It’s a great format and works nicely for this book too. What I particularly liked about this book is that the story is compelling and relatable so that it draws you in. It’s a good story, put simply.

Also the entire books easy-going and before long it’s over.


The only flip-side of a story driven approach is that you can’t squeeze everything into the one story. For example this is about a really big, new project. I would have love to have read some “brown-field” approaches or “introduce it gently” stories too.

But HA!, says Duarte Vasco. He’s thought about that. Because there’s a complete package of more material to read, interviews to watch with some really amazing stories (and some pretty bland from yours truly…).

This is a perfect “Continue here” package that I cannot commend Duarte enough of.


This books is great I think. I gives a hands-on, story-driven, easy-going overview of the priniciples and examples of the practices for #NoEstimates.

If you ever found yourself in a situation where estimates and their inevitable conversion to plans and Gantt charts is just too much for you; there’s another way. It’s brilliantly presented here!

If you, like me, at first sight thinks: “No Estimates? But how can the ever work?! We need estimates to …” - prepared to be challenged. There’s an alternative.

Get it now!

Read more

If you want to read more about the back-story, how did we get here etc. These are few of the good articles I’ve read on the topic:

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