Agile Estimating – Part C

A client recently remarked to us – “You have made us very expensive. I lost a deal when the client came back and told me that you are twice as expensive as your competition”. You obviously wonder, how are others able to do things in half time? Why are we not able to do it? And because we are not able to do it, we can’t estimate lower as well? Then how are others able to estimate lower and complete it in less time as well?

Is it a factor of more efficient developers or cheaper resources or both? Efficiency would probably be a factor of the quality of resources and whether or not can they help us [team/ organization] become successful. However, if we consider that developers themselves would be efficient/ profitable without any organization commitment and involvement in the same, we would be missing an important parameter in the analysis. How do we make a fresher a productive/ efficient resource? Do organizations make/ break people into bad or good performers by their culture?

Agile focuses on team empowerment and responsibility. The idea behind the same is that people who are near to the core of the problem would be best able to do a particular work best. Organizations should focus on an empowered, charged, learned, learning and motivated workforce. The above are also the part and parcel of the culture of an organization. An organization that does not take competitive edge as its mantra can not succeed in the long run. Its the quality that counts and decides metrics for productivity and efficiency. Quality comes from quality people – the best talent is attracted by the best talent and it performs in the right environment.

When we talk of estimates, we must also talk of organization culture and competitiveness. The best method to do the same seems to be continual learning/ empowering of the teams to define a culture that makes it competitive. Its not client’s business sense that Agile teams needs to embrace but organization business value needs to be factored into their performance as well.

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