About 18 months back I contributed an article on “selling agile to the CFO” to Software Quality Connection (SmartBear.com), but they seem to have taken it down. I recently had a Twitter discussion with Woody Zuill about story estimates and technical debt. Woody tweets about #NoEstimates. I think he has some good arguments for not bothering with story estimating, and I think in some situations teams might find that works well for them. But in my experience, story estimates are one way to make technical debt visible. If the biz folks want a feature that involves old, crufty code that’s not protected with automated regression tests, for example, we’ll give that a high point estimate, because we’ll have to spend a lot of time either doing manual regression testing, or refactoring the code to reduce the technical debt.
Our discussion reminded me of this article, so I’m posting it here, I hope Woody will read it and let me know what he thinks!