ThoughWorks Studios has released an ebook titled “How do you estimate on an Agile project?” where they explore common approaches and their adaptions from real-world projects. The book is comprised of several authors, most notably Martin Fowler. In this ebook they discuss why teams estimate, different methods that teams use to estimate, and provide a couple of case studies.
The most interesting part of this ebook for me was the case study of the Mingle project. That case study determined that a burn-up chart created using the actual story estimates was the same as a burn-up chart created by simply using the number of stories! The Mingle team attributed this to the fact that over time they normalized their stories to all be about the same size. The Mingle team does continue to estimate because they find the conversations useful. However, they found that the estimates didn’t provide any additional value so they have abandoned using the estimates.