Agile Reading: Game - NoEstimates

09 September 2021 • 2 min read

Agile Reading_Event Template -01

“NoEstimates - a simulation of the pitfalls in forecasting” - Steve Wells


As Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters, there's nothing we like better than a bit of gamification. What's better than getting a bunch of people round a table and exploring agile concepts with lego and postits? But, with working remotely rapidly becoming the new normal, how can we do this without it being a clunky, confusing, and ultimately disengaging experience.


During lockdown, we've been exploring this idea and have built a number of games, activities and simulations at


At this meetup, we're going to play one as an example; Matt Philip's No Estimates game. This is a great way to see how engaging and interesting online workshops can be if they are properly designed to be fully interactive, responsive and meaningful to attendees.


This is much more than just showcasing how remote tech can work, though. The No Estimates game allows us to explore sources of variation in estimation and demonstrates to even the most skeptical why such estimates can never be accurate, however complete our information about what we are trying to build. From that realisation, we can explore better and more accurate ways to answer the perennial question of all stakeholders, POs and PMs - "when will my stuff be delivered?"


So, we get to play a fun and engaging game, and we learn how to forecast software delivery dates. And yes, it's a workshop, but just bring yourselves - no postits or Sharpies needed for this one...


About Steve


Steve has been an Agile Coach and Scrum Master for many years, helping many organisations both large and traditional - BBC, M&S, Sky - and small and disruptive - giffgaff, - to adopt and improve their organisational agility and practices.


He was heavily involved in the definition and implementation of the Lean UX approach adopted at giffgaff and is a regular conference speaker on this and other - sometimes controversial - topics.


He has, however, gone back to his developer roots to build online versions of agile workshops such as the No Estimates game, and to answer one important question - how close can we get to that face-to-face, round-the-table experience so beloved of agile coaches and teams when everyone is at home, or otherwise remote.




17.45: Join online and introductions

18.00: NoEstimates - a simulation of the pitfalls in forecasting - Steve Wells

19.15: Close




Related Posts