I owe an even greater debt of gratitude than usual to the formal reviewers of this book. Tom Poppendieck, Steve Tockey, Paul Hodgetts, Mike Searfos, and Preston Smith all provided me with helpful comments and suggestions. This book is immensely improved because of their efforts. In particular, I wish to thank Steve and Tom for going beyond the call of duty. Steve pointed out numerous ideas and concepts I’d overlooked and pointed me toward a few references I hadn’t discovered. Most importantly, he led me to what has since become my mantra when I teach classes on estimating and planning: estimate size, derive duration. Tom may have spent more effort on this book than I did. Tom was tireless in stressing to me the importance of writing this book for the whole team, not just for the project manager. It was through discussions with Tom that I realized that a book on planning needed to be broader than just answering the question, “When will we be done?” In the grand scheme of providing value to our organizations, that question is easy.
Thank you to John Goodsen of RADSoft. John and I originally planned to write this book together. Our schedules didn’t mesh so that wasn’t possible, but I thank John for the early discussions about the book.
One of the greatest things about the Internet is the ability to share a book with others while you are writing it. This book has been in process for twenty months on my website, and it is greatly improved because of the comments and suggestions sent to me by readers of those early drafts. In particular I would like to thank Bryan Ambrogiano, Ken Auer, Simon Baker, Ray Boehm, Leslie Borrell, Clarke Ching, Lisa Crispin, Rachel Davies, Mike Dwyer, Hakan Erdogmus, John Favaro, Chris Gardner, John Gilman, Sven Gorts, Paul Grew, Sridhar Jayaraman, Angelo Kastroulis, Lisa Katzenmeier, Lasse Koskela, Mitch Lacey, Patrick Logan, Kent McDonald, Erik Petersen, Kert Peterson, Mike Polen, J. B. Rainsberger, Bill Ramos, Matt Read, George Reilly, Chris Rimmer, Owen Rogers, Kevin Rutherford, Dick Scheel, James Schiel, Ken Scott, Karl Scotland, Alan Shalloway, Jagadish Shrinivasavadhani, Michele Sliger, Karen Smiley, Hubert Smits, Victor Szalvay, Charlie Trainor, Raj Waghray, Rüdiger Wolf, Scott Worley, and Jason Yip.
I would also like to thank everyone who has participated in one of my agile estimating and planning classes over the past two years, whether internally at their company or at a conference. Thank you as well to each of my clients, but especially to those where I’ve taught classes on estimating and planning and who are using the ideas in this book, including Farm Credit Systems of America, Fast401k, High Moon Studios, Nielsen Media Research, Sun Microsystems, Ultimate Software, VisionPace, Webroot, Yahoo!, and others.
As always, the staff at Prentice Hall was wonderful to work with. Paul Petralia and Michelle Housley got the project started and were there through the finish. Tyrrell Albaugh helped with some difficult FrameMaker questions. I asked to be hit with a tough copy editor so that the book could be as good as possible. I was hit with Kathy Simpson, who was exactly what I’d asked for. Finally, Lara Wysong did a great job of overseeing the transition from manuscript to the book you have in your hands. She was also tireless in responding to my hundreds of questions and emails.
I thank Bob Martin for including this book among the other wonderful books in his series. Uncle Bob has been one of my favorite writers since back in his days as the editor of the C++ Report. Bob has done so much to spread agile ideas throughout the software development community that it is an honor to have this book in his series. I would also like to thank Jim Highsmith of the Cutter Consortium and Gabrielle Benefield of Yahoo! for contributing forewords. Working with each of them is always a pleasure.
I cannot thank my family enough for allowing me the time to work on this book. Much of it was supposed to be written on the road to minimize time away from them. That didn’t happen. Laura, my wife and partner in everything I do, has been tireless in her devotion to me, our business, and this book. She read and re-read every chapter, and then she read them again. Without her help, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish a tenth of what we do together. My beautiful daughters, Savannah and Delaney, have become so accustomed to seeing me locked in my home office typing away that it would seem odd to them if I weren’t. I thank them for their hugs, kisses, and for being who they are.