Daniel Markham has some fun with Estimating Project Size - What To Fix. The focus is on his baliwick of Agile project management, but the general ideas apply to most project planning activities. For example, his last comment:
What's the mistake everybody makes with estimation? - Thinking of it as a science, worrying about being wrong. Estimation is about making reasonable guesses, then letting go and executing. It's not predicting the future. No matter how hard you work at that spreadsheet, you're not going to turn it into a crystal ball. So work hard at it for a short amount of time, then go on to important stuff -- like actually delivering product.
It's great to get people planning their projects to begin with - believe me this is often a big leap in performance all by itself. But then to get them to actually execute against their plans? What a difference! If you spend all your time trying to perfect the plan, it will never be. And you will have missed the actual project.
Plan to a good enough level (using some of Daniel Markham's suggestions), and the switch gears and yell out, "We can do it!"
[via Clarke Ching]
[photo: "We Can Do It!" public domain via Westinghouse]