Ah, estimates. That thing we all know we need to do (and get better at), but no one really wants to talk about. Well, Gina Trapani takes the topic head on in a great post called Estimation Is a Core Competency:
Estimates don’t need to be perfectly accurate as much as they need to be useful.
Good estimates create trust among your PMs and business leaders and collaborators. Being able to identify the risks and uncertainties in a project early gives your project team the information they need to plan around those risks and uncertainties.
Are you consistently getting waylaid by unforeseen work mid-flight, or just taking longer to execute on the work you did know about? That creates distrust between engineers and business leaders, and if it happens repeatedly, that distrust compounds and calcifies into resentment— that is, if you’re still in business.
Gina goes on to give some great tips for better (i.e. more useful) estimates.