Projects that seem quick and easy rarely are.
This is because we forget all kinds of things when we estimate:
- The time it takes to coordinate and communicate with others
- The time it takes to check our work
- The time it takes to fix our work
These are the “obvious” things we forget. There’s also the not-so-obvious:
- The time we lose when switching between tasks
- The time it takes to research the new project
- Ongoing maintenance and effort around the project after we’re “done”
This is why so few projects finish “on time”. It’s why engineers pad their estimates liberally. And it’s why most startups should focus more on hitting meaningful milestones than meeting arbitrary deadlines.