You do. Whether its a delivery project, feature or sales budget, you have an estimate. It might be a really large range e.g. between $10 to $100,000 but that is okay. By definition an estimate isn’t exact.
So its important to put a stake in the ground by putting an estimate. Even if its off, it lets you retrospect, improve your intuition and do a better job next time.
Putting an initial estimate down has a cognitive bias — Anchoring. Maybe you can avoid it if you know about it! Otherwise, always give a range e.g. you can say “I believe it will take 30 to 70 hrs (or $30K to $70K) and I can give you a more accurate estimate if I know X”.
Your estimate accuracy depends on your past experience and intelligence. If someone tells me they don’t know the estimate, I question both. So always give an estimate and then work to make it better.
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