How do you estimate work you've never done before? One proven method is to spike it: Timebox a little work, do some research—just enough to know how long it will take to finish the rest of the work—and then you can estimate the rest of the work. You don’t waste time, you can explore different avenues of how best to complete the task, and your team learns together.
Although many companies may have heard that the concepts of lean production would be of use to their organization, they do not see how something that sprang from manufacturing practices could apply to software development. This article presents a different way of looking at Lean Software Development—one that is independent of Lean’s manufacturing heritage.