There's a healthy movement in the agile community using the hashtag #NoEstimates. If your stakeholders are comfortable with work beginning before any estimates are provided, that is fine, so long as you manage their expectations about timing and costs.
If you are doing product development and add new features to an existing product you can do without estimates but in my opinion it is still good to have estimates. Estimates in software development are not accurate and the story points makes it even worse but still you need to have an idea on what to expect.
Software product development however is different than software projects, in product development you don't have a fixed budget to deliver something and as such you don't need project management and project managers.
If you have a fixed price project I don't think you can do without estimates. What would you say to the client when they ask how long would it take to complete the project? Also you need to provide days and not story points as story points make little sense. Saving Changes...
Then, he is giving you the possibility to behave like Michelangelo when painted the Sixtine Chaptel. Several times the situation was: Pope Julius II: “When will you make an end?” Michelangelo: “When I am finished!” Enjoy it. Saving Changes...
Sometimes it is known at the outset of a project that it must be done regardless of what the estimate comes out to be. We have different classifications of project approval at my employer:
- Proceed completely including the design, supplier commitments, test and release.
- Proceed with all the design but don't release, test, or commit suppliers.
- Only proceed on specified critical items necessary to define the business case.
Not having an estimate doesn't mean having no ideal of what it will cost. Sometimes you can decide it will probably take a few people X-amount of time, and know that you are reasonably close. If a job is relatively high impact and low cost, it is not taking on a great cost risk to proceed prior to having a formal estimate. Saving Changes...