No more initial estimates? NOOOOOOOOOOO!

Kiron Bondale

You are assigned to manage a project and before you or your team have had an opportunity to start to chip away at the looming mountain of uncertainty, you get put on the spot to provide a cost or schedule estimate by your project sponsor or some other stakeholder. To make matters worse, your company’s project delivery methodology might insist that an estimate gets provided before work has even commenced. It’s unfortunately an all too familiar scenario.

Software Estimating Resources

Herding Cats

This blog page is dedicated to the resources used to estimate software-intensive systems using traditional and agile development methods. The reason for this resource page is the lack of understanding of how to estimate, the urban myths about software estimating, and the fallacies that estimating is not needed, when developing software, in the presence of uncertainty, when spending other peoples money. Estimating Probable System Cost,” Stephen A. December 2010.

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Estimating is a Learned Skill

Herding Cats

Estimating is a learned skill, used for any purpose from every-day life to management of projects. When I left for the airport this morning to catch my flight to a customer site I estimated, given the conditions, how much time I need to get to my favorite parking spot at DIA. The same process for estimating is applied to multi-billion dollar projects we work. Here's some materials that provide the tools and processes needed to learn how to estimate. Johnson, STC 2010.

Tips and Tricks for Smart Project Planning

Wrike

Project management tools are helpful in the visualization of the schedule, and in quick calculation of an approximate end date when there are estimates in place. The identification of the critical chain uses a network of tasks with “aggressive but achievable” estimates that is first “resource leveled” against a finite set of resources. , I promised to share some tips and tricks that can help you make your project planning more efficient.

2010 39

Estimating the Risk

Herding Cats

In order to make risk-informed decisions, we must estimate the outcomes and the impacts of those outcomes on future activities (cost, schedule, and technical performance of products and services). Without these estimates, there is no risk management. Without these estimates, there can be no risk management. Be an adult, make estimates of the future outcomes of your risk informed decisions. . [1] 1] Control or Economic Law Paperback, Eugen von Boehm-Bawerk, 2010. [2]

Basis of Estimating Software Development

Herding Cats

The estimating of software development is both straightforward and complex. When it is suggested that estimating is hard, of no value, and unnecessary, always ask what principle is used to support that claim? Here are some resources that will provide guidance to produce credible software development estimates, in both traditional and agile domains. Software Sizing and Estimating: Mk II FPA , Charles Symons, John Wiley & Sons, 1991.

How Technology Affects Project Management

Wrike

IDG also estimates that the amount of workers falling into this category could soon be up to 40%. It was not that long ago that a printed out Project Charter would be the start of project approval. The key stakeholders would physically sign the document, which would be passed in the internal mail between parties, finally returning to the project manager to update the version control for the document to version 1.0.

2010 28

Reading List for the Cone of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

The primary purpose of software estimation is not to predict a project’s outcome; it is to determine whether a project’s targets are realistic enough to allow the project to be controlled to meet them ? The beginning of all business critical software development projects is the point in time when performing organizations are least certain about the project, yet it is also the time when top management expects to be delivered project estimates that are very precise.

2012 41

A Compendium of Works to Increase the Probability of Project Success

Herding Cats

Applying Deliverables Based Planning ® To Increase Our Probability of Success , PMI Fort Worth, Chapter Meeting, 15 July 2010. CPM-500-B/C/F: Integrating Systems Engineering with Earned Value Management, Lesson 3 CPM-500F: Technical Performance Measures , PMI CPM, June 2010. Knowing What Done Looks Like: Connecting the Dots Between Technical Performance Measures, Earned Value, and Physical Percent Complete , PS-08, EVM Work, June 2-4, 2010. Basis of Estimate Process.

2008 45

Risk Management is How Adults Manage Projects

Herding Cats

But when some statement is made about risk, estimating, performance modeling, or the like - always ask for references. Misconceptions of Risk , Terje Aven, John Wiley & Sons, 2010. Critical Code, Software Producibility for Defense, Committee for Advancing Software-Intensive Systems Producibility , Computer Science and Telecommunications Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, National Research Council of the National Academies, 2010.

2003 38

Cone of Uncertainty - Revisited

Herding Cats

Reducing Estimation Uncertainty with Continuous Assessment: Tracking the 'Cone of Uncertainty’” Pongtip Aroonvatanaporn, Chatchai Sinthop and Barry Boehm, Center for Systems and Software Engineering University of Southern California , Los Angeles, CA 90089, ASE’10 , September 20–24, 2010, Antwerp, Belgium, 2010. NoEstimates Debunking Estimating Management Mathematics Performance-Based Project Management® Planning Scheduling Technical Performance Measures

2012 28

Resources for Cone of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

Some feel that the cone does not provide any value for the work they do and does not match the reducing uncertainty in their estimates. First, the Cone of Uncertainty is a Principle used to define the needed reduction in the variances of estimates on Programs. From his article in an IEEE magazine often quoted by No Estimates advocates. . In particular, he wonders whether estimates for work remaining are better (obviously, uncertainty’s not an issue for work already done).

2007 32

Managing in Presence of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

Let's start with a clear and concise description of the problem of successfully managing projects in the presence of uncertainty: Accurate software cost and schedule estimations are essential for non-trivial software projects. In many cases, once the estimates have been made (at proposal or authorization to proceed), recalibrate and reduction the uncertainty of the initial estimates is not always performed. Why did the estimates NOT get better? NoEstimates Estimating

Misunderstanding Making Decisions in the Presence of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

What happens if you shift focus from "accurate estimation" to "reliably shipping by a date"? . If your project has no uncertainty, there is no need to estimate. The notion (as suggested in the quote) of shifting from accurate (what ever that means) ways of estimating to reliability shipping be a date is not physically possible since the irreducible and reducible uncertainties are always present. All estimates have precision and accuracy. April, 2010.

Monte Carlo Simulation

Herding Cats

Estimation is part of project management. . The most important estimates for the project manager are related to time and cost. . Since it is easier to estimate small tasks, these estimates are often calculated and performed as point estimates, for example, a task will take 3 days. Or perhaps as an estimate with two-point ranges. Each work activity in a discrete model will have an estimated duration - a scalar number, usually measured in days.

2018 38

Compendium of Works to Increase Probability of Project Success

Herding Cats

WS-05: Coming Late to the Party - Getting to GREEN on the Fly - Using the structure of a Greek play - the setting, the protagonist, the imbalance, the balance, and the solution, show how to increase the probability of program success.PMI CPM, Professional Education Program, June 2010. . How to Develop Credible Cost & Schedule Estimate , Building credible cost and schedule estimates require discipline, skill, and experience, All 3 can be acquired over time.

2015 37

Back to Basics: What is Microsoft Project?

MPUG

Organize, estimate, and schedule work, resources, and costs to ensure projects are completed according to plan. Microsoft Project 2010. Microsoft Project Standard 2010: A single-user edition of the software. Microsoft Project Professional 2010: Includes all the capabilities in Project Standard 2010 as well as collaborative features that allow users to work together when the organization is also using Microsoft Project Server 2010.

2010 80

Microeconomics and Risk Management in Decision Making for Software Development

Herding Cats

When we hear about software development disasters and then hear that estimates are to blame, and NOT Estimating will somehow reduce or prevent these disasters, think again. ISO 31000:2009, ISO 17666:2016, and ISO 11231:2010 Risk is Uncertainty that Matters. Each of the categories operates in the presence of uncertainty and requires that estimates be made about the probability, conseqeunce of the resutling risk.

2007 32

What Is Risk?

Herding Cats

ISO 31000:2009, ISO 17666:2016 and ISO 11231:2010 Risk is Uncertainty that Matters. Inefficiencies in cost and schedule estimates are usually held accountable for cost and schedule overruns, but the true root cause is often the realization of programmatic risks. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing. Herding Cats: Uncertainty creates Risk, Decisions in Presence of Uncertainty Requires Estimating.

The Myth of Standish Reports - Update Number 2

Herding Cats

1, Jan-Feb 2010, pages 30-36. Three Increasingly Mature Views of Estimate Making in IT Projects. NoEstimates Agile Business Estimating Principles Project ManagementThe Standish Report is raising its head again in the Agile presentations I've seen recently at conferences. Forgetting for the moment all the past "criticisms" of Standish. Standish Report. Standish Report and Naive Statistics. Finally a Challenge to the Standish Report.

2016 32

Cone of Uncertainty - Part Cinq

Herding Cats

The Cone is a project management framework describing the uncertainty aspects of estimates (cost and schedule) and other project attributes (cost, schedule, and technical performance parameters). Estimates of cost, schedule, technical performance on the left side of the cone have a lower probability of being precise and accurate than estimates on the right side of the cone. The BLUE bars are the probabilistic ranges of the current estimate date.

2017 33

Why Johnny Can't Do The Math

Herding Cats

In a previous post, Why Johnny Can't Estimate , mentioned some resources for estimating, the principles of business and technical management that demand estimates be made to make decisions, and background on the sources of uncertainty, that create risk, that require estimating to increase the probability of project success. One of the #Noestimates advocates has now discovered a phrase: Estimates are non-ergodic. It is not the Estimates that are non-ergodic.

Cone of Uncertainty - Part Trois

Herding Cats

The Cone is a project management framework describing the uncertainty aspects of estimates (cost and schedule) and other project attributes (cost, schedule, and technical performance parameters). Estimates of cost, schedule, technical performance on the left side of the cone have a lower probability of being precise and accurate than estimates on the right side of the cone. The BLUE bars are the probabilistic ranges of the current estimate date.

2017 28

Cone of Uncertainty - Part Cinq (Updated)

Herding Cats

The Cone is a project management framework describing the uncertainty aspects of estimates (cost and schedule) and other project attributes (cost, schedule, and technical performance parameters). Estimates of cost, schedule, technical performance on the left side of the cone have a lower probability of being precise and accurate than estimates on the right side of the cone. Estimates are needed but are subject to large level of uncertainty.

2017 30

How to Manage Fixed Date Projects

Girl's Guide to PM

Work out the end date ignoring the fixed delivery date, even if you do have to crash your analysis time into a shorter period and use estimates with a greater degree of uncertainty than normal. LeRoy Ward was first published in 2010. What is a fixed date project?

2020 280

Performance Management Report for Sponsors

Arras People

The latest edition of Project, the magazine from APM quoted the PMI figures that between 2010 and 2020 the number of new project management roles estimated to be created globally will be 15.7 The group was sipping coffee and chatting until I interrupted them. Please, I asked, take a look at the question posed and do put some thoughts onto post it notes. The question: So what is project sponsorship like in your organisation? Slowly, they started to write.

2016 167

Strategic Project Portfolio Management [Book Review]

Girl's Guide to PM

Estimating For Success. Maybe best of all, Moore talks about range-based estimates – a topic I’m very interested in. Moore explains that estimates are biased towards the initial values because people don’t adjust their estimates again after making that initial decision. This makes the case for range-based estimates, but the book is far more wide ranging than this. A version of this book review first appeared on my blog in 2010.

2016 215

Microsoft’s PPM Cloud Strategy Failed: What Now?

MPUG

We have not seen a major upgrade in Microsoft Project or Project Server functionality since 2010, the year the new ribbon interface and many new features were introduced.

Effectively Using Excel for Analyzing MS Project Data

MPUG

Microsoft introduced Visual Reports in MSP 2010, but as a whole, MSP still lacks universal appeal. For the purpose of scheduling, we can use a pivot table to identify gaps in work hours, which can be further used to change duration estimates and modify plans.

2020 92

The Adaptive Project Framework: Beginner’s Guide

ProProfs Project Management

Wysocki in 2010 was all about adapting to the changing environment of a project. Create Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) : The work breakdown structure breaks down the project processes into doable tasks and lets the teams estimate cost and create schedules.

2021 52

Top 9 Freedcamp Alternatives to Use In 2021 (Free & Paid)

nTask

Freedcamp is a free project management software launched in 2010. Key Features: Efficiently manage your resources through resource estimation and resource scheduling. The software offers a multitude of features at an inexpensive price. It helps PMs keep everything at once place.

2021 78

Waterfall Should Have Never Existed: Part 1

MPUG

Since about 2010, Agile was challenged to start providing solutions at the executive level within organizations. In my estimation, Agile will be applied in at most 50% of our world’s projects and, in a few years, less than that as I see in my crystal ball.

2021 98

Online Collaboration Software

Binfire

In fact, by 2012 this market is estimated to be $42.57 What happened to the best collaboration software of 2010? The best free collaboration software solutions of 2010. Online collaboration software is gaining wide acceptance. Many managers see collaboration tools as the path to productivity. The hi-tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and Apple are all actively investing in the collaboration market.

Vendor Showcase Recap: Making Light Work of Schedule Risk Analysis – By Barbecana

MPUG

The project scope was changed by the owner, or the management, or you had unfortunate estimates of the time, and resources that would be required to complete particular steps in the schedule. John Owen: First, let’s talk about the estimates that we’re using in our schedule.

Vendor Showcase Recap: Making Light Work of Schedule Risk Analysis – By Barbecana

MPUG

The project scope was changed by the owner, or the management, or you had unfortunate estimates of the time, and resources that would be required to complete particular steps in the schedule. John Owen: First, let’s talk about the estimates that we’re using in our schedule.

10 Project Management Hacks Every Project Manager Should Know

The Squad Report

A KPMG survey of 100 businesses reported 70% of organizations faced at least one project failure in the year 2010 alone. Baseline your project schedule & monitor the budget Brett Harned , Digital Project Management consultant explains that creating strategic timelines and managing budget estimates helps the team to get a better more holistic view of the project’s framework. They say it’s never too late.

What is Little Data? And Why Do Project Managers Need It?

LiquidPlanner

Here’s a straightforward way to use little data to improve your schedules: record task estimates and actuals. The data should include who did the estimation and the work. Using a pivot table in Excel, you can see which estimators typically underestimate or overestimate. There are many ways this data can improve your organization, including: Decrease the bias of future estimations.

2017 71

Deconstructing The Cone of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

The paper on the Cone of Uncertainty is used by many in the No Estimates community as an example of why estimates are of little use. In this paper, there is data that does not follow the Cone of Uncertainty, in that the uncertainty of the estimates does not reduce as the project proceeds. There are projects did not follow the plan for reducing uncertainty in the estimates. Domain-Based Effort Distribution Model for Software Cost Estimation,: Thomas Tan, Ph.D.

2007 37

Risk Management Resources

Herding Cats

requires making estimates) ? 255, April 2010. 24, 2010. “A Estimation of Long?Term Risk Analysis & Estimating Uncertainty … and what this has to do with the price of milk in McLean,” Phil Beenhouwer, The Society of Cost Estimating & Analysis (SCEA), May 17, 2006. Estimating of Value at Risk: Extreme Value and Robust Approaches,” Grazyna Trzpiot and Justyna Majewska, Operations Research Decisions , No. 1, 2010. 29 April 2010.

Risk 35

A Compendium of Risk Management Resources

Herding Cats

requires making estimates) ? 255, April 2010. 24, 2010. “A Estimation of Long?Term Risk Analysis & Estimating Uncertainty … and what this has to do with the price of milk in McLean,” Phil Beenhouwer, The Society of Cost Estimating & Analysis (SCEA), May 17, 2006. Estimating of Value at Risk: Extreme Value and Robust Approaches,” Grazyna Trzpiot and Justyna Majewska, Operations Research Decisions , No. 1, 2010. 29 April 2010.

Risk 33