How to Talk About Estimates

Herding Cats

What is an estimate? An estimate as a noun is an approximate calculation or judgment of the value, number, quantity, or extent of something. An estimate as a verb is to roughly calculate or judge the value, number, quantity, or extent of. But those estimates, nouns, and verbs themselves's have other attributes. Every month there is a Month End reports, both showing cumulative cost to date, cumulative schedule performance, and Physical Percent Complete.

4 Fallacious Reasons to Estimate and Why Those Are Fallacious

Herding Cats

There's a recent post titled Four Fallacious Reasons to Estimate. It lists the usual suspects for why those spending the money think they don't have to estimate how much they plan to spend when they'll be done producing the value they've been assigned to produce for that expenditure. And like many posts and tweets about estimating, it's made from this point of view, not the business point view, not from the point of view of those paying the developer.

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Increasing the Probability of Project Success

Herding Cats

These charts are an extract from the book Performance-Based Project Management: Increasing the Probability of Project Success and the abstracted training materials Handbook. How to Avoid the "Yesterday's Weather" Estimating Problem. Capabilities Earned Value Estimating Governance Management Performance-Based Project Management® Principles Requirements Risk Root Cause Analysis Technical Performance Measures

2017 69

What is an Estimate? What is Estimating?

Herding Cats

I work in a domain where estimates are made every single week. Estimate to Complete (ETC), Estimate at Completion (EAC), Estimated Completion Date (ECD) are the life blood of our software intensive system of systems programs. There are several partitions of this information that are common in building the Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB). In the #NoEstimates paradigm, the term estimate is redefined to be Forecast and relabeled as NOT Estimating.

A Compendium of Works to Increase the Probability of Project Success

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Integrated Master Plan: The Foundation of Program Success , College of Performance Management, May 21, 2014. The Nine "I's" of Program Success ," College of Performance Management. Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. Project Performance Management. Connecting the 5 Principles and 5 Practices of Performance-Based Project Management ® To Increase the Probability of Project Success. Building a Credible Performance Measurement Baseline.

2008 45

Cone of Uncertainty Bibliography

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I work in a domain where the CoU is baked into the Integrated Program Performance Management (IPPM) processes flowed down from the buyer, in this case, the Federal Government. The CoU paradigm defines the needed reduction in uncertainty is some performance metric. This can be the confidence in the estimate for any variable. It can be the needed performance of a measure - Effectiveness, Performance, Key Performance Parameter, or a Technical Performance Measures.

2017 32

Integrated Master Plan - Revisited

Herding Cats

Transparent – Comprehensible display of what needs to be done and how completion is measured. It is essential that the IMP represent the work that must be performed. If the IMP is being prepared as part of a proposal, then the Request for Proposal (RFP) and RFP attachments will be the primary documents to define the work to be performed. The IMP shows the Accomplishments and the measures of Accomplishments that are essential to get through a design review.

Risk Management in Five Easy Pieces, with Apologies to Jack

Herding Cats

Managing Cost, Schedule, & Technical Performance Risk Is The Basis Of Good Project Management. Certain information about key project cost, performance, and schedule attributes are often unknown until the project is underway. What are the “units of measure” for this increasing maturity? The answers to each of these questions require making estimates in the presence of uncertainty. No Point Estimate of Cost or Duration can be Correct.

2017 37

From Mission Capabilities to Done

Herding Cats

No matter the project domain or the technical development method, project success is dependent on knowing what Done looks like in units of measure meaningful to the decision maker. These measures are: Measures of Effectiveness (MOE) – are the operational measures of success that are closely related to the achievements of the mission or operational objectives evaluated in the operational environment, under a specific set of conditions.

2017 35

Principles, Processes, and Practices of Project Success

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What does Done look like in units of measure meaningful to the decision makers? What impediments will be encountered along the way to Done and what work must be performed to handle these impediments? What are the units of measures of progress to plan for each deliverable? Estimating Processes in Support of Economic Analysis. Performance-Based Project Management® Principles Project Management Requirements Scheduling Systems Theory Technical Performance Measures

2017 44

Increasing the Probability of Program Success

Herding Cats

And to make those risk-informed decisions in the presence of reducible and irreducible uncertainty we need to ESTIMATE. So, If your making decisions in the presence of uncertainty and you're NOT estimating the impact of those risks on the probability of success, then you're not managing the project - usually paid with other people's money as an Adult. Top Four Sources of Unfavorable Program Performance. Unrealistic Performance Expectations. Estimating Processes.

Performance-Based Project Management®

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Performance–Based Project Management ® integrates five critical program management process areas with – Cost, Schedule, and Technical Performance Measures. The inclusion of Technical Performance Measures (TPM) separates this approach from conventional methods based solely on managing cost and schedule. The result is increased visibility and credibility of the Independent Estimate at Completion (IEAC). Eyes Wide Shut - A View of No Estimates.

Misinterpretations of the Cone of Uncertainty

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The Cone of Uncertainty as a Technical Performance Measure. Active reduction requires we have a desired reduction goal, perform the work, and measure progress toward the rduction goal. Management of this reduction work and measurement of the progress is a Close Loop Control System paradigm. Closed Loop Control, has a goal, an action, a measurement, and a corrective action. The Cone of Uncertainty as a Technical Performance Measure.

2017 32

Compendium of Works to Increase Probability of Project Success

Herding Cats

Project Performance Management (#PPM). Technical Performance Measures (#TPM). Cost, Schedule, and Technical Performance Management (#CSTPM). The overarching theme is focused on defining what Done looks like, assessing progress toward Done in units of measure meaningful to the decision makers. Those units always start with Measures of Effectiveness and Measures of Performance. Project Performance Management. EVM World 2017.

2015 37

Five Immutable Principles of Project Success

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Without these measures, Done will usually mean . Without these measures, Done will usually mean we ran out of time and money. . The test of the hypothesis for projects are the Measures of Effectiveness, Measures of Performance, Key Performance Parameters, and techTechnicalformance Measures used to assess progress to plan for the project. Estimating how much is the starting point. Estimating is part of risk management. No Estimating?

2017 35

Performance-Based Project Management®

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Principles and Practices of Performance-Based Project Management® from Glen Alleman. Information Technology Estimating Quality. Books Business Capabilities Decision Making Earned Value Economics Estimating Management Performance-Based Project Management® Planning Principles Project Management Root Cause Analysis Scheduling Technical Performance Measures

2017 32

Fallacy of the Day

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Project Controls are Management Actions, either preplanned to achieve the desired result, or taken as a corrective measure prompted by the monitoring process. Project controls are concerned with the metrics of the project – quantities, time, cost, and other resources and their measurable beneficial outcomes for the project. In the Project Controls paradigm, Value is a measurable attribute of the project controls process - a Closed Loop Control measure.

2017 34

Deconstructing the Hertz and Accenture Debacle

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A recent lawsuit by Hertz Rental Car against Accenture has turned into a rallying cry by Agilest and No Estimates advocates. Of course, No Root Cause analysis has been performed by these advocates, but it makes good click bait for their followers. Were there: Measures of Effectiveness. Measures of Performance. Key Performance Parameters. Past Performance is the 1st question - have you done this before and if so, were your efforts successful?

Biases in Project Management and How to Remove Them

Herding Cats

There is always lots of complaining about the biases introduced into managing projects and making the estimates needed to make project decisions. What dos Done look like in units of measure meaningful to the decision makers? What are the measures of physical percent complete needed to inform the decision makers of progress to plan in order to take corrective or preventive actions to stay on plan? Andersson, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty , 54(1), June 2017. [3]

Decision Analysis - Ordinal and Cardinal Measures

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AHP is based on the principle that all measurements are relative. AHP provides a framework to make relative comparisons using a rational decision structure based on scaled pairwise comparisons (Borda Ranking) using a scale that converts stakeholder preferences and priorities into ratio measures. Using this method, the performance, cost, time, and risks of alternatives can be articulated as ratios that can then be compared with one another.

2018 40

Cancelling Projects: The Project Isn't Being Done Right

Project Health Check

A classic way to consider project performance is via the triple constraint of scope/cost/time, often with quality thrown in the mix. In part 1 of this article series, we accepted that Projects sometimes need to be cancelled. In part 2, we look at how sometimes the Project being worked on is no longer the right Project. In this part 3, we will look at the other cause of cancelling: the Project isn't being done right.

2017 179

Biases in Project Management and How to Remove Them

Herding Cats

There is always lots of complaining about the biases introduced into managing projects and making the estimates needed to make project decisions. What dos Done look like in units of measure meaningful to the decision makers? What are the measures of physical percent complete needed to inform the decision makers of progress to plan in order to take corrective or preventive actions to stay on plan? Andersson, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty , 54(1), June 2017. [3]

Managing in Presence of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

This is an immutable principle that impacts planning, execution, performance measures, decision making, risk, budgeting, and overall business and technical management of the project and the business funding the project no matter the domain, context, technology or any methods. Do we have measures of Effectiveness, Performance, all the .ilities. Is each of these measures being met for the planned cost at the planned time? . Why did the estimates NOT get better?

Cone of Uncertainty - Part Cinq

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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 Cone is NOT the result of the project's past performance.

2017 33

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

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 Cone is NOT the result of the project's past performance.

2017 28

Wilo's Law and Mature Communications Processes

Herding Cats

To make some conjecture that some process will fix the problem - Estimates are the smell of dysfunction and NOT Estimating will fix that dysfunction - is naive at best and willfully ignorant of Root Cause Analysis at worse. Any successful technical communication needs to have: Measures of Effectiveness. Measures of Performance. Technical Performance Measures. Key Performance Parameters.

2017 46

Cone of Uncertainty - Part Deux

Herding Cats

The Cone is a project management framework describing the uncertainty aspects of estimates or any other project attribute (in this post, 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. There can be cost and schedule performance measures as well.

2017 30

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. Landmark’s measure of success over these three years had much more to do with customer satisfaction and market share than with meeting knowingly aggressive targets.

2007 37

Risk Management is How Adults Manage Projects

Herding Cats

All making things smaller dos is show that you're late, over budget, and what you're building (Technical Performance Measures) doesn't work faster. But when some statement is made about risk, estimating, performance modeling, or the like - always ask for references. Complete Guide to the Basics of Project Risk Management: Improve Your Chances for Success, Dmitry Nizhebetskiy, Project Management Basics, 2017. NoEstimates Estimating Risk

2003 38

Microeconomics and Risk Management in Decision Making for Software Development

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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. Each of the categories operates in the presence of uncertainty and requires that estimates be made about the probability, conseqeunce of the resutling risk. risks that may prevent the end item from performing as intended or not meeting performance expectations. 55-66, 2017.

2007 32

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.

Modeling the Future is the Basis of Project Success

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The model of the project or program tells us what the cost, schedule, and performance - Effectiveness and Performance - Need to be for the project to be a success. Past performance data or the Model of the needed Future performance of the project? . Performance Analysis and Prediction . Performance of cost, schedule, and technical outcomes are primary measures of success for the future outcomes of projects. There's a notion going around that. “I

2018 36