How To Be An Estimating Superhero

Girl's Guide to PM

A statistical model for estimating isn’t normally something I’d put in the ‘make my job easy’ box, but I might just have found one that works. What if you want an estimate that is, say, 75% reliable? PERT can’t give you those kinds of estimates. How reliable is this estimate?”.

Project Estimation: Master the Tools and Techniques

Online PM Courses

There are two reasons why Project Estimation is a big deal for project managers. And second, poor estimates are often a primary reason for a project cost or schedule over-run. What is Project Estimation? We should always start by defining our terms. Top-down Estimates.

Why Johnny Can't Estimate? (Update)

Herding Cats

There is a discussion of the conjecture that estimates are a waste, estimates can't be done, estimates are evil, estimates must be stopped immediately. To be informed how to estimate in this broad range of domains, problems, and impacts — education, experience, and skill are needed. No credible decision can be made in the presence of uncertainty without estimating the cost, schedule, and technical performance of that decision. How and when to re-estimate.

Reasons to Estimate and Measure

Herding Cats

Estimating Software-Intensive Systems: Project, Products, and Processes , Richard D. Stutzke is a starting point for estimating software projects. I recommend it for anyone starting out in the estimating business all the way to seasoned veterans. Reasons to Estimate and Measure

Cost Estimating Assessment Criteria

Herding Cats

Here are the guidelines for a credible cost estimate (GAO-16-620). Defines program, reflects current schedule, technically reasonable. Details calculations performed and estimating methodology used. Estimate should lack bias; be neither overly conservative nor optimist. Regular updates cost estimate to reflect significant changes. Estimate based on historical record of comparable p[rograms. Estimating techniques used appropriately. Cost Estimatin

Governance and Estimating

Herding Cats

A process component that defines the decision-making rights associated with IT as well as the mechanisms and policies used to measure and control the way IT decisions are made and carried out within the organisation. make use of estimates in their decision support processes.

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.

Uncertainty creates Risk, Decisions in Presence of Uncertainty Requires Estimating

Herding Cats

When asked to make a decision or a choice in the presence of uncertainty, an estimate is needed, since the information needed to make an informed decision is not available. . Let's define what an estimate is. An estimate is not a guess, it is a value based on sampled data which has been adjusted using statistical estimation procedures. In the strict sense, an estimate is a particular value yielded by an estimator in a given set of circumstances.

GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide Applied to Agile

Herding Cats

The GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide has 12 steps. The order of the needed Capabilties in defined in the business strategy. . These describe the increasing maturity of the project's artifacts. There are not specific to Agile Software Development.

The Five Laws of Software Estimating are Wrong

Herding Cats

There's a blog post from a few years back that has resurfaced The 5 Laws of Software Estimates. Law of Software Estimating. Fact of Software Estimating. Estimates are waste. To those paying the developers, estimates provide actionable information needed to make decisions: Can we afford to develop this feature? Estimates are non-transferrable . Its claimed Software estimates are not fungible. Estimates are Wrong. Estimates are NOT Guesses.

Your Guide to Accurate Project Estimate Projects

LiquidPlanner

Estimation is an invaluable tool for anticipating and managing project uncertainties. Accurate project estimates help identify cost and schedule requirements with relative precision, and reduce the risk of running out of time, resources, and budget during a project. Phased Estimating.

Common Ground for a Conversation about Estimating

Herding Cats

Neil Killick posted a good question, what's the common ground for talking about estimates. All estimates have two attributes - accuracy and precision. The values of these two attributes are what those needing the estimates are after. With the knowledge of the two values of these two attributes the decision makers can assess the "value" of the estimate. That request comes from those asking for the estimate. But that dysfunction is not "caused" by the estimate.

The Potential of Agile

Tyner Blain

The potential to provide better predictions – but only if you invest in estimation skills, and only if you culturally make a distinction between prediction and commitment. To do this, you have to be able to estimate with confidence.

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Forecasting versus Estimating - are they Different or are they the Same

Herding Cats

One of the escape clauses of #Noestimates is to re-label Forecasting as NOT Estimating , It is forecasting, based on empirical data. Empirical is defined as based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic.

Reading List for the Cone of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

The Cone of Uncertainty is a useful approach to defining the expected range of uncertainty at specific stages in a project. The difficulty of accurate size estimation is compounded especially at the time of inception when very little information is available.

2012 48

How to Actually Develop a Project Management Plan

Project Risk Coach

Work Breakdown Structure Dictionary – provide the detailed information about the deliverables, activities, cost estimates, and scheduling information for each item in the WBS. Define your project plan accordingly.

Book of the Month

Herding Cats

Of course, all three of these are operating in the presence of uncertainty and therefore require estimates to be made. Estimates of the aleatory and epistemic uncertainties that create risk to the delivered Value need to be handled. usability defined by a set of qualitative levels).

2009 43

How To Start Your Projects Right. A Complete Guide To Project Initiation

The Digital Project Manager

From estimating and scoping, to assigning resource, defining requirements, briefing in your team, the all important first meeting with the client—there’s a minefield of tasks out there which can shape how your project develops.

Increasing the Probability of Project Success

Herding Cats

How to Avoid the "Yesterday's Weather" Estimating Problem. Domain is King, No Domain Defined, No Way To Test Your Idea. Increasing the Probability of Project Success Simple in Theory, Complex in Practice.

The Fallacy of #NoEstimates

Herding Cats

Let's look at the credibility of each of the statements below: Estimating can be an endemic problem in organisations these days because estimating is fundamentally guessing, yet these guesses are taken as promises / firm commitments (when that is not how they were intended).

2018 40

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.

2010 51

Connecting "What" with "How" - and the Failure to Understand the Principles of Systems Engineering and Systems Management

Herding Cats

Measures of Performance - characterize physical or functional attributes relating to the system operation, measured or estimated under specific conditions. Unrealistic cost and schedule estimates based on inadequate risk-adjusted models of performance.

Project Management of Product Development

Herding Cats

It focuses on defining the customer needs and required functionality throughout the development cycle, eliciting requirements, proceeding with the design synthesis and system validation while addressing the complete problem. NoEstimates Agile Estimating Systems Theory Technology

Quote of the Day

Herding Cats

This process requires making estimates of cost, schedule, and technical performance to increase the probability of program success as defined by with Measures of Effectiveness, Measures of Performance, Technical Performance Measures, and Key Performance Parameters. Capabilities Estimating Quotes

Have You Left Anything Out of Your Project Plan?

Project Risk Coach

As I define my baselines and plans, I strive for clarity, brevity, and simplicity. Work Breakdown Structure Dictionary – provide the detailed information about the deliverables, activities, cost estimates, and scheduling information for each item in the WBS.

DDSTOP The Saga Continues

Herding Cats

These are classic examples from an author who is either unskilled, untrained, and inexperienced in estimating software development. What these quotes actually say is I have no intention of learning how to estimate cost, schedule, and technical performance because I don't want to.

Risk 37

Small Batch Sizes are NOT Risk Management

Herding Cats

The sampling rate is defined by the Nyquist Frequency. This approach is a closed loop control system, where the estimates work (in your choice of ordinal units) is the starting point. Epistemic uncertainty statements define and model these event-based risks: If?Then

Risk 49

The Fallacy of #NoEstimates

Herding Cats

Let's look at the credibility of each of the statements below: Estimating can be an endemic problem in organisations these days because estimating is fundamentally guessing, yet these guesses are taken as promises / firm commitments (when that is not how they were intended). If you're guessing, you're not estimating. Estimates are informed by past data or a model. The uncertainties of the estimates have accruracy and precision.

The Problems with Schedules

Herding Cats

Unrealistic Cost and Schedule estimates based on inadequate risk adjusted growth models. Before diving into the details of these, let me address another issue that has come up around project success and estimates. There is no ideal in the estimating business. Just the estimate.

2016 55

Project Versus Product in Agile Development

Herding Cats

They are projects in the sense of the term defined by PMI. A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources. Agree, and focus more on discovery since in *delivery* you have 4 problems: 1.

Agile 51

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.

2007 42

From Mission Capabilities to Done

Herding Cats

Measures of Performance (MOP) – characterize physical or functional attributes relating to the system operation, measured or estimated under specific conditions.

Quote of the Day

Herding Cats

This process requires making estimates of cost, schedule, and technical performance to increase the probability of program success as defined by with Measures of Effectiveness, Measures of Performance, Technical Performance Measures, and Key Performance Parameters.

Quote of the Day

Herding Cats

Cost estimation is part science, part art. There are many well-defined processes within the cost estimating discipline. There is also a subjective element to cost estimating that makes the discipline an art (NASA, 2004

2004 39

Project Success Means Knowing.

Herding Cats

The consumers define what is needed. The consumers define what is needed. In order to know the precision and accuracy needed to make decisions, in the presence of uncertainty, we must start with estimating what is possible, estimating the attributes and measures of the needed outcomes of the work activities, that produce the capabilities for the needed cost and schedule. Estimating what Done looks like in units of measure meaningful to the decision makers.

Modeling the Future Using Empirical Data from the Past

Herding Cats

Probability density function - define the probability, p(x) , when a variable is sampled, that the value x will be the result. This is a common excuse used by anti-estimating advocates to not learn how to estimate. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing.

2018 40

Quote of the Day

Herding Cats

I do not define Time, Space, Place and Motion, as being well known to all. In the presence of irreducible and reducible uncertainties of nature, as well as the projects we work, calculating the mathematical outcomes from our decision means making estimates. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing. NoEstimates Decision Making Economics Estimating Management Mathematics Planning Principles Quotes

2017 28

Making Decisions in the Presence of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

Here's a collection of papers that has served me well in defining the processes needed to make decisions in the presence of uncertainty when managing projects using other people's money: " Beyond project decisions. NoEstimates Decision Making Estimating Management Risk

2013 51

Why Project Managers Need Business Analysts for Project Success

Project Risk Coach

Drive an efficient process to define and validate requirements reducing the potential for partial requirements. The project manager will have increased difficulty in achieving the project’s objectives when requirements are not properly defined and understood.

2018 247

Fallacy of the Day

Herding Cats

Estimation is pretentious rationalism, where rationalism does not serve us well (extremistan)(sic) Take only risks you can survive. Pretentious rationalism is defined as a type of ultimate explanation—announced at one time as final truth—which is termed a system. The use of estimating in software development project mandates those estimates be updated with actual performance data to have any credibility in the construction of the Estimate to Complete and Estimate at Completion.

2009 36

The Origins of Scrum and Empirical Closed Loop Control

Herding Cats

Scrum is) more defined rather than empirical process. Scrum is prescriptive and defined rather than empirical. Making decisions in the presence of this emerging uncertainty requires making estimates of the impacts or outcomes of any decision.

Risk Management in Five Easy Pieces, with Apologies to Jack

Herding Cats

This Plan needs to define: How the products and services will be “matured” as the project progresses? 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.

Risk 48

Cancelling Projects: The Project Isn't Being Done Right

Project Health Check

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.

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