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?”.

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

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Governance and Estimating

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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

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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.

Common Ground for a Conversation about Estimating

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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.

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Increasing the Probability of Project Success

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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.

Risk Management in Five Easy Pieces, with Apologies to Jack

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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.

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Project Success Means Knowing.

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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.

The Origins of Scrum and Empirical Closed Loop Control

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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.

The Problems with Schedules

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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.

The Five Laws of Software Estimating are Wrong

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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.

Making Decisions in the Presence of Uncertainty

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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

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Concept of Operations

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In the agile community, there is always some comment or opinion about how hard it is to define what the requirements are. How we can't possibly estimate the work since all the work is emergent. Define the risks to accomplishing the functional outcomes.

Releases and Deadlines in Agile

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A predictive rhythm defines when the release will be released. These planned Capabilities are defined in the Product Roadmap. With the Product Backlog, the Product Roadmap, and the Cadence or Capabilities release plan, we've got all we need to define what Done looks like. .

From Mission Capabilities to Done

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

Control, Stability, Short Term, Long Term all needed for Success

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They have to be estimated in the start. Even if the trail is defined in from of you, the small disruptions and many times big distributions input your control of the bike. A quick estimate is needed to decide what to do. This means some estimate of when we'll be back.

Definition of Done

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Do those capabilities meet the Measures of Performance that characterize physical or functional attributes relating to the system operation, measured or estimated under specific conditions? Estimating Processes in Support of Economic Analysis.


Misinterpretations of the Cone of Uncertainty

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These activities, their releationships and values are defined in a PLAN for increasing the probability of success for the project. Of late, Cone of Uncertainty has become the mantra of No Estimates advocates claiming that data is needed BEFORE the Cone is of any use.

Top 13 Project Management Methodologies and Styles


Project managers will have a well-defined description of the project’s duration. By closely analyzing and estimating the amount of time it should take for each event to be completed, the manager can then easily create realistic timelines and budgets for those aspects of the project.

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Revisiting the Double Pendulum Problem

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He defines the term Chaotic as “very unpredictable.” In the same way the original posters of #NoEstimates state their case that decisions CAN be made without estimating, when in fact that violates microeconomics, managerial finance, and several other principles.

2009 26

Fallacy of the Day

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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.

Resources for Cone of Uncertainty

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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.

Cone of Uncertainty Bibliography

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The CoU paradigm defines the needed reduction in uncertainty is some performance metric. This can be the confidence in the estimate for any variable. This usually results in a project's actual costs far outrunning the optimistic estimates and creating a large overrun.

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.

An Effective Project Kick-Off Meeting Needs Preparation

Arras People

Defining these elements will drive the decisions you must make for staffing the project and developing the project plan. The point here is that when you go into the kickoff meeting, you will already have a plan drafted with estimated effort, budget and a clear deadline.

Software Economics

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Capability defined by the user through some form of value assessment , not by the provider. To make those economic decisions, we need to estimate both business value and development cost. Why Do We Need Estimates? It's not the developers that need the estimates - they take the money and turn that money into value. They should estimate if the needed value can be produced by that money. Estimates are primarily used to support decisions.

Integrated Master Plan - Revisited

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The Hypothesis requires tests (experiments) to confirm that we're moving in the right direction along the path defined in the Plan. Often the customer includes a program roadmap or top-level schedule that also helps define the scope of the IMP.

The Flaw of Average (Mean) and Its Cousin Mode and Median

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Story Points are Ordinal numbers ‒ relative measures of effort or complexity defined by the Scrum Team members for a specific Sprint, Feature, and perhaps a Release. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing.

Good Enough

Tyner Blain

Many people mis-define product in MVP to mean experiment. There are three perspectives on how we approach defining good enough when making decisions about investment in our products. But no one provides us with any tools for articulating how to define “good enough.”

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Agile Project Management Methodology Explained


In this article, we will explain what agile project management is, define its process, tell you why agile might be right for your next project, and finally a few downfalls of this methodology.

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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). The UCL and LCL are defined BEFORE the project starts. Estimating Probabilistic Outcomes?

Principles of Project Success

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The defined physical percent complete at a pre-defined time and pre-defined value. Information Technology Estimating Quality. Deliverables Based Planning(r) Estimating Governance IMP/IMS Management Performance-Based Project Management® PrinciplesProjects produce products, services, solutions. Projects deliver capabilities that fulfill Missions and Vision, Projects are a vehicle to accomplish and outcome.

Quote of the Day

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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

Is Software Development Art or Engineering

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And of course estimating the effort and duration of SISoS is a critical success factor for any business providing products and services to this domain. All other activities need some form of thought process built around assessing the outcome of our decisions in the presence of uncertainty, and that of course requires we make estimates of the impacts of those decisions. . Estimating and Making Decisions in Presence of Uncertainty.

Project Manager Roles and Responsibilities: What does a PM Really Do?

Project Bliss

Defining the project scope. Clearly defining the scope will help your team focus and ensure that you and the customer have the same understanding of what will be included in the solution. Identifying activities, dependencies, sequencing, and time estimates.

Project Management Basics: 6 Steps to a Foolproof Project Plan


Step 3: Define Deliverables. Next, estimate due dates for each deliverable in your project plan. You can actually finalize dates when you sit down to define your project schedule in the next step.).

The Trouble with Charts

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The other statistical issue is the chart showing #Noestimates versus other types of estimates. But the sample space of the total population of projects with #Noestmates as their estimating technique is only 3% of the total population. Today the Rally chart reappeared.

Connecting Project Benefits to Business Strategy for Success

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Where is the strategy defined? As always, this means making estimates of both the beneficial outcomes and the cost to achieve them. . Like all non-trivial projects, estimating is a critical success factor. Decision Making Without Estimates? The Cost Estimating Problem.

Cone of Uncertainty - Part Cinq (Updated)

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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 are needed but are subject to large level of uncertainty.

Velocity versus Speed

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This is defined as a Vector. Estimates. NoEstimates Agile Estimating MathematicsVelocity is a speed in a specific direction. Velocity is Distance traveled divided by time in a specific direction. Speed and Direction. . The direction can be a compass heading.