Parametric Estimating: A Project Manager’s Guide with Examples

Girl's Guide to PM

What is parametric estimation? Parametric estimating is a top-down form of project estimation that works for time, resource and cost estimates. Estimating approach that uses a statistical relationship between historical data and other variables to calculate an estimate.

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5 Reasons Engineers Need to Develop Project Management Skills


Here’s a lesson I’m thankful I learned early in my career: successful engineering projects rely more on non-technical skills than technical skills. One can’t design a building without knowledgeable, skilled structural, MEP, and fire engineers. An airplane isn’t safe unless there are skilled aeronautical engineers involved. You can’t rely on the quality of electricity unless there are smart electrical engineers involved.


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Systems Engineering

Herding Cats

For non-trivial problems in any domain, Systems Engineering provides a starting framework for identifying problems, assessing possible solutions, implementing those solutions, measuring the performance of the efforts to deliver the solutions and the effectiveness of those solutions. Here's the collective wisdom of Systems Engineering from Mitre. This text speaks to managing in the presence of uncertainty and the processes needed to make decisions including estimating.

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. So, in this article, we’ll take a careful look at project estimation, to help you learn how to master the art and craft of doing it well. What is Project Estimation? Why is Project Estimation so hard? The Estimation Knife Edge. Methods and Tools for Project Estimation.

New Study: 2018 State of Embedded Analytics Report

product management, product development, software engineering, IT, and executives from both commercial. Embedded analytics has become so important that teams estimate it contributes 51 percent of an application’s. 2018 STATE OF. EMBEDDED. ANALYTICS.

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.

Can Project Duration Estimation be done without Assumptions?


That is why duration estimation is one of the most important aspects of project management. In most real life scenarios, clients and mangers are reasonable, giving us some freedom to determine duration estimates for doing our tasks, but this can create other problems. The Estimation Problem. You might hear from the client that the estimates look high. You might explain why you believe the estimates are reasonable based on underlying assumptions. Exact Estimates.

Why Johnny Can't Estimate?

Herding Cats

I work in a domain where engineered systems are developed for complex software-intensive system of systems. These systems are engineered with a variety of development methods. Since all risk comes from uncertainty - reducible (Epistemic) and irreducible (Aleatory), estimating is a foundation of all we do. There is no discussion of the conjecture that estimates are a waste, estimates can't be done, estimates are evil, estimates must be stopped immediately.

How to Estimate Project Duration


Knowing how to estimate project duration can help teams become more efficient and improve on-time and on-budget delivery. . When it comes to project management time estimation, there are a couple of likely scenarios. Why is it important to estimate project duration?

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.

How Does the LiquidPlanner Scheduling Engine Work?


Here’s what makes LiquidPlanner different from other project management tools on our market: our scheduling engine. We replaced hard (and often unreachable) deadlines with ranged estimates based on real-world best/worst case scenarios. And each time a change is made—from re-prioritizing work, an updated estimate or shifting resources—the schedule is always recalculating itself then updating predictive finish date ranges, and all in real time.

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. Since all projects operate in the presence of uncertainty, with the resulting risk - estimates are needed to make decisions that impact the future. This, of course, is nonsense, since estimates are about the past, present, and future.

Why Johnny Can't Estimate? (Update)

Herding Cats

I work in a domain where engineered systems are developed for complex software-intensive system of systems. These systems are engineered with a variety of development methods. 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. In our domain of engineered systems, there is a broad range of problems, complex issues, approaches to solving problems.

Is Software Development Art or Engineering

Herding Cats

I started my career as a Software Engineer , writing Fortran 77 signal processing algorithms to find and track missile launchers in the middle eastern desert. Signal processing is a domain of software development well suited to the paradigm of engineered systems. This early work took me into other fields of engineered systems. So when would a software system NOT be Engineered to fit the Needs of the Customer? This is called engineering the solution.

Estimating Tools and Resources

Herding Cats

Tools and resources for cost and schedule estimating, when you here estimates are hard, we're bad at estimating, estimates are a waste, estimates are misused All those statements are fallacies. International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association. link] Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering. link] American Society of Professional Estimators. link] NASA Cost Estimating Handbook. NoEstimates Estimating

Why Ranged Estimates Are More Effective Than Single Point Estimates


This is why making ranged estimates for your projects is more realistic and reliable than aiming for a singular deadline. We use ranged estimates all the time in daily life. The advantage of making ranged estimates. The foundation of LiquidPlanner’s dynamic methodology is estimating project tasks based on best case/worst case scenarios. Ranged vs single-point estimates. You’ve given an estimate of 10 hours for a work item.

Basis of Estimating Software Development

Small Business CEO

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 Does Probabilistic Estimation Reduce Project Uncertainty?


When you replace fixed-date deterministic scheduling with probabilistic estimations, you’ve got a whole new ball game. Probabilistic estimation is one of the reasons LiquidPlanner is the most realistic project management tool in the world. Listen to LiquidPlanner CTO and co-founder Jason Carlson talk about the positive impact of using probabilistic estimation when creating schedules. What to learn more about how our cool scheduling engine works?

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Estimating the Risk

Herding Cats

Peter Drucker (1975) Management (From The Principles of Software Engineering , Chapter 6, Tom Glib, 1988). 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. Risk is everywhere on projects.

Mathematics for Engineering and Software Development

Herding Cats

When we encounter engineering problems that are beyond the de minimis category, they usually involve some form of mathematics. Fundamentals of Probability and Statistics for Engineers. Probability & Statistics for Engineering and the Sciences. These books and other contain fundamental definitions, rules, and theorems that provide a foundation that renders probability an important tool for evaluating scientific and engineering systems.

When to Estimate and When Estimates aren't Needed

Herding Cats

Paul Boos has a post about estimating and makes a case for the Principles of when NOT to estimate. This struck a cord around a bigger topic - the inversion of estimating. When should we NOT estimate? What business decision making conditions could be in place where we don't have to estimate the outcomes of our decision in the presence of uncertainty? Then on to the original conjecture for No Estimates from Paul's post. Not principles for NOT estimating.

How to Estimate Any Software Problem

Herding Cats

ways to make decisions with No Estimates. can we make a decision in the presence of Uncertainty without making an estimate of the impact or outcome of that decision? What would be the evidence that we could make decisions in the presence of uncertanty without estimating the impacts and outcomes of those decisions? . The Myths of No Estimates and the busting of them is one purpose of this blog post. Before we start, let's look with the notion of estimation.

Estimating Accuracy Mathematics

Herding Cats

In the estimating business, like many things in project management, there is confusion about principles, practices, and processes. A good estimation approach should provide estimates that are within 25% of the actual results, 75% of the time. Software Engineering Metrics and Models. The term within 25% is the Mean Relative Error, that is the estimate is within 25% of the actual value - the real value compared to the estimated value.

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.

Product, Project, or Process.ilities and the Systems Engineering Paradigm

Herding Cats

Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing. During a twitter today, there was a question about what are the drivers of project success. This is the picture I provided. The question was where is the Quality as a driver. Here's the answer to that. Related articles. Architecture -Center ERP Systems in the Manufacturing Domain. IT Risk Management. Systems Theory

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

Herding Cats

This view of the system of producing value in exchange for money ignores the principles of systems engineering. . Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering and engineering management that focuses on how to design and manage complex systems over their life cycles. At its core, systems engineering utilizes systems thinking principles to organize this body of knowledge. The elements of Systems Engineering are shown below.

12 Principles of Agile with and without Estimates

Herding Cats

When we hear that the next big thing in agile is Not Estimating, let's look to see how those 12 Principles can be applied without those estimates? . How estimates help implement these principles. Without estimates what is missing. Without estimating the delivered value to the business for the estimated cost and time to delivery that value, the balance sheet will be wholly uninformed about when the breakeven date for this expenditure.

Systems Engineering and Software Intensive System of Systems

Herding Cats

But in technical systems - engineered technical systems - the system has to work when commanded to do so. This is the domain of Systems Engineering, that many times is based on the principles of Ackoff and others like him. Systems Engineering: Coping with Complexity , Richard Stevens, Peter Brook, Ken Jackson, and Stuart Arnold. INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook - membership needed. This is the professional society for Systems Engineers. Estimating Guidance.

About evidence

Musings on Project Management

estimate Quotations system engineeringDid you see this witicism at herdingcats? A skeptic will question claims, then embrace the evidence. A denier will question claims, then reject the evidence. Neil deGrase Tyson. Think of this whenever there is a conjecture that has no testable evidence of the claim. And think ever more when those making the conjectured claim refuse to provide evidence. When that is the case, it is.

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The Ontological Fallacy of No Estimates

Herding Cats

We can make decisions in the presence of uncertainty without estimating the outcome of that decision on our probability of success. The second order fallacy is that #NoEstimates is a hashtag to explore alternatives to estimates since only those engaging in this discussion are supporters of the fallacy that decisions CAN be made without estimates. Any criticism of the NO Estimates statement is met with being blocked from the discussion.

How to use a Simple Gantt Chart to Reverse Engineer a Complex Project


You can see the title, notes, estimates, and project type. Set new dates, create estimates, label the task, or even add notes for team members. If you’re managing a complex project, a simple Gantt chart may be the perfect tool to help you keep track of all the moving parts. You don’t have to be an expert to use one, we’ll show you why you it’s useful and how to set up your first Gantt chart. . How to use a Gantt Chart. So, what is a Gantt chart?

Book of the Month - IT Project Estimation: A Practical Guide to the Costing of Software

Herding Cats

Estimating is part of all decision making in the presence of uncertainty. Accuracy and precision are two primary attributes of all estimates. We all know estimates are hard. So why is estimating a topic that seems to be the whipping boy for software developers these days? My first inclination is that estimating is not taught very well in the software arts. In engineering schools it is. Estimating is part of all engineering disciplines.

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Creating a Risk-Adjusted Backlog

Leading Answers

While profit is not their goal, usually an economic impact figure can be estimated for the outcomes they aim to achieve. If we believe there is a 50% chance that we will need a new reporting engine, then the expected monetary value (EMV) of this risk is 50% x $100,000 = $50,000.

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Playing in the Gray of Hybrid

Leading Answers

Hybrid cars can use internal combustion engines (ICE) and electric batteries, or ICE and hydrogen fuel cells. Agile Project Management Estimating Leadership Metrics Personal Agility Tailoring Approaches TeamsGray areas occupy the transition from one world to the next.

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Unravelling PI Planning


The PI Planning meeting is organized by the Release Train Engineer (RTE, also called the Scrum Master of the Agile Release Train). After that, all the teams get into their respective breakouts where they estimate their respective velocity for, if not all the 5, at least the first 2 iterations. This is done by the Release Train Engineer after the PI Planning meeting is over and not during the meeting. • Img Src:

New PM, New Choices

Leading Answers

Likewise, there are defined, repeatable IT projects that can (and have been) successfully managed using meticulous planning, detailed estimation, and formal change control procedures. Here, formal planning and estimation are difficult because we don’t know what we will encounter. We have a combination of creative goals (produce something new and appealing) and engineering goals (meet specifications, constraints). (Over at January’s theme was “New PMs”.

2019 72

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.

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A Compendium of Works to Increase the Probability of Project Success

Herding Cats

Agile Project Management is Systems Engineering? CPM-500-B/C/F: Integrating Systems Engineering with Earned Value Management, Lesson 3 CPM-500F: Technical Performance Measures , PMI CPM, June 2010. How to Develop Credible Cost & Schedule Estimate. Estimating and Reporting Agile Projects using the SRDR and Earned Value Management , PSM Users Group 2017, 12-16 June 2017, Crystal City, VA. Basis of Estimate Process.

2008 45

Project Management of Product Development

Herding Cats

This, of course, is based on the lack of knowledge of Managerial Finance, Systems Engineering and Product Development principles and processes. Here's a chart from an upcoming meeting on the integration of Systems Engineering with Program Management. The Systems Engineering of Products and the management of the processes that produce those products are tightly connected. Systems Engineering . NoEstimates Agile Estimating Systems Theory Technology

DDSTOP The Saga Continues

Herding Cats

40 - Estimation is a Problematic Practice of Companies Doing Dangerous Things. A #Noestimates advocate makes the claim that having a ±10% accuracy for estimates of cost and duration is a dangerous thing. With what appears to be NO understanding of how to estimate, this author ignores the processes used in developing products or services in the presence of uncertainty. Define the probabilistic ranges of the work in a single point estimate manner. All by NOT Estimating?

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