Zen Project Management

I started thinking about how common it is for people to not be able to provide good estimates. It was ironic, but part of the work with my client that week was explaining the technique of relative estimates using t-shirt sizes and story points. The team I was working with was new to agile and used to the old way of doing absolute estimates, which as we all know are not as accurate because of things like student syndrome or Parkinson's Law.

How To Improve Schedule Estimates

Project Risk Coach

Let's talk about the challenges of schedule estimates and three estimating techniques that can help us do a better job with our estimates. Lastly, we'll look at how to respond to future requests for estimates. Challenges With Schedule Estimates.

Everyone estimates!

Musings on Project Management

We all make estimates; and we all make estimates all the time. When I make the 20 mile trip each Tuesday to a client site, I estimate adjustments to a baseline based on weather and road construction and if I know about an accident. Really, no one sets out to do anything meaningful without some estimate in mind re time, or cost, or risk; usually we can also notionally estimate the scope. So, agile estimate

Estimate everything?

Musings on Project Management

Mike Cohn on estimating (from his email blasts): "Because I've written a book on estimating, people seem to think I estimate everything on my product backlog. I ask a team to estimate a product backlog item only when having the estimate will lead to actionably different behavior. So, for example, I might ask a team for an estimate on a user story so that I can decide if I want. agile estimate

Sustainable Estimating

Green Project Management

The post Sustainable Estimating appeared first on Delivering a better world, one project at a time. The only certainty is that nothing is certain. Pliny the Elder, Roman scholar, 23-79 CE Our culture encodes a strong bias either to neglect or ignore variation. We tend to focus instead on measures of central tendency, and as a result we make some terrible mistakes, often with considerable practical import. Stephen Jay Gould, naturalist, […].

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? Why is Project Estimation so hard? The Estimation Knife Edge.

Fred P. Brooks on Estimates

Musings on Project Management

There are dozens of quotes from this book floating about, but here's one worth writing down: "It is very difficult to make a vigorous, plausible, and job-risking defense of an estimate that is derived by no. business analysis estimate QuotationsFred Brooks, Jr.'s s "The Mythical Man-month" is still required reading, even if written decades ago. And, as these things go, it has a lot of humor, but also a lot of wit.

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.

Challenges with Using PERT for Estimating

Green Project Management

The post Challenges with Using PERT for Estimating appeared first on Delivering a better world, one project at a time. This post was modified from one I developed several years ago for the Mercure AACE 2013 program I took, called W5_PM_PERT-Challenges.

3 Team Techniques to Improve Cost Estimates

Project Risk Coach

Improve buy-in and support for your project budgets Do you ever feel like the Lone Ranger when trying to improve cost estimates? Many project managers are left to their own devices when estimating projects. So, how can we improve our cost estimates?

5 Project Estimation Techniques and Project Estimate Template


What is Project Estimation? Estimating is a vital part of the project planning phase and involves estimating the project costs , resources or duration. Estimating a project can be a challenging task no matter what the size or budget of the project is. Why do you Estimate?

RBS is one more technique for your estimation tool belt!

Kiron Bondale

Project managers need to be comfortable with different estimation techniques. Foundational project management courses will teach you about analogous, bottom-up, parametric and three-point estimating. Estimate the size or effort of that story or work package.

Three Point Estimate Formulas

PM by PM

Quick Reference on Three Point Estimate I have written a series of articles on Three Point Estimate and related concepts. I have explained the basic concept of Three Point Estimate in my first article. The post Three Point Estimate Formulas appeared first on PM-by-PM.

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Estimating Resources

Herding Cats

There's a never-ending opportunity to learn how to estimate in the presence of uncertainty. When you hear that estimates are a waste (we'd rather be coding), estimates are fiction, we're bad at estimating, and the plethora of other excuses for not learning how to estimate, ask if that person has done the minimal homework to learn how to estimate needed to make decisions in the presence of uncertainty found on all software development projects. .

Estimates, Forecasts, Projections

Herding Cats

Estimates. An Estimate is a value inferred for a population of values based on data collected from a sample of data from that population. The estimate can also be produced parametrically or through a simulation (Monte Carlo is common, but Method of Moments is another we use). . Estimates can be about the past, present, or future. We can estimate the number of clams in the Pleistocene era that are in the shale formations near our house. Estimate to Complete.

Independent Cost Estimating (ICE)

Herding Cats

Unless you have skin in the game your estimate for the work can't be credible. Let's look at the potential for such an approach in light of the credibility of an estimate. No one getting paid to estimate likes to present bad news. NoEstimates Estimating

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. But Estimating is NOT Guessing.

3 Tips for creating Accurate Project Estimates


Despite the complexities involved, it’s essential to do the very best with your project estimates. Here are our 3 tips for creating accurate project estimates. Industry

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.

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. Estimates.

Planning Poker – build accurate estimates for sprints on agile projects

The Digital Project Manager

Planning Poker is a great freemium agile estimation digital card game that enables a collaborative approach for consensus-driven estimating to guide sprint planning. The post Planning Poker – build accurate estimates for sprints on agile projects appeared first on The Digital Project Manager. Play around. General Tools

Estimating on Agile Projects

Herding Cats

Here's a straightforward approach to estimating on agile projects. This is an example of the estimating profession found on many domains. . NoEstimates Estimating

Decisions Without Estimates?

Herding Cats

Can you make a decision without an estimate? There are NO means of making a credible decision in the presence of uncertainty without estimating the outcome of that decision. Don't assume, Estimate. Be an Adult, estimate the impact of the risk on the probability of success.

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

Why Johnny Can't Estimate?

Herding Cats

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. To be informed how to estimate in this broad range of domains, problems, and impacts - education, exp[erience, and skill are needed. Gow to avoid common estimating mistakes.

Cost Estimating Assessment Criteria

Herding Cats

Here are the guidelines for a credible cost estimate (GAO-16-620). 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. Indpenednet cost estimate to compare different estimating methods.

Principles of Cost and Schedule Estimating

Herding Cats

One of the 4 summary root causes of project performance failures is Unrealistic Cost and Schedule Estimates based on inadequate risk-adjusted growth models. If you have no uncertainty, then estimates provide no value. Herding Cats: Basis of Estimating Software Development.

The brief moment when you think you’ve just produced a perfect estimate

The Digital Project Manager

The post The brief moment when you think you’ve just produced a perfect estimate appeared first on The Digital Project Manager. The PM life

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.

When the Business Dev team try to do their own estimating

The Digital Project Manager

The post When the Business Dev team try to do their own estimating appeared first on The Digital Project Manager. The PM life

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.

Why We Need Estimates

Herding Cats

The ability to generate reliable cost and schedule estimates is a critical success factor necessary to support business projects. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing. Without this ability, business value is at risk of experiencing cost overruns, missed deadlines, and performance shortfalls—all recurring problems that projects assessments too often reveal.

Why Estimates are Needed for Success in the Nondeterministic Universe

Herding Cats

There's a fallacy used by some in the software development business, that estimates are not needed to make decisions in the presence of uncertainty. Here's an example of the probability distribution of a cost estimate for a project. NoEstimates Estimating Mathematics

Reality of the Value of Estimating

Herding Cats

Avoid software project horror stories - check the reality value of the estimate first from Harold van Heeringen. NoEstimates Estimating Governance

Why Johnny Still Cannot Estimate

Herding Cats

He doesn't know how - He doesn't understand how estimates fit into the process of business and managerial finance of product or service development. He doesn't understand why estimates are needed - He doesn't understand the impact on the business for not knowing how long, how much, and what will be produced for the time and money. Coding work is much more fun than making estimates, documenting the requirements, writing tests. Herding Cats: Decisions Without Estimates?

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.

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. Want To Learn How To Estimate?

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.

Improved project billing, planning and price estimates

Paymo App

Accurate price estimates for your clients. You can set up task hourly rates, estimated hours and flat task rates by switching to the advanced view (click on the “Advanced view” icon in the top right corner of the tasks section for the project).

Quote of the Day - Estimating Software Costs

Herding Cats

In extensive research of over 20,000 software development projects spanning 18 years, it is found that more projects are doomed from poor cost and schedule estimates then they ever are from technical, political, or development team problems.