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.

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.


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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.

System of Delivery: An Intro to Our Governance Model

Leading Agile

Our governance model and team design may look a little complicated at first glance. In this presentation, our Chief Methodologist, Dennis Stevens will remove the noise and walk you through our governance model and team design to help you better understand the LeadingAgile system of delivery. When you first look at our governance model or some of our team designs, it might look complicated, it might look really busy. The governance model makes that actionable.

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. Those making these claims may have their own personal purposes, their own agenda, their own reasons for sell this idea that estimates are somehow no longer needed when we're spending other people's money to produce value in exchange for that money. One notion in a governance paradigm is It's Not Your Money .

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. Any estimating process requires discipline and repeatability to produce accurate and precise results. The estimate can also be produced parametrically, empirically, or through a modeling and simulation.

Estimating on Non-Trivial Software Projects

Herding Cats

A nice conversation on twitter about estimates on software brought up the topic of estimates as commitments. The #NoEstimates advocates see estimates as making commitments. Yes, commitments are made when we estimate. Just for the reference, . Just for the reference, a commitment is the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc. But that's got NOTHING to do with the need for the estimate and EVERYTHING to do with bad management.

GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide Applied to Agile

Herding Cats

The GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide has 12 steps. Agile encourages change, but those changes must be recorded so a reference class can be built of time. Agile Capabilities Decision Making Estimating Governance Management Performance-Based Project Management® Project Management Requirements Risk Root Cause Analysis SchedulingThese describe the increasing maturity of the project's artifacts. There are not specific to Agile Software Development.

Compendium of Works to Increase Probability of Project Success

Herding Cats

Governance (#Governance). Six Business System Rule - defines the assessment of the integrated business systems for Federal procurement and their integrity in providing information to the Government contracting office. . Managing Government Grant Projects at Arizona Public Service - APS management process for Department of Energy grant for algae CO2 capture project. The starting point is understanding what processes make up the discipline of estimating.

2015 37

Quote of the Day

Herding Cats

To make sensible decisions, in the presence of uncertainty - reducible and irreducible - we need to estimate the probability that the decision will be the right decision. The world as it will be requires estimating the future using a variety of means. From past data used to construct a reference class forecast to Monte Carlo Simulation (and similar) methods using a model of the future to assess the possible outcomes. .

DDSTOP The Saga Continues

Herding Cats

We were one of the first users of eXtreme Programming, long before Scrum was around and presented that early work in 2003, " Making Agile Development Work in a Government Contracting Environment, Measuring velocity with Earned Value." . 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. References.

DDSTOP The Saga Continues

Herding Cats

We were one of the first users of eXtreme Programming, long before Scrum was around and presented that early work in 2003, " Making Agile Development Work in a Government Contracting Environment, Measuring velocity with Earned Value." . This knowledge starts with Reference Class Forecasting which is a method of predicting the future (cost, schedule, technical performance) by looking at similar past situations and their outcomes. Where do you find these Reference Classes ? .

Deconstructing the Hertz and Accenture Debacle

Herding Cats

A recent lawsuit by Hertz Rental Car against Accenture has turned into a rallying cry by Agilest and No Estimates advocates. We play this role in ERP acquisitions for commercial and government clients . Funding the development of a working skeleton, some type of reference model or some other demonstration that the vendor can actually do what they say they can do is normal in our SW Intensive System of Systems world. These estimates adjust the cost and schedule margin.

DDSTOP The Saga Continues

Herding Cats

We were on of the first users of eXtreme Programming, long before Scrum was around and presented that early work in 2003, " Making Agile Development Work in a Government Contracting Environment, Measuring velocity with Earned Value." . These are classic examples from an author who is either unskilled, untrained, and inexperienced in estimating software development. And, my customer is equally as clueless about the need to estimate as I am. By simply NOT Estimating?

2018 33

#Noestimates Has Come to This

Herding Cats

So the first part is following standard estimating principles. which states clearly and concisely that decisions can be made (in the presence of uncertainty - which is ALWAYS present on software development projects - without estimating the impact of those decisions. Past performance, reference classes, parametric models, Monte Carlo simulation, method of moments , and other estimating processes are standard practice. Does that mean we don't need estimating? .

2017 33

There is Little New Under the Sun

Herding Cats

It is popular to claim we've never done this before, so how can we possibly estimate the cost and schedule. In that world, we still made estimates of the cost to design, build, and operate the experiment. As well we made estimates of what information will be produced after spending the customers (in most cases the government is the customer) money. Estimates are at the heart of all inventing new physics activities. 4] Principles of Program Governance.

2017 33

What's Missing from the Agile Software Development Paradigm

Herding Cats

References . [1] Tiako, Information Science Reference, 2009. . Agile Capabilities Decision Making Deliverables Based Planning(r) Estimating Governance Management Performance-Based Project Management® Planning Principles Product Management Project Management Requirements Scheduling Strategy Systems TheoryAgile software development is framed by a manifesto , a set of 12 principles, several methods.

Physical Percent Complete: Knowing When You Are Done

Herding Cats

Currently, there is no single frame of reference to view the discipline, because it is multi-disciplinary. Such measurement is possible within a performance measurement system which refers to an organization’s internal management control system that provides decision-makers with specific performance information regarding progress and expenditures against a stated execution plan. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing.

2018 38

Concept of Operations

Herding Cats

How we can't possibly estimate the work since all the work is emergent. It may refer to the use of one or more systems, as black boxes, to forward the organization’s goals and objectives. The next part of this section also builds upon and references the MNS section cited below. Measures of Performance ‒ characterize physical or functional attributes relating to the system operation, measured or estimated under specific conditions.

2017 32

Project Management, Performance Measures, and Statistical Decision Making

Herding Cats

I work in the Software Intensive System of Systems domains in Aerospace, Defense, Enterprise IT (both commercial and government) applying Agile, Earned Value Management, Productive Statistical Estimating (both parametric and Monte Carlo), Risk Management, and Root Cause Analysis with a variety of capabilities. References below. . This is from one of our presentations from a International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association meeting on the same topic.

Agile Project Management Methods for Corporate IT Projects

Herding Cats

This definition for single scrum teams needs to come in contact with Corporate Governance, managerial finance, decision making in the presence of uncertainty when spending the firms money that has impacts beyond the team and their natural desire to control their own destiny. Governance is about decision rights. IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage Decision Rights for Superior Results is a place to start. Estimating Guidance. Why We Need Governance.

2016 56

Project Management Process: The Basics


While it is a safe bet that Mr. Deming was not specifically or exclusively referring to the overall project management process, his wise advice – or if you wish, his stark warning – certainly applies. Pioneering quality control guru W.

2021 90

Start with Principles, Not Personal Anecdotes

Herding Cats

I've seen estimates abused by bad managers, so let's NOT estimate and that will fix the behavior of Bad Managers." While the human behaviors are real and observable, conjecturing that decisions can be made in the presence of uncertainty without estimating the outcome of those decisions, there is no principle to support that conjecture. The first thing to do is NOT fall for the fallacy that NOT Estimating will fix the behavior of the bad manager.

2018 39

Integrated Master Plan - Revisited

Herding Cats

To demonstrate traceability most IMPs include cross-reference fields for WBS, OBS, and SOW. Cross-references may be at the Accomplishment Criteria level. The cross-references in the IMP such as OBS, SOW, and WBS elements tell the managers which groups are responsible for which efforts. Validate information with cross-references. Task narratives are often included when the government provides a Statement of Objectives rather than a more precise SOW.

A Wrap Up of the #NoEstimating Conjecture Analysis to Date

Herding Cats

The conjecture that we can make decisions in the presence of uncertainty without estimating the impacts of those decisions is without any principles that can be tested beyond personal anecdotes of I know people who spend other peoples money without providing estimates. Here's some reading to help understand why its bunk and how to learn to estimate in the presence of uncertainty in order to make better decisions. Software Estimating Taxonomy. Estimating Accuracy.

2016 35

WBS Dictionary: A Quick Guide with Examples

This gives team members who refer to the WBS dictionary a deeper understanding of what’s needed to complete the project successfully. The WBS dictionary can also help make sure that the project is meeting whatever regulatory or compliance issues govern the work.

2021 270

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. This can be the confidence in the estimate for any variable. But is can be ANY variance for the program, including confidence in the estimates of future performance - cost, schedule, or technical performance. But much has been done since then, and referring to the 1981 book is bad research method.

2017 32

Cost Management Basics

In the case of a project, it helps the project manager estimate what the project will cost and set in place controls by which they can reduce the chance of the project going over budget. Cost management is a way of managing project cost, which includes estimating project costs.

2019 311

Concept of Operations

Herding Cats

The place where descriptions, such as a data dictionary, in an appendix, or incorporate them by reference. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing. Agile Architecture Decision Making Governance Principles Project Management Systems TheoryOne of the root causes of project failure is the failure to apply the first principle of the five principles of project success. What does done look like in units of measure meaningful to the decision maker?

2014 34

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.

Microeconomics and Risk Management in Decision Making for Software Development

Herding Cats

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. Managing in the presence of uncertainty requires we make estimates and act accordingly to the results of these estimates.

2007 32

Fallacy of the Day

Herding Cats

Measures of Performance - are performance measures that characterize physical or functional attributes relating to the system operation, measured or estimated under specific conditions. The reference to “feedback,” means some portion of the output is returned “back” to the input to form part of the systems excitation. It does this by generating an error signal which is the difference between the output and the reference input. "On spec" is open loop control on value.

2017 34

Antifragile, Macro and Micro Economics and the Misuse of Terms (Again)

Herding Cats

The Buzz Word Anti-fragile is tossed around lately by #NoEstimates advocates claiming that making estimate creates fragility to the work. Government and corporations use macroeconomic models to help in formulating of economic policies and strategies. [2]. So always ask for evidence, ask for references, ask for principles, and never accept personal anecdotes without those things first and a clear and concise description of how those anecdotes are mapped to those principles.

2018 31

Review Project Optimism Bias in Capital Investment Decision Making

Henny Portman

It starts with a discussion about the need for realistic estimates and assumptions, and clear project plans for mitigating know risks to make the right decisions. The next part is about project optimism bias and its effect to inaccurately estimate time and cost requirements.

2020 63

The Complete Glossary of 614 Project Management Terms


Bookmark this project management glossary and refer to it whenever you come across any project management jargon. Actual dates are different from planned or estimated dates. Actual Effort: The actual effort spent to complete the activity, as opposed to the planned or estimated effort.

2021 78

Work Order Template

Generally, the work order also includes instructions on what the job is, estimation of how much it will cost, deadline for completion, who is assigned and any other pertinent information. They’re a governing document that makes sure the work is done right and on time.

2021 258

Business Forecasting: Why You Need It & How to Do It

It refers to techniques such as taking a prospective view of how the economy is likely to turn out in the short-term. That includes your industry and its present position, as well as its popular products to better estimate sales and general business operations. Estimating Future Business Operations: Now comes the estimation of future conditions, such as the course that future events are likely to take in your industry.

2018 293

6 Reasons Why Projects are Late


The following content is based on the whitepaper, “Bigger Than a Breadbox: 10 Tips for Better Project Estimates, Part 2,” written by Jerry Manas. So far in this series, we’ve examined a number of ways to improve problems with project estimates. Before we get into part six of this series, be sure to review any of the previous pieces you may have missed: Part 1: Improve Project Estimates and Escape Crisis Mode. Part 2: Improving Project Estimates is all About Direction.

More Reuse of Established Terms to Mean New Things

Herding Cats

The #NoEstimates Manifesto - Actually restates Best Practice for estimating and making decisions with those estimates. . Deterministic estimates are point estimates and Point estimates without a Variance are of little value in the presence of uncertainty. Estimates make use of a broad range of models and data . Past Performance for similar projects is called Reference Class Forecasts. Reducing Sources of Variation over Improving Estimation.

Project Cost Management – The Essential Things to Know and Do

Online PM Courses

Your ‘Project Cost Management Plan’ Establishing your costs – the processes of estimating and budgeting. The governance considerations for project cost management. Project Cost Management is a process that has two principle components: Estimating costs and creating a project budget from them. Estimate Costs – which we’ll look at together with… Determine Budget. Here are some of the things to include: Budgeting and Estimating.