3-point estimates. good for you!

Musings on Project Management

Here's my three point estimate paradox: We all know we must estimate with three points (numbers). so we do it, reluctantly None of us actually want to work with (do arithmetic with) the three points we estimate. In a word, three point estimates suck -- not convenient, thus often put aside even if estimated -- and most of all: who among us can do arithmetic with three point estimates? But Monte Carlo Risk Management Statistics

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

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. unique risks).Use

How to Evaluate Risk Velocity

Project Risk Coach

Life is filled with risks. Some risks occur slowly. Let’s look at how to evaluate risk velocity and why it matters. What is Risk Velocity? Risk velocity is the time to impact. Think of velocity as an estimate of the time frame within which a risk may occur.

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It’s Easy to Miss Project Risks

Project Risk Coach

It's easy to miss project risks. And, until a project manager has identified the threats and opportunities, the risks cannot be managed properly. Projects rise and fall with the project manager's ability to properly identify and manage their most significant risks.

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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?”.

Estimating from the master

Musings on Project Management

s "The Mythical Man-month" "It is very difficult to make a vigorous, plausible, and job-risking defense of an estimate that is derived by no quantitative method, supported by little data, and certified chiefly by the hunches of the managers" Bookmark this on Delicious. estimateToday's quote: Here's a quotation that is a favorite of mine drawn from Fred Brooks, Jr.'s

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.

Evaluating Project Schedules Utilizing Quantitative Risk Analysis

Project Risk Coach

Often times, risks occur and project managers lack adequate schedule reserves. If a project is estimated at 120 days, the project manager may add a 10% pad, an additional 12 days. The project manager estimates the project duration to be 132 days. Analyzing the Highest Risks.

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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.

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.

Estimating the Risk

Herding Cats

Risk is everywhere on projects. This risk comes from two types of uncertainty. The idea of risk and its management and handling is a critical success factor for all software development. One of the most rigorous theorems of economics [1] proves that the existing means of production yields greater economic performance only through greater uncertainty that is, through greater risk. Without these estimates, there is no risk management. NoEstimates Risk

How to Improve Results With Better Risk Statements

Project Risk Coach

Vague risk statements lead to poor risk response planning. When organizations or project teams fail to respond to significant risks (i.e., Risk management starts with identifying risks and writing clear risk statements. Why do people define risks poorly?

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Risk Management: Known / Unknown Unknowns

Project Health Check

It would become so famous that it would become the title of his autobiography "Known and Unknown: A Memoir", and provides a superb basis to discuss our approach to Project Risk Management: ". Known Unknowns - For us this is our Risk Log. Cost Management Project Planning Risk Managemen

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A risk management ode to project managers!

Kiron Bondale

Father’s Day might be a holiday which is much newer than the project management profession itself, but let’s not miss the opportunity to celebrate the many ways in which project managers help their projects succeed through effective risk management.

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Why Johnny Can't Estimate? (Update)

Herding Cats

Risk Management is How Adults Manage Projects - Tim Lister. 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. This would be like saying, risk management is a waste , control system engineering is a waste, thermal analysis of the computer system is a waste, assessment of the reliability, repairability, survivability - all the.

Playing Whack-A-Mole With Risk

Tyner Blain

My assertion in that workshop was that assumptions and hypotheses, practically speaking, are risks. The risk is that those beliefs are wrong. It represents an implicit risk. Remember – hypotheses and assumptions are risks. Risks of being wrong (and not knowing it).

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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.

How To Better Your Quantitative Risk Analysis

Project Risk Coach

How can we better your quantitative risk analysis? What is Quantitative Risk Analysis? The Importance of Quantitative Risk Analysis. When to Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis. Three-point estimate. The quantitative risk analysis is not always required.

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The Project Manager’s Guide to Simple Risk Analysis

Online PM Courses

Risk analysis is both easy and hard at the same time. No project manager can get by without knowing how to analyze risk on your project. Risk is important, because it is baked into the nature of projects. Risk analysis is one part of the wider Risk Management process.

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Risk Management

Herding Cats

Risk Management is How Adults Manage Projects - Tim Lister. Risk Management requires making estimates of many things. Just like risk management, estimating is how adults manage projects. No risk management no adult managemnt. NoEstimates Risk

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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. IT Risk Management.

Risk Identification Workshops: An Overview

Project Health Check

Risk Management is one of the well established fundamentals of Project Management. Whatever system or tool you use, the basics of rating risks with some degree of severity and impact is well understood, and then doing something to stop it (because they usually are threats). But I have a challenge for you: look back over your last Project and consider - how many of the issues that occurred along the way were from impacted Risks that were identified on your Risk Log?

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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.

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. Any criticism of the NO Estimates statement is met with being blocked from the discussion. The introduction to the #NoEstimates paradigm started with .

Uncertainty creates Risk, Decisions in Presence of Uncertainty Requires Estimating

Herding Cats

According to ISO 31000, a risk is the effect of uncertainty on objectives and an effect is a positive or negative deviation from what is expected. Every step has an element of risk that needs to be managed and every outcome is uncertainty. In the context of risk management, uncertainty exists whenever the knowledge or understanding of an event, consequence, or likelihood is inadequate or incomplete. Let's define what an estimate is. IT Risk Management.

How to Build a Robust Project Risk Culture [8 Steps]

Online PM Courses

A robust risk culture goes beyond having a strong basic risk management process. Some of my readers may hope to influence the risk culture of their whole organization. For you, the right aspiration is to build a positive risk culture within your project.

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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.

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. Risk Management is how adults manage projects - Tim Lister.

Let’s add a few tools to your risk identification tool belt!

Kiron Bondale

Risk identification is our first step towards converting unknown-unknowns to known-unknowns. It is neither possible nor advisable to identify all risks which could impact your project’s objectives – like any other project planning process, too much is as bad as too little.

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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. This process is the basis of all risk management. IT Risk Management.

Why Johnny Can't Estimate?

Herding Cats

Risk Management is How Adults Manage Projects - Tim Lister. 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. This includes planning for and execution the project by phase and activity level cost estimates.

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). 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. Risk and uncertainty analysis that qualifies risks and impacts.

Risk Management is Project Management for Adults

Herding Cats

The basis of risk management in our community starts with NASA's principles. Risk-Informed Decision Making, NASA/SP-2010-576. Risk Management Handbook, NASA/SP-2011-3422. Considering Risk and Resilience in Decision Making, NASA/TM-2015-218777. No risk from uncertainty.

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What Is Risk?

Herding Cats

Risk is the effect of uncertainty of objectives. In the context of risk management, uncertainty exists whenever the knowledge or understanding of an event, consequence, or likelihood is inadequate or incomplete ? ISO 31000:2009, ISO 17666:2016 and ISO 11231:2010 Risk is Uncertainty that Matters. Risk can be the potential consequence of a specific outcome that affects the system's ability to meet cost, schedule, and/or technical objectives. IT Risk Management.

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Small Batch Sizes are NOT Risk Management

Herding Cats

There is a popular fallacy in the Agile community that small batch sizes are Risk Management. What small batches do is provide information that informs risk management at a fast rate. Since all risk comes from Reducible (Epistemic) uncertainty and irreducible (Aleatory) uncertainty.

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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. 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. IT Risk Management. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing.

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 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.

Project Risk Management: 10 Surprisingly Brilliant Tactics to Reduce Risk


Every project has some risk of failure. This guide on project risk management will help you understand and manage risks better. If there is one thing you can be certain about in project management, it's this: Every project carries some risk. Project risk is more amorphous.

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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. IT Risk Management.

Epistemic Uncertainty Creates Reducible Risk

Herding Cats

Yesterday's Post What Is Risk? Risk is not there to be mitigated, it's there to be eliminated. Risk is the result of uncertainty, which comes in two kinds for all projects, for everything actually. Epistemic uncertainty and the risk it creates can be reduced with handling processes. Aleatory uncertainty and the risk it creates can NOT be reduced. Only margin can be provided to protect the project's cost, schedule, and technical performance from this risk.

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