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.

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?”.

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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. Be an Adult, estimate the impact of the risk on the probability of success.

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. iceaaonline.com International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association.

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.

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. I have an 80% confidence (an estimate) I can deliver what you need on or before September 15 (an estimate), at or below $15,000.oo (an estimate) with a 15% error band (an estimate). . Estimates are not needed.

Cost Estimating Assessment Criteria

Herding Cats

I'm working an Implementation Review (IR) of a major space flight vehilce, that includes Software Intensive System of Systems. . 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.

Why Johnny Can't Estimate?

Herding Cats

I work in a domain where engineered systems are developed for complex software-intensive system of systems. 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. Generating accurate and precise estimates is straightforward.

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?

Estimating the Risk

Herding Cats

The idea of risk and its management and handling is a critical success factor for all software development. 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.

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.

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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.

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.

Five Immutable Principles of Project Success and Estimating

Herding Cats

Let's look at what estimates are needed to answer each of the Five questions: Principle. Estimate Needed To Answer The Question. Each requires us to make an estimate of the confidence in the elements of the Plan. You can't apply risk management without estimating.

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.

The Economics of Decision Making on Software Projects

Herding Cats

The classic paper “ Software Engineering Economics,” Barry Boehm, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering , Vol SE-10(1), 1984, pp. For software development, there are many decisions to be made. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing.

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?

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

Quick Summary of Estimating Advice

Herding Cats

We can't estimate things we've never done before - this is simply not true. If you truley haven't done the work before, you're probabiliy not the right person to be estimating for those wanting to pay you. . Estimates are guesses, because we don't know that the future is - this is a fundamental misunderstanding (either with intent or omission) on how estimates are made. We've never done this before, so how can we possibly estimate how long it will take?

Agile Estimating Methods and Impact on Project Development Performance Index

Herding Cats

The presentation " Quantifying the Impact of Agile Practices ," Larry MacCherone at the RallyOn 2013 Conference, presents some results on estimating impacts. The Software Development Performance Index (SDPI) scale on the left ranges - by eyeball measurement - from 46 to 55. Estimatin

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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.

How Does Probabilistic Estimation Reduce Project Uncertainty?

LiquidPlanner

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.

30 Problems That Affect Software Projects

Herding Cats

From Estimating Software Costs: Bringing Realism To Estimating , 2 nd Edition. Finding and fixing bugs is the most expensive software activity. Creating paper documents is the second most expensive software activity.

Embracing Uncertainty in Software Projects

LiquidPlanner

If you don’t give an answer, you’re viewed as incompetent and unable to estimate. In over 20 years of working in the software industry, the only thing I am certain about is uncertainty. Due to these ever changing factors, software projects are full of uncertainty.

Software Review: ProjectManager.com [2016]

Girl's Guide to PM

Time to revisit the software and see what has changed. The company have also made huge improvements with software integration and as well as being compatible with the Microsoft suite and Google Apps they have also introduced integrations via Zapier. Better Collaboration Software

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Economics of Software Development

Herding Cats

For example, about which software to buy, which Features in the development backlog should be implemented next, what prices to charge for products and services. Software development is an exercise in microeconomics, since it deals with limited resources - time, cost, and what value is produced in exchange for the time and money. This is the foundation for estimates. Estimates with accuracy and precision values needed to make credible decisions. No Estimates?

Software Economics

Herding Cats

Here's some thoughts on the economics of software development using other people's money, after 3 weeks of working a proposal for a major software intensive system of systems using Agile. 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. Estimates are primarily used to support decisions.

Software Development Process Improvement Opportunities

Herding Cats

Estimating and Making Decisions in Presence of Uncertainty. When we hear about all the suggested ways to improve the effectiveness of our development effort, if we're to going work on improvements, let's go where the REAL money is. . Here's the IT budget for the Federal Government.

Forecasting versus Estimating - are they Different or are they the Same

Herding Cats

One of the escape clauses of #Noestimates is to re-label Forecasting as NOT Estimating , It is forecasting, based on empirical data. This is in comparison for estimating purpose for a theoretical model that produces data, parametric from empirical or theoretical models that produce data.

Aleatory and Epistemic Uncertainty in Software Development Projects

Herding Cats

All software development projects operate in the presence of uncertainty. The design and development of software must rely on estimation, forecasts, and predictions based on an idealized understanding of what is an unknown (but knowable) understanding of reality.

Dunning-Kruger and Modern Software Project Management

Herding Cats

Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing. In " Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments ," David Dunning and Justin Kruger state that the less skilled or competent you are, the more confident you are that you're actually very good at what you do.

GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide Applied to Agile

Herding Cats

The GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide has 12 steps. There are not specific to Agile Software Development. Agile Capabilities Decision Making Estimating Governance Management Performance-Based Project Management® Project Management Requirements Risk Root Cause Analysis Schedulin

10 Guidelines for Estimating Project Effort – Guest Post by Susanne Madsen

Celoxis

best practices Blog capacity planning PMO PPM Project Management Resource Management celoxis Guest Blog Online project management software project estimation project management best practices project management software sussane madsen web based project management toolMany projects start off on the wrong foot because the effort involved in delivering them has been underestimated.

Can You Make a Decision in Presence of Uncertainty Without Estimating?

Herding Cats

They started with “Estimates are a waste, stop doing them.” Those advocates also started with the notion that estimates are a waste for the developers. The size of the “value at risk” is also the starting point for estimates. If the project is small (de minimis) meaning if we over run significantly no one cares, then estimating is likely a waste as well. Next comes an original post from Woody – “you can make decisions with No Estimates.”

The Potential of Agile

Tyner Blain

The potential to provide better predictions – but only if you invest in estimation skills, and only if you culturally make a distinction between prediction and commitment. To do this, you have to be able to estimate with confidence.

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Software Review: Roadmap Planner [2017]

Girl's Guide to PM

The software comes with templates so you don’t have to create from scratch unless you want to. I tried the software on my iPad and frankly it wasn’t that easy to create a nice looking roadmap using my fingers as input devices. Software review: Viewpath Express Viewpath 2.0

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Task Management Software

Binfire

Good task management software is a great tool to plan a project from the high-level concept ideas to the small tasks needed to complete the project. In fact, the most basic and yet the most important element of a project management software is its task management features.

Software Review: BusiBI Project Manager 2016 v5.7

Girl's Guide to PM

You'll also like: Software Review: Project Viewer for Primavera [2016] This article was updated with minor amends on 27 March 2016. Software review: Simplestimate [2016] Find out more about how to make estimating simple with this software review of Simplestimate.

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5 Ways Cloud-Based Project Management Software Saves Save Time and Money

LiquidPlanner

By 2019, more than 30 percent of the 100 largest vendors’ new software investments will have shifted from cloud-first to cloud-only.” Larger organizations are now learning what early adopters have known for years: cloud-based software can help you save time and money.

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Online Collaboration Software

Binfire

Online collaboration software is gaining wide acceptance. The collaboration market is one of the fastest growing markets in the software industry. In fact, by 2012 this market is estimated to be $42.57 Elements of good online collaboration software.