Estimation for the Savvy Project Manager

[article]
Summary:

In this paper we will explore the significance of the initial project estimate to the project and suggests ways to approach developing this critical estimate.

The most critical estimate in the life of a project is the first estimate, occurring typically at project planning or initiation phase. Not a great deal of attention appears to have been paid to this first estimate and the issues around it. In part this could be due to the gulf that exists between the promise of software project estimation and its application in practice.

A great deal of what passes today for project estimation is in fact little more than wishful thinking on the part of the participants. It's neither scientific or particularly substantial.

In this paper we will explore the significance of the initial project estimate to the project and suggests ways to approach developing this critical estimate.

About the author

Douglas Muir's picture Douglas Muir

Douglas Muir is a principal consultant with the Software Productivity Centre, Inc. (SPC), in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has almost 20 years’ professional experience as a software engineer and project manager. Douglas has extensive experience with diverse, fast-paced environments facing rapid change; product development in a small company setting developing knowledge management product solutions; program management on large-scale multi-country telecommunications projects; and project management in software consulting organizations in Canada and the U.K. dealing with government, military, and commercial enterprises. At SPC, Douglas is a member of the consulting team, focusing on delivering pragmatic productivity improvements for clients. In addition, he leads public and corporate training in software estimation techniques, and application of SPC’s Estimate Professional product. Douglas is a member of ACM, PMI, and BCS (British Computer Society). He has a PMP from PMI, and is a professional engineer in the U.K. (C.Eng.) and EC (Eur. Ing.) from FEANI. Douglas has a B.Sc. (Honours) from Glasgow University, Scotland.

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