Episode 115: Project Estimation


Estimate how long your next project will take.

News and Follow/Ups – 00:42

  • Jade is sick, Mark soon to follow

Geek Tools – 02:42

Webapps – 07:20

Project Estimation – 13:22

  • Why is underestimating is so common?
    • The technologies for the project haven’t been used before
    • At the time of estimating there are grey areas or complete unknowns
    • No previous project ‘estimated vs. actual’ data analysis has been conducted to draw on
    • Estimating time for a project is not fun
  • The more you can break down a project into its basic components, the easier it will be for you to estimate.
  • General Tips
    • Add a margin of error
      • + / – 15% for wiggle room
      • For example, if our final estimate was $10,000, our estimate will show a final total of $8,500 – $11,500.
    • Document your estimation and how you come up with it
    • Estimation is not a commitment. Commitment is one number, estimation is always a range.
      • Your clients won’t expect you to know exactly how long it will take, a range will suffice.
    • Try to divide your work into smaller chunks, at least 10% or less than the total effort.
    • Watch out for scope creep as it will through all estimations out the window
  • Strategies
    • -1st Count, 2nd compute, 3rd judge
      • Try to identify items in your work which are countable e.g files, classes, UIs, etc.
      • Calculate using this data the effort (in person/days).
      • Use judgement as the last resort


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