Estimation - A science not an art

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Everyone has been given a 2 paragraph document listing the "scope of services" for a potential project.  The client would like an estimate in 48 hours and there are no more details to help you deliver that required fixed bid contract.  At the same time, many teams have also been given (or created) a detailed PRD or backlog document and still had a project budget balloon out of control.  

In this session I would like to discuss the not only the problems associated with estimation and how to avoid them, but more importantly how we can plan for them, turning our estimation process into not only an art, but a science. Well cover how to sell your estimate internally, and arm you with the methodologies to support your numbers.

The problem with software estimation

  • The morale

  • The metrics

  • The reality - an estimation metaphor

Avoiding Risk

  • Project entry point of sale

    • At what point of the project lifecycle is your first sale?

  • Risk association with point of sale

  • Products in the front, estimations in the back

The Elusive Discovery phase

  • How to estimate a discovery

  • How to sell a discovery

  • How to include discovery in a full fixed bid RFP

Planning for Risk 

  • Estimation types

    • Gut - An art form

    • Comparables - An art/science

    • Factors/formula - A science

  • Contingency

    • Rating systems

    • Formulas

    • Granularity