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Sensible Project Manager Hangout 8

Sensible Project Manager Hangout 8

Project Estimating Techniques

“Project Estimating Techniques” was the topic for the 8th hangout of the Sensible Project Manager Hangout Community. In this community of project managers and others who enjoy discussing project manager topics, we have a weekly hangout which is hosted via Google+ Hangout. These hangouts are held each Friday at 9:00am pacific time. Up to 10 people can join the hangout and those not making it to the hangout can view the conversation via Hangouts “On-Air”.

During the hangout we discussed techniques that we use to estimate tasks and projects.

Methods of Estimating

  • Bottom-Up Estimating
    • Create your WBS
    • Estimate each task
  • Top Down Estimating
    • Estimate based on major deliverables
  • Comparative Estimating
    • Compare to similar projects / tasks
  • Parametric Estimating
    • Estimate the time required for one deliverable then multiply by the number of deliverables
    • Assumes similar deliverables
  • Three Point Estimating
    • Also a bottom up approach
    • Takes into account Worst Case, Best Case, & Most Likely consideration
  • Three Point Estimating with Buffer
    • Similar to Three Point Estimating but builds in buffers in project
  • Agile Estimating
    • Story Points

Levels of estimating

  • Initiation
    • Compare to previous projects
    • This could be 100% off
    • Use “Comparative Estimating”
  • High-Level Planning
    • Top down estimates based on high level deliverables
    • This could be 75%-80% off
    • Use “Top Down” & “Comparative Estimating”
  • Final project plan
    • Bottom up estimates
    • 3 Point estimates
      • Best Case
      • Most Likely
      • Worst Case
      • E = (Best Case + 4*Most Likely + Worst Case) / 6
        • Use this if you want to give more weight to the Most Likely
      • E = (Best Case + Most Likely + Worst Case) / 3
        • This gives an average
    • 3 Point with buffer
      • Use Most Likely
      • Buffer = Worst Case – Most Likely
      • Add buffer to the project as a separate task

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