We know what you, Clients, want to hear on this – “three days”, “two weeks” or “right on the Christmas Eve”. But below is an explanation why such answers do not work and what the reality of correct estimation is.
First, The Task should be clarified
We can’t say how much time your project will require if you don’t let us understand the true scope of the task.
Mostly projects are late not because of lack of effort, but because of details lack – they were not properly identified and prioritized. The point is to share with us all the possible details so we can take them into account.
So do not get irritated just because PMs, developers themselves or other responsible for the estimation people ask you too many questions. Your answers let us get the complete picture of work that should be performed. And thus – give you correct estimation.
The Project is Broken Down
Competent estimate points out every stage of a project – describes its subtleties as well as pitfalls and bottlenecks.
It’s quite difficult to conduct a true analysis of the task scope, especially for large projects. Breaking down the project allows to allocate small portions of time to its certain parts. The projected time of all of the mini projects adds and as a result – more accurate final cost and duration length.
Moreover, such approach lets to include all the necessary parties involved in the estimation process – QA, project management, consultancy, meetings etc.
Sometimes things go wrong. Actually, things often go wrong.
That’s why there are three estimates which can be also calculated to get the expected average one. They are the most likely cost, the pessimistic cost and the optimistic cost. Remember, qualitative estimation supposes different outcomes.