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Archive | Estimating Techniques

These articles cover the most common estimating techniques for costs and duration. They can be used for projects of all sizes. Accurate estimating is a challenge for every project manager on every project. The best basis for accurate estimates is historical data from the company’s project archives. img_0136 The next best basis for accurate estimates is having project stakeholders and team members who are experienced with similar projects do the estimates. The project manager uses their knowledge and experience and employs techniques like three-point estimating to produce accurate estimate data.
In these articles and videos, we’ll talk about how to develop different sources of data as well as how to use the data. The estimating techniques covered include: analogous estimating, parametric estimating, three-point estimating and rolling estimates. The estimating technique articles discuss working with project sponsors, stakeholders and team members to develop estimates and build support for them. This is especially important in the early phases of the project lifecycle.[ctct form="24750"]

Project Estimation Sponsor Games

Project Estimation Sponsor Games are played by ineffective sponsors who use intimidation and manipulation avoid being held responsible for project results. These sponsors don’t play the sponsor role effectively by clearly detailing the project scope and the deliverables they want.  Instead, the dodge all commitment and seek to set up the project manager and team to […]

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How To Do Analogous Estimating – Video

Analogous estimating will improve the time and cost estimates for your project. First, let’s talk about why estimates are often inaccurate and useless to the project’s decision-makers. That’s because project managers frequently estimate cost and duration by “plucking numbers out of the sky.” Or they provide estimates that have no basis in reality but are what the project sponsor wants to […]

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Project Estimation Techniques

Project estimation techniques are critical survival tools for predicting when a project will finish and how much it will cost. Estimating duration and cost accurately can make the difference between consistent success and frequent failure.  Project managers need to use different techniques during the project phases to provide good information to the decision-makers. Let’s look at some estimating situations and […]

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PERT Estimates – Teaching Your Team How to Do It

PERT Estimates (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) are sometimes called 3-point estimates. The reason this technique is a best practice is that it gives you three benefits: Increased accuracy Useful information on the risks of each task that you estimate Better commitment from the project team members because the estimate considers the task’s risks.   […]

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Project Cash Flow

Making Sure the Project Cash Flow Will be There Just as project managers must secure the availability of the project team members and the materials or equipment required for the tasks, they must also secure the project cash flow availability. While some contractors will wait until the completion of the project to receive payment, others must be paid […]

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Overconfidence in Project Management

Most successful professionals have a great deal of confidence. This is particularly true of project managers.  They have climbed the technical ladder to reach the project manager position and a few successes may have elevated them in the eyes of management above the other project managers.  This can cause overconfidence which is a situation ripe for […]

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Accurate Project Estimating – Video

Making accurate estimates of project duration, cost and completion date are critical to your project manager credibility and career. No matter how good your technical skills and judgment are, if decision-makers can’t count on your estimates of cost and duration, your credibility will inevitably suffer. Accurate estimating is not primarily a matter of knowledge or […]

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How To Do 3-Point Estimating – Video

It is worth learning how to do 3-point estimating because it is the best technique for developing estimates with your project team members. It is called 3-point estimating because the team member provides their pessimistic, optimistic and best guess estimates for their deliverable. It is also called PERT which stands for Program Evaluation and Review Technique. […]

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Make Clear Assignments & Estimates With A Work Package

A key success factor for project managers is making crystal-clear assignments to their project team members. This ensures  the team members understand what’s expected before they start work. A related success factor is having team members make realistic estimates for their tasks. This ensures the overall project estimates are accurate. It’s important for team members […]

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3 Point Project Estimating: Padding, Accuracy, Commitment

Estimating is tricky for project managers with many conflicting pressures: The customer or user wants the project done quickly and cheaply. You, as PM, want to finish on time and within budget. For commitment, the team needs to participate in a process their perceive as fair The estimating technique should yield accurate numbers and some […]

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Keys to Successful Project Scheduling

Every project manager does project scheduling. Some do it on a yellow note pad, others use an Excel spreadsheet and still others use software specifically designed for project management. Some project managers have very little data to help them successfully managing their projects, deal with change orders or respond to variances. They may not even […]

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Order of Magnitude Estimates

We use order of magnitude (OOM) estimates at the beginning of a project. During the initiation phase, executives need information about how much the project will cost and how long it will take. They must decide if the project should go forward. They may also need to integrate this project with other projects the organization […]

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