PMs need to master helpful tips for project estimation to ensure the success of their work. This practice is highly important for PMs to have better control of the development process – A McKinsey report states that 66% of all software development projects have overruns. It also plays a vital role in ensuring timely and satisfying output.
In this blog post, we will tap into common issues surrounding this topic and tips for project estimation that will be helpful for PMs in action.
#1 Tips for project estimation: Preparing for it
First, preparing for estimation is just as important as the calculation itself. Preparation tasks (such as issue investigation and solving, code reviewing, and comprehensive testing) can take up extra time, but they will lead to more accurate estimations. This video below includes some tips and tricks for making sure to get your preparation right.
#2 Tips for project estimation: Having realistic man-day estimation
One common problem in project estimation is an unrealistic judgement of man-day, which means how much work and progress can be made within one working day. This can lead to inaccurate estimates which stress the team out or drain the project’s budget.
For instance, a PM may fail to take into account many external factors. These include the optimal amount of time for concentration (which is unlikely to be 8 or 9 continuous hours). There are also risks of buffer time for clearing requirements, fixing bugs, testings, and many other small yet potentially time-consuming tasks that the development team will face.
In this video below, GEM’s expert will guide you through the importance of having realistic expectations in this regard and explain the factors influencing developers’ productivity.
#3 Tips for project estimation: Handling overscope like a pro
Aside from being able to establish base estimates, you can also identify factors and activities that can potentially jeopardize a project. If there is a gap between a team’s resources and its release time, the root cause usually comes from inaccurate estimation or “overscope,” meaning the scope of work is unexpectedly expanded.
Sometimes, the project managers struggle to meet business stakeholders’ s demands for an earlier release. If you want an earlier completion, you will have to choose between cutting down on scope, increasing resources, or having the team work overtime.
To help you set an accurate estimation of the actual amount of time required in creating custom solutions and performing other tasks involved in developing software, the following video puts together some know-how for balancing resources and release time.
Estimation is crucial for the success of the project, as it defines all the progress that follows and becomes a reference for future projects. Therefore, it is recommended that PMs establish a solid and effective framework and improve it afterward to adapt to each project’s unique requirements.
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