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Give It Your Best Guess - Project Estimating (One Day)

On the Surface estimating project duration, effort or cost would seem to be an objective process. You figure out what work has to be done and then you make your estimates. But estimating is always a political process. Are estimates objective or a matter of opinion?

Give it Your Best Guess first probes the social consequences of creating and communicating an estimate the team members as well as Senior Management can buy into. For whom are you making the estimate? How deeply will we, can we committ to it? Of course you can't make estimates if you don't have a clear view of the work. The discussion must include some review of the rules of Work Breakdown Structures and how they are indispensable for reasonable estimates.

Give it Your Best Guess discusses and offer practice on half a dozen standard estimating techniques that can be applied to effort, duration or cost. Project Managers need to be able to direct their team members to use some sort of logic when estimating to "make the gut scientific" and understand the truth about how much a projects will cost or how long it will take.

What about "padding, "fluff" or "slush"? Project Management Professionals (PMP's) sign an Ethics and Professional Responsibility Statement that they will give honest estimates. Is that realistic given the political climate in which all projects live? A discussion of whether estimates should be honest plays an important role in this class.

Participants should leave this class understanding the estimating environment and how to survive in it.


Copyright 2005 The Project Group, LLC