There are seven steps that are used in project estimation management.
Project Manager should assign a member of a project team to be the Estimator. In general, the Project Manager, Business Analyst or Product Analyst of a project can be the Estimator.
Estimator should collect all available documents and information of a proposed system. In Proposal and Initiation stage, Estimator should gather the client requirements and use them as an input to the subsequent procedures. In Design and Build stage, Estimator should collect the latest version of Requirement Specification and Design Specification before starting the estimation.
Estimating Project Size
Estimator should estimate the size of the code working and documentation working based on the business and technical requirements, and historical data. Estimator should estimate the size of code working in terms of intermediate measurement units required by different estimation methods. Different estimation methods use different intermediate measurement units to represent the size of code working. Besides code working size estimation, Estimator should estimate the size of documentation working. For documentation working, the size measurement unit is number of page.
Regardless of the method used, the Estimator shall document the estimation result and any assumptions made when perform the estimation.
Estimating Manpower Effort
Estimator should convert the intermediate measurement units to total project effort. Estimator should consider the software and programming language used, system architecture and the development lifecycle that a proposed system will be followed for design, develop, test, deploy and documentation. Besides, Estimator should also consider the effort used in the activities of a project. Estimator should use historical performance indicators to estimate the project effort when possible. If estimator has to change the estimation formula, the rationale and assumption of this change should be documented. In addition, Estimator should estimate the effort of each documentation working based on the estimation of number of pages and past experience of similar projects and record in the documentation working list work sheet.
In the Build stage, Estimator should create a Product Assignment Form for each code working and estimate the man days required to complete a PAF based on the complexity of a Work Product and the experience level of the programmer.
Estimating Resource & Schedule
Estimator should estimate the number of team members who will be working in a project and determine the duration each team member involves in.
Once manpower resource is determined, estimator should spread the resource measurement data into a calendar schedule. Estimator should decide the time interval of the calendar schedule depending on the duration of a project, expected completion date of all major milestones and other constraints and document them into the Resource & Manpower Cost Sheet and the Milestones Sheet. Estimator should record any assumptions used in estimating the resource and schedule. In addition, Estimator should determine computer resources and the schedule they are required. Computer resources include development workstations, system integration test servers, UAT servers, network bandwidth, load test servers etc. Estimator should fill in computer resource name, deadline, criticality, cost and other columns on the Critical Computer Resource Worksheet.
In the Build stage, Estimator should fill in estimated start and finish date of each PAF. Estimator should assign PAFs to each programmer in a project team with the consideration of the skill set of the programmer and the complexity of the product as described above.
Estimator should calculate manpower cost according to the daily rates of the corresponding position of team members. Estimator should document the cost in Resource and Manpower Cost Sheet of the corresponding estimation worksheet. Also, Estimator should then sum up total project cost that may include manpower cost, hardware and software purchases or rentals, training courses, and others.
Project Manager should verify the estimation made in different stages. After the estimation is verified, Project Manager should put it in a project plan for progress tracking. Throughout a project period, Project Manager should track the size, effort, schedule and cost of the project. If Project Manager finds that the actual size, effort, schedule or cost are deviated from the project plan and beyond the pre-defined tolerance level, appropriate action has to be taken in conjunction with the Project Planning and Tracking Process.