A project plan consists of two main elements that effort and time form the basis for tracking the progress of a project. Project manager requires estimate these two elements as accurate as possible. Therefore, estimation management process involves an analysis of a proposed or active project to produce a forecast of the project’s effort and time. Proper project planning and tracking is not possible without a sound and reliable estimate.

 

The estimation is one of the most challenging and important activities in software development. If the effort of a project is not estimated at the beginning, appropriate resources cannot be mobilized and deployed timely to the project. If the time is not estimated, it is impossible to perform critical path analysis during the project life cycle.

 

Not having a sound and reliable estimation can be just as bad as not having estimation at all.  Under-estimating project will lead to under-staffing it and deadlines will be missed.  On the other hand, over-estimating project will affect the firm’s sustainability as more than necessary resources are engaged in the project.

 

The following results are expected to be achieved by defining and implementing a good estimation management process:

  • Appropriate resources are being involved in a project at the right time
  •  An objective measurement is in place to reflect how well a project is progressing

Estimation Management includes the software development and implementation, system maintenance and consulting.

 

According to Capability Maturity Model (CMM), the management estimation should be done by two roles:

 

Roles

Responsibilities

Project Manager

·         Assign a project team member to be Estimator

·         Verify the estimation done by Estimator

Estimator

·         Collect and analyse all available information for estimation

·         Estimate the project size

·         Estimate the manpower and other resources

·         Estimate the schedule

·         Estimate the cost

 

Estimation management can be divided in several steps: assigning estimator, collecting information, estimating project size, estimating manpower effort, estimating resource & schedule, estimating cost and verify estimation

 

Next blog will discuss each step in detail. 

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