The rules to play are the best practices and common sense.
1.- A solid plan for developing the estimate, you need to have an strategy about what you are going to estimate and what you need to deliver, doing an initial tailoring assesment:
- Which level of accuracy do we need?
- Can I deliver this level of accuracy with the information we have?
- What are the expectations of your steering comitee and your client…
2.- You have an approved WBS with confidence that is clear, makes sense, and has the enough details: good start!
WBS is primary factor, it requires a vision of how the work will be done, this vision leads to the WBS which defines the work to be performed.
3.- Good Inputs :
- Ways to quantify — # of process threads, programs, workshops, # of types of activities…
- Prior Estimates — don’t reinvent the wheel!!
- Look at learned lessons,
4.- You need resources and reviewers who are skilled in estimating, yes skilled in estimating.
- Project Manager, or estimator who acts as mentor and coach to their estimating team. She works with the SMEs to define their WBS, drivers, resources, and estimate.
- SMEs who can envision “how the work needs to be done”. They have to know the product lyfe cycle.
5.- A tool for estimating, all companies have one. Never start with a blank template.
6.-Sufficient Time to the Estimate: estimation is an iterative process and you need time.
7.- Capture Assumptions,
- All the time you decide that some task is estimated by a reason, take a note of the reason, you are going to forget it and later you will have doubts.
- These notes will help to reviewers to understand why something take 30 hours instead 20.
8.-Multiple Reviews: four eyes see more than two!!
- Proposal Team,
- Sales Team,
- Delivery Assurance,
- Peer to peer review…..
There are more tips, these are just some of them.
Have a good day!