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### My project estimates are based on:

by cavac (Deacon)
 on Aug 01, 2012 at 11:32 UTC ( #984770=poll: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

vote on My project estimates are based on:

 Careful analysis of the requirements 93/19% Gut feeling 140/29% Doubling and scaling up 84/17% A fair dice roll 22/5% Some random numbers i pulled out of thin air 21/4% Print "\$day_of_week months \$day_of_month days\n"; 10/2% Carefully calculating how much paid overtime i need to pay for my next vacation 22/5% How much i like/dislike my customer 52/11% Other 43/9% 487 total votes
Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: My project estimates are based on:
by choroba (Bishop) on Aug 01, 2012 at 11:41 UTC
In fact, analysis + gut feeling + how much I like the customer. And some scaling up can never hurt...
same here...
Re: My project estimates are based on:
by Ratazong (Monsignor) on Aug 01, 2012 at 11:43 UTC
Actually its a mixture of the first four: first studying the requirements, getting a gut-feeling based on this, then doubling/scaling that effort and at the end adding a random number so the whole thing looks somehow more realistic. It works quite well, and allows me to finish in time in most cases :-)
Re: My project estimates are based on:
by chacham (Prior) on Aug 01, 2012 at 11:59 UTC

What's a project estimate?

Pick
random
or
joke
everytime
cus'
telling
Estimated
spent
time
is
magic
at
the
est

Re: My project estimates are based on:
by vitoco (Friar) on Aug 01, 2012 at 13:30 UTC

Reuse estimates from similar successfull projects...

Re: My project estimates are based on:
by blue_cowdawg (Monsignor) on Aug 07, 2012 at 14:57 UTC

Had a PHB who gave the same estimate no matter what the project was. "2 weeks." When ten days later he was asked for an ETA on the same project he'd answer "2 weeks."

I use a variety of answers myself and it is normally based on several factors. I'll ask a client "when do you need this by?" After I finish rolling around on the floor laughing hysterically at their first answer (an entire CRM application in 72 hours? REALLY?) I then negotiate something we both live with.

A trick that I'll employ is to give them a subset of features on a first pass effort and then add features over an extended period of time.

Now if it is a customer I don't like or a project I don't want to work with my estimates get padded to something ridiculous with the hopes they will get sticker shock and run away in terror. If I fail then I ratchet up my hourly rate a bit.

At that point they will either go away or I'll make more money on the project than I normally would and hopefully that will make up for the aggravation involved.

On rare instance I'll tell a client flat out to take their business elsewhere...

Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg

Had a PHB who gave the same estimate no matter what the project was. "2 weeks." When ten days later he was asked for an ETA on the same project he'd answer "2 weeks."

Reminds me of this dilbert-cartoon. Estimations need to be only as good as needed.

Re: My project estimates are based on:
by Illuminatus (Curate) on Aug 06, 2012 at 21:52 UTC
1. SEI CMM level 4 metrics
2. SEI CMM level 5 metrics
3. ISO 9000 metrics
4. CIM level -3 metrics
5. ouija board - hey, I thought it was crazy the first time too...
6. My project estimates are given to me by management
Re: My project estimates are based on:
by dHarry (Abbot) on Aug 07, 2012 at 11:47 UTC
Other:
• The pi-factor (surprisingly accurate:)
• Function Point Analysis (good past experience with it)
• 3-point estimate (could well be the best way IMHO)
Re: My project estimates are based on:
by ChuckularOne (Parson) on Aug 07, 2012 at 12:02 UTC

Since I never get a spec of any true value, I give two estimates; One based on a fair guess from past experience for a project of it's size, and a SWAG based on the person giving me the spec and how poorly they've spec'd things in the past.

Should take a week, but for you it'll be two months.

Re: My project estimates are based on:
by blackstarr (Friar) on Aug 16, 2012 at 17:07 UTC

For me Perl is a hobby (strictly for my own fun, or for fiddly things I can do "under the radar")

However I'm paid to implement SAP BPC systems and have found that no matter how optimistic or pessimistic I am in my estimate, the #1 rule is that the client will ALWAYS try and "negotiate" for less time. Initially I reacted by becoming more pessimistic and then delivering faster than planned, but found that clients aren't grateful ... they just take it as a sign you were planning to rip them off.

So now I estimate as accurately as I can, and when the client objects, I ask them to pick the functionality that's NOT going to be implemented.

Only one client has ever accepted the challenge ... and they decided they didn't need any project documentation! :-) ... I've since made more than 3 times the "saved" money out of them afterwards, because they had no idea how to support the system and had to keep calling me in.

So Long
blackstarr

Long ago, at a company that has since been purchased twice, one of the project engineers was famous for writing up his estimates for the exact amount, with no padding. On more that one occasion, somebody in the finance office would automatically cut 20% off, then someone else would yell at him for going over the budget. His response was usually something to the effect of "I told you how much time and money was needed; this guy changed my estimate. I know what I'm doing, and I don't put in padding just so it can be cut so some bean counter can look like he's doing a real job."

This only worked because the person who did the cutting was not the same person as the one yelling about going over budget ;)

Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting. — emc

Re: My project estimates are based on:
by Voronich (Hermit) on Aug 06, 2012 at 18:51 UTC

I carefully analyze the requirements which, based on a gut feeling (and personal assessment of the customer) I add to \$day_of_week months and \$day_of_month days, adding the amount of overtime I need to pay for my next vacation, pulling some numbers out of the air and multiplying them by a fair dice roll. Then I double that and scale up by some random numbers I pull out of thin air.

Re: My project estimates are based on:
by swampyankee (Parson) on Aug 19, 2012 at 13:43 UTC

A careful analysis of requirements, a cold-blooded analysis of the team's capabilities (usually, the team is me), and a large safety factor.

And it's never right.

Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting. — emc

this thread should never die IMHO.
i like to charge people based on what i think/estimate their work im doing is worth .
I try to consciously cut out R&D cost from the estimation cost, coz thats usually 90% of a web project. I put in a key figure like X dollars/local currency per day and then figure out how many days of cold hard labour (minus the creativity) it will take to complete the project.
Im yet to get a large enterprise level perl project. relishing the thought of that. :D
Re: My project estimates are based on:
by Anonymous Monk on Aug 01, 2012 at 23:57 UTC
What projects? I unemployed
Re: My project estimates are based on:
by gregor42 (Parson) on Aug 14, 2012 at 17:56 UTC
...when I am told that I must be done.

Then I manage expectations accordingly.

In my company we get a project objective & a deadline that we back into almost every time. Therefore with a fixed amount of time, I scale back the functionality to a level that I can actually deliver in the given time. If it successful and popular then we schedule another swipe at it to add more functionality.

Wait! This isn't a Parachute, this is a Backpack!
Re: My project estimates are based on:
by jdporter (Canon) on Aug 14, 2012 at 19:17 UTC
I thought RoUS's were indigenous to Western Europe.
RoUS are strictly indigenous to the fire swamps of Guilder...

fnord

Re: My project estimates are based on:
by Steve_BZ (Chaplain) on Aug 09, 2012 at 18:05 UTC

Strangely enough, however hard we try to be facetious, there is always some truth in it!

Re: My project estimates are based on:
by atcroft (Abbot) on Oct 29, 2015 at 17:37 UTC

While I still consider myself terrible at creating estimates, I have always enjoyed the exchange between Kirk and Scotty in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock:

Kirk: How much refit time before we can take her out again?

Scotty: Eight weeks, sir. But ye don't have eight weeks, so I'll do it for ye in two.

Kirk: Mr. Scott. Have you always multiplied your repair estimates by a factor of four?

Scotty: Certainly, sir. How else can I keep my reputation as a miracle worker?

Kirk: [over the intercom] Your reputation is secure, Scotty.

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