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Re: Improving Your Ability to Estimate

by oakbox (Chaplain)
on Feb 12, 2005 at 12:32 UTC ( #430397=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Improving Your Ability to Estimate

This reminds me of Buckminster Fuller's book 'The Critical Path'. The first half is all about how you should careful record everything you do, the second half talks about how to write down everything you do.

Making an estimate all boils down to knowing yourself. How do you work? What is time consuming drudgery, what is exciting and engaging for you? How GOOD are you at breaking up a project into component parts?

I tend to go with flow charts sketched out by hand as my visual aid. I do my best to estimate how long each of those boxes will take me to complete. If it involves communicating with someone else or waiting on input, I automatically double the estimate for that box.

Tally up the times and apply the Scotty factor (X 3). That is the worst case scenario and that is the one I communicate to my customers. The people knowledge here is spot on: Beat your estimate and you are a hero, meet the estimate (through bad luck or unforeseen disaster) and you are a valued member of the team who delivers on time.


Comment on Re: Improving Your Ability to Estimate
Re^2: Improving Your Ability to Estimate
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Feb 12, 2005 at 12:43 UTC

    ++ "The Scotty factor"


    Examine what is said, not who speaks.
    Silence betokens consent.
    Love the truth but pardon error.
Re^2: Improving Your Ability to Estimate
by Takophiliac (Novice) on Feb 15, 2005 at 21:24 UTC
    Beat your estimate and you are a hero, meet the estimate (through bad luck or unforeseen disaster) and you are a valued member of the team who delivers on time.

    This is always a good standpoint. Where I work we call it underpromising and overdelivering. And it works out just like stated above. It's all too true that people will hold you to the first number out of your mouth. Especially if they dont like it. Beating that number will turn anyone's opinion upside down.

    I am Takophiliac. The evil souls remind me and in the darkness find me.

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