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
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
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