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Project management estimation  

Project management estimation


In project management, accuracy errors and unexpected results can send budgets to disarray and turn your own performance and position into disadvantages. PM estimation helps prevent errors and inaccuracies while planning, performing and reporting activities. It is a continuous process that starts from initiating and finishes at closure. In essence, it is a forecast of the future. Itís a very important step in making decisions and analyzing. Without proper estimates and assessments, it is almost impossible to select project resources and ultimately make good decisions.

The process is based on methods and techniques to create project estimates that cover each characteristic and attribute, such as budget, assignment, success rate, duration, effort etc. The purpose of the process is to substantiate characteristics and verify project objectives by creating models and templates. Instruments for estimating job attributes are formulas that let find out whether current project is on target, on budget and on schedule.

Typically, the following guidelines are used to implement techniques and methods:

  • Collect and use only relevant historical data. You need to understand the importance of collecting and analyzing historical data related to previous projects. When you have a detailed description of relevant activities in front of you, your cost estimates will be more accurate because you can assess the need for resources and mitigate negative effects of both cognitive and motivational biases. Here are two steps to collect and analyze relevant information:
    • Using schedules of previous projects to create time&date estimates for current project.
    • Writing down previous project activities by relevance to current project to identify priorities and order of tasks.
  • Reality checks. Reality check is a simple way to control costs and improve project estimation accuracy. The main idea is to compare your estimates with obtained project results and to ensure that similar projects do not require different resources significantly.
  • Independent assessments. Use of project estimations made by different members of the same team or by independent teams gives two benefits. From one side, independent assessments provide additional look at estimated project parameters. From the other side, project estimates made by separate individuals are often completely different and difficult to reconcile, so independent estimations help incorporate more information into the original estimations.
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To follow the mentioned guidelines and to implement project management estimating methods and techniques, a software solution is required. Project management estimating software allows you to plan project budgets, design schedules, track historical data of previous projects and report activities of current project. An example is VIP Task Manager .

As a project estimator , you can use VIP Task Manager to assess project parameters and plan project activities. VIP Task Manager helps you make assessments to schedule tasks, jobs and assignments. The software features Custom Fields functionality that allows defining estimates at completion of your project, as well as setting key performance indicators to control ongoing activities of the project.


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