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The Estimation Myth: Why Your Budget Might Fail You

golden eggsEstimating project costs is a tricky task. Throw in an unmet deadline, and you’ve potentially got a lot of angry people on your hands. Glen B. Alleman of herdingcats.com, takes a stab at some common misconceptions about cost and schedule estimation. What he explains may help you iron out the wrinkles in your next budget.

The first common mistake is turning estimates into targets. Meeting that end target becomes the entire goal, and the needs that pop up along the way are often overlooked in the process. The whole project then suffers.

Another problem is when people construe estimates as promises. Except that they aren’t. Estimates are just estimates and sometimes people need to be reminded of this.

Inappropriate precision in estimates is also common. Who doesn’t want to look on the bright side? But when reality sets in, people feel duped and relationships suffer.

Overall, avoid miscommunication. Be honest. Realize that things will pop up along the way, and sometimes deadlines need to be extended and new budgets estimated.


About Rachel Ginder

Rachel Ginder was a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success and joined the team in 2013. She also helped with social media and research.

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