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7 Things You Need to Know About Development Project Estimations

Developing project estimates requires a sound definition of constraints. Every project, regardless of origin, must satisfy the schedule, budget, and project requirements. From within these boundaries the estimate is constructed and the subsequent project executed. An article for Executive Brief offers some tools and best practices for maximizing your project outcome.

7 Design Constraints

1. Architecture estimates
2. Ground-Up estimates

Ensuring that estimates are based on application architecture will provide the right framework for project development. Conversely, ground-up measurements will give you a sense of the costs associated with work hours. Try to match your ground-up estimates with your top-down, architecture measurements. Use percentages if need be.

3. Off-shoring requirements
4. Modular estimates
5. Development language

Then there are modular estimates. A modular understanding of the application under development provides the necessary insight to determine which aspects can be off-shored. The modular estimate will also help you identify the project’s technical and financial assets. Although hiring offshore teams may bring significant cost improvements, it is probably wise to also consider the peripheral costs of knowledge transfer, technical setup, and software installation. Choice of development language is also important, as it will impact a host of components, from who gets hired for coding, to the type of hardware you’ll need to run for specific platforms.

6. Project automation
7. Total cost of project

Lastly, let’s discuss management tools. Now that PMs have the ability to automate project schedules, there has been a significant time reduction towards the goal of producing the project estimate. One might simply compare business scenarios with the samples found in the estimation tool. Breaking down the total cost of project (TCP) will ensure that management understands which aspects of the project should be delayed, prioritized, or canceled.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI’s Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master’s degree in communications at Penn State University.

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