Validate work estimates with team members before holding them accountable

It's easy and typical to hold team members responsible for the estimates that they are working with. If a task on a project is supposed to take 10 hours (according to the estimate), then the person completing that task should be able to get it done within that time, right? According to this article on TechRepublic by Tom Mochal, managment should first make sure that the team member agrees with the estimate before holding them to it. According to Mochal, there are two ways to do this: There are two ways to make sure that the team members buy into the estimates for schedule and budget. One way is to see if you can get the team members involved with the estimating process upfront. This is not always practical, but sometimes it's possible. In fact, you may need the help of the project team members to actually create the budget and schedule to begin with. The article points out that the team member may not be able to determine if the estimate is accurate at the beginning of the project. A manager should recognize this possibility, but make sure to express that the team member should reach out to the manager as soon as possible if they realize they won't be able to meet the deadline assigned for the work. Gaining the buy-in and agreement of the workers can help make sure that your employees recognize the work that needs to be done, and provides a safeguard against missed deadlines due to unrealistic estimates.

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