Risk Management

3 Team Techniques that Improve Cost Estimates

It’s brain-wracking to think about money. And it’s even more frustrating when the money is for lots of other people, but you have to think about it yourself. Sometimes, you just cannot be Batman who saves the world alone. It is nicer and more time-saving to work in group for a project’s estimated costs. In a post as the Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall offers a few suggestions on how to improve team estimation:

  1. Have a “workshop” meeting.
  2. Use virtual communication.
  3. Avoid groupthink through nominal group technique.

Money Costs Efforts

One simple way to gather opinions and brainstorm estimates is to have a workshop. A meeting is traditionally one-sided communication with presenters and audience. However, a business workshop allows for more freedom of thoughts and open communication. If your meeting cannot be conducted due to participants living in different locations, use virtual communication. Send an email with a survey link asking people for their opinions; then gather them all and share the results.

An effective way to avoid groupthink is asking team members to write down their proposals. Some people get anxious or are simply shy to voice their opinions in public, so you don’t always get to hear everything in a verbal-based meeting. Asking people to write down their thoughts helps aggregate differences and similarities in opinions, and why there are such differences.

Hall goes on to add that it is important to document the supporting details behind how estimates are created, including the following:

  • How the estimates were developed
  • Assumptions
  • Constraints
  • Range of estimates (e.g., +-20%)
  • Confidence level of the estimates

You can view the original post here: http://projectriskcoach.com/2017/01/16/3-team-techniques-to-improve-cost-estimates/

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