One of the major roadblocks for the successful completion of a project is the lack of proper estimation. Sometimes, project managers tend to under-estimate or over-estimate a project. Project estimation is an important aspect of project planning to determine the project costs, duration, and resources. In this article at Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall explains ways to improve project estimates.
How to Improve Project Estimates?
Be Honest and Accurate About the Figures
Try to avoid assumptions and guess work while checking the feasibility of the project. Even though many project estimates are all guess work based on assumptions, it is necessary to quantify those assumptions one way or the other. “It’s a mistake for project managers to estimate the work. Have the subject matter experts estimate the work,” says Harry.
Adapt to the Available Budget
Be realistic and adapt the scope of project to the available budget. It is dangerous to promise things that cannot be done if there isn’t enough budget. While gathering project requirements and estimating the project scope, do not keep the numbers low just to please your project stakeholder or sponsor.
Do Not Overlook Activities
During the project estimation process, you may overlook ancillary activities such as internal changes, client feedback, meetings, and tests for bugs that causes delay or increase the costs. Ensure to include these activities in your project estimation.
Evaluate Each Risk
Having a work breakdown structure and its estimates are not enough. You must list, evaluate, and estimate each risk associate with the project. Failure to identify risks will lead to projects taking longer and costing more than expected. Estimating each risk and time to resolve it will give you an accurate estimate of the project. For the significant risks, perform quantitative risk analysis and develop contingency reserves for the project schedule and budget.
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