Estimating isn’t easy and rarely accurate. In fact, estimating does not, cannot and will not reflect reality.
There are just too many things against us :
- the sheer number of uncertainties
- the optimism bias
- the pessimism bias
- ‘emergency’ meetings
- users who change their minds
- suppliers who change their resources and availability
- senior managers who change their budgets
- line managers who change their priorities
- team members who change jobs
- and the list goes on…
‘Building in contingency’ isn’t always the answer. Patience, usually is, as well as the following four tips:
1. Build in time to predict time and costs.
Build planning into your plans. It takes a matter of seconds to come up with guesses. It takes a goodly amount of time to come up with solid estimates. This one thing alone will determine your future. The choice is yours. Drama, heartache and stress? Or straight-out-hell because you didn’t devote any/enough time to estimating?
2. Don’t do it by yourself – involve others. Lots of others. As many as humanly possible. [Read more…]