Estimating Methods

The test' s objective "Standard engineering estimate techniques . . ." seems to imply some scientifically developed, Einsteinian methodology that' s going to require you to learn calculus and differential equations. Not to fear! When PMs talk about "scientific" or "engineering" estimate techniques, they' re talking about an orderly methodology that allows you to arrive at a cost estimate that has a good chance of being accurate. And, yes, in some of them there ' s some math (even some basic calculus), but for our purposes we ' re dealing with arithmetic.

For IT project managers, thankfully, cost estimating efforts aren't nearly as complicated as they might be for a project that' s going to result in a new automobile type, for example. Essentially, you need to keep in mind that you are not the one coming up with each specific cost estimate—the people doing the work provide that for you—and then you use the bottom-up or unit method to provide the calculations that result in the project' s final cost estimate. Let ' s discuss some of the estimating methods, starting with the one you' l l most likely use in your projects.

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