What is required of the people performing the task? Are they inventing a brand new process, or are they doing something that they' ve done twelve times before? Sometimes a task requires a good bit of systems integration that has not been tried before, so there' s a scary "maybe this will work, maybe it won' t" aspect to the task. The more fundamental the task, the less risk incurred and the more likely the task will come in at the cost estimated.
Material costs Consider the system requirements when assessing complex tasks. Integrated systems, where you' re combining two disparate systems together, might only work if you provide expensive additional middleware.
Time costs You' l l incur time costs when you have to manage nit-picky nuances of a project requirement—something you hadn 't planned on at requirements definition time. Especially watch out for this when considering integrated systems. Human-effort costs Complex tasks may require teams of people who can brainstorm the most efficient way of arriving at the task' s timely completion and who can subsequently work together on the task. Testing falls into this category as well—it' s rarely done by one person.
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