Best Practices

Now that we have an overview of the estimating techniques and methods that are available to us, and we have a feel for the estimating mistakes that are commonly made, let's review the estimating best practices of successful organizations and projects.

• Estimating should be based on the work breakdown detailed in the WBS.

• Estimating should be performed (or approved) by the person doing the work.

• The work estimates for lower level WBS items should be less than the standard reporting period for the project (typically one or two weeks).

As discussed in Chapter 6, if the work estimate is not less than this, it is a good sign the task needs further decomposition.

• Estimating should be based on historical information and expert judgment.

• Estimates are influenced by the capabilities of the resources (human and materials) allocated to the activity.

• Estimates are influenced by the known project risks and should be adjusted accordingly to account for those risks.

• All bases and assumptions used in estimating should be documented in the project plan.

• When asking an SME for an activity estimate, make sure to provide the following whenever possible:

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Project Management Made Easy

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