Where We Are in the Product Development Life Cycle

Estimating the effort, duration, and cost of software occurs during the early stages of project planning, just after estimating the size. In terms of our generic life cycle model, planning takes place during the concept exploration, system exploration, and requirements phases (see Figure 11-1). Estimating size and effort will occur many times during the life cycle, increasing confidence with each occurrence—after initial customer requirements, after analysis, after design, and so on. Our process model describing the phases of the life cycle serves us well in indicating where estimates and re-estimates should occur. A good practice for project managers is to require size estimates and re-estimates as exit criteria from each phase.

Figure 11-1. Initial Software Effort and Schedule (Duration) Estimation Occurs Early in the Project

Life Cycle

Figure 11-1. Initial Software Effort and Schedule (Duration) Estimation Occurs Early in the Project

Life Cycle

Please note that the life cycle shown here is not the entire picture. It shows only some of the phases and activities that are associated with the sizing and estimation process.

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The process of estimating effort, schedule, and cost falls under the project competencies umbrella (see Figure 11-2). These estimates are recorded in the project plan; therefore, a third project competency, documenting plans, is a skill that comes into play. The estimates are also metrics that should be maintained as the project progresses.

Figure 11-2. Estimating and the 34 Competencies

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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