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Estimating the Work

In this chapter

  • Understand the importance that estimating plays in the success of a project
  • Understand how estimating is used to manage project risk
  • Review the common reasons for poor estimates and how to avoid them
  • Review the key estimating techniques and methods
  • Understand the power of bottom-up estimating
  • Learn how to properly ask for an estimate
  • Understand how to deal with uncertainty
  • Learn the best estimating practices of successful projects

Estimating. Nothing else symbolizes the challenges of project management better. Negotiate with senior management and customers to prevent "ball park" estimates from becoming your targets; team with subject matter experts (SMEs) and knowledge workers to develop accurate estimates for work that has never been done before in these conditions, with these tools, by these people; assess your risks; educate stakeholders on the estimating process; and continuously manage the time-cost-quality equilibrium. Plus, you likely must do all of this in an organization that has not made the investment to improve estimating accuracy. Is it any wonder we love this job? For most people and most organizations, you would need a U-Haul truck to carry all of the "baggage" that comes along for the ride when estimating is discussed. The "baggage" accumulates from political battles, misunderstandings, a sense of "no control," and past troubled projects. As a result, there are complete educational courses and books in the marketplace that cover nothing but "estimating"not to mention the many reputable therapists that can improve your emotional and spiritual well-being (just kidding; it's not that bad).

In this chapter, we will show you how to leave that U-Haul behind and take control of the estimating process. It can be done. First, we will review how estimating the work fits in with the overall schedule development process and how it is an integral part of how we manage risk on the project. Then, we will learn the key estimating techniques and methods and understand how to use them. And finally, we will discuss the common reasons for poor estimates and review the golden guidelines of estimating. This will allow you to improve your estimating accuracy and to get it right the first time.

Part i. Project Management Jumpstart

Project Management Overview

The Project Manager

Essential Elements for any Successful Project

Part ii. Project Planning

Defining a Project

Planning a Project

Developing the Work Breakdown Structure

Estimating the Work

Developing the Project Schedule

Determining the Project Budget

Part iii. Project Control

Controlling a Project

Managing Project Changes

Managing Project Deliverables

Managing Project Issues

Managing Project Risks

Managing Project Quality

Part iv. Project Execution

Leading a Project

Managing Project Communications

Managing Expectations

Keys to Better Project Team Performance

Managing Differences

Managing Vendors

Ending a Project

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Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
ISBN: 078973821X
EAN: N/A
Year: 2006
Pages: 169
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