The Art of the Estimate
What is an estimate? Is it a calculation, a judgment, a guess, an approximation of an actual value? It contains elements of them all, and through the proper application of analysis--to the most reliable and relevant information available--we deduce a highly educated guess. Estimating in project management is the technique that approximates the probable cost and duration of the effort required to complete an activity or project.
A basic yet important fundamental element of estimating starts with identifying and assessing the organization’s culture of estimating and its maturity within prescribed A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) techniques. This is important to note because it helps identify the total scope of teaching and evaluating required for the project team’s development.
The goal of this development is to guide the project team through a smooth transition of the estimating cycle in planning and into proof of their planning effort project execution. The degree of magnitude between the project’s original estimates and the project team’s performance becomes the first indicator of the project team’s estimating proficiency.
The better the estimate, the more predictable the execution—and, as a result, accurate and reliable forecasts. The forecasts predict the future based on the careful analysis
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