Project Management

3 Ways to Talk About the Accuracy of Estimates [Video]

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A blog that looks at all aspects of project and program finances from budgets, estimating and accounting to getting a pay rise and managing contracts. Written by Elizabeth Harrin from

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Categories: estimating

Project estimating is something we have to do a lot. And being good at estimating generally means being accurate in the estimate. That doesn’t mean you have to get your budget figures defined to the nearest penny. But you do have to work out your numbers robustly and present them in a way that is clear to stakeholders. They need to understand how you are using the numbers and what they are looking at.

There are three ways to talk about the accuracy of estimates:

  1. Rough order of magnitude
  2. Budget estimate
  3. Definitive estimate

Find out more about how these different types of estimates are defined and calculated using ranges in this short video.

Read more articles about estimating.

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Posted on: March 04, 2019 09:00 AM | Permalink

Comments (7)

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Thank you Elizabeth Harrin !!

Great topic Elizabeth. In construction and contractual documents, we call those sometimes: Class A, B & C Estimates.

Elizabeth , Very Informative Post. thanks for sharing it.

Thank you.
I heard about a fouth type of accuracy: Preliminary Estimate (from -15% to 50%).
Can someone tell us more about it?

Very useful, thanks for sharing!

Thank you!

Tarik, I don't think the terminology matters very much. If you want to estimate from -15% to 50%, then as long as the people who are receiving the estimates know the range, you could do that.

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