If you had a time machine or crystal ball, you wouldn't need an estimate for your projects--you would already know the final time and cost. Well, this is the real world. You're going to estimate, and your estimates are going to be wrong. Get over it.
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Estimating is a skill essential to successful project management and one that is nearly impossible to teach. Personal experience is one way to learn, but it's not the only way. Take advantage of your natural sense of curiosity to hone your estimating skills.
If demands for preliminary project estimates have you throwing darts at dollar amounts, help is out there. There are two ways to communicate estimates to your customers without getting burned: one good and one bad (don't ask us about the ugly part...it isn't pretty).
Making and maintaining a WBS diagram doesn't always have to be that difficult. Learn how the WBS Chart Pro software can make your project planning life much simpler.
You've heard the concepts bantered around in the same breath, but what the heck do they mean? Through a solid understanding of baselines, metrics and measures, you'll be able to make value-added improvements in your projects, processes, policies and procedures. In parts one and two, the terms, "baseline," "metrics" and "measures" were explored in context to process improvement. In this installment, these concepts will be applied to project management.
One of the most common problems with software development is managing the project schedule. But project milestones are here to help. This article highlights the five principles of the project milestones best practice.
Earned value analysis is the key to assessing your project health and applying metrics to manage your project. So why do only a few project manager's understand EVA and actually apply it to their projects? This is the first in a six-part series on EVA, providing an introduction into EVA in an easy-to-understand format.
Should you apply excessive schedule pressure onto your development team? Heck no! Here's five reasons why.
"I don't know yet what I want, but I expect you to tell when I'll have it and how much will it cost!" A common problem each project manager faces is providing effort and duration estimates based on unclear or high-level requirements. We can provide a best guess, padded because it will surely be trimmed down. Or we can provide a response that will make the executive understand the need for more details, without saying so. This article shows a simple way to do so.
Can't use earned value because your cost data is confidential? Or because the actual costs are not accurate or itemized enough? No problem! Simply use the time assignments and completion percentages for project status and forecasting.