1-Minute Assessment: Sizing and Estimating

Take today’s 1-minute assessment:

  1. Do you differentiate between Sizing and Estimating?
  2. Do you have a standard bill of components, the quantifiable items that make up your software solutions? e.g. servlets, controllers, reports, tables, classes, queries, screens, the file types output by your development stack – these are ultimately the “things” that are quantifiable, that will drive estimates of effort and cost.
  3. Do you keep up history that correlates what’s built with the effort expended to build it?
  4. If your development team sold its services externally, would you be willing to do fixed-fee engagements based on your estimates?
  5. Do you have a lifecycle for estimating, aligned to your funding process?

Did you answer NO to any of these questions?  If so, you might be seeing some lack of control around project and portfolio delivery, the budget, resource allocation, capacity planning, and the like.  Capability in sizing and estimating is paramount for staffing, cost, and schedule accuracy.  It’s just a SWAG otherwise.  Lack of this ability is a chief cause of diminished IT goodwill in the Business.

Sizing & Estimating, something other than software:  Your partner asks you to redo the kid’s room.  It’s 10 X 16 with 8 foot ceilings; 416 square feet.  You’ll need 13 panels of sheet-rock (14 if you want some leeway) and 52 feet of ceiling molding.  The paint you like covers at a rate of 350 square feet per gallon.  You want 2 coats so you buy 2 gallons plus 2 quarts for the walls, and 1 gallon for the ceiling, giving you about 5% wiggle room for the walls and 9% for the ceiling.  The on-line shopper at your local store makes it easy for you to price the materials.  You let your partner know that it will take 5 days to complete the job, since you’ve experienced redoing a similar room just 2 years earlier.

Need more? If so, feel free to email me or comment below, and I will send another example where we size and estimate what it will take to make lunch for 10 guests – 6 vegetarians (2 of them gluten-free) and 4 carnivores.

© Michael C. Simonelli, onthegocio.com, 2013

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Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. 1-Minute Assessment: Requirements Management « On The Go CIO - March 15, 2013

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