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Course Descriptions
Customized Training




Estimating Software Projects
Overview of Industry Best Practices in Estimating Software Projects

Duration: 1-day

Target Audience: Project Managers, Development Managers, Process Engineers, Business Analysts, Senior Developers, and Software Quality Assurance staff.

Roughly 30% of all software projects fail to complete.  Another 60% fail to complete within acceptable limits of project expectations.  Evidence suggests that organizations without formal estimation practices are four times more likely to miss project delivery commitments or cancel projects completely.  Despite this evidence many companies never allocate the energy to develop formal estimation practices.   As a project manager your challenge is to deliver a project within acceptable limit of project expectations. 

This course is a practical guide to software project estimation practices, techniques, and expectations.  This class will provide methods to help the estimator build better estimates by examining the pros and cons of various estimation techniques and seeing how different techniques make sense at different times in the project life cycle.  They will learn about the phases of project estimation, including Order of Magnitude Estimate, Budget Estimate, Definitive Estimate, and Estimate to Complete.  They will gain hands on experience in using estimating using different techniques by working on class exercises.

You will Learn:

Students will:

  • Learn about current estimation practices in project management

  • Learn about current best practice estimation practice in software development

  • Learn about the benefits of thorough estimation

  • Learn about the pitfalls of having a poor estimation process in place


Estimation Framework

  • Estimation Usage in Project Management

  • Software Development Managers Experience with Estimation

  • Estimation Tools for Software Development

  • Pitfalls of Current Estimation Practices

  • Commitments are established the Estimator assumes all Risk

  • Distinction of Estimation and Commitment

  • Benefits of Estimation

  • Benefits of Multiple Estimates

Estimation Techniques

  • Phases of Project Estimation

  • End of Initiation Phase

  • End of Requirements Phase

  • End of Design Phase

Case Study Exercise

Earned Value

  • Earned Value Defined

  • Earned Value Shown

  • Earned Value Basic

  • Earned Value Example

Case Study Exercise

Follow Through Activities

  • Negotiating Commitments

  • Planning and Scheduling

  • Project Scope Change Control

  • Managing Expectations

  • Metrics - Improving Future Estimates

Best Practice Objectives

  • Cost Estimation Models

  • Estimation Tools and Automation


Prerequisites:  Familiarity with software development


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