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Project Estimation:Survival Guide
 

Project Estimation:Survival Guide

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Presentation notes from Drupal Asheville August 13, 2011

Presentation notes from Drupal Asheville August 13, 2011

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Project Estimation:Survival Guide Project Estimation:Survival Guide Presentation Transcript

  • Project Estimation: Survival Guide 1
  • Johnnie FoxEnterprise Project Manager/Strategist Recovering Developer Business Analyst Project Manager Custom Development/IOS/Drupal $500 - $1,000,000 projects Currently leads enterprise development team husband • geek • photographer for MCN • MAKE enthusiast • Kayaker • traveler•entrepre neur • Project Estimation:Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • Estimating SucksProject EstimationPresented by Johnnie Fox
  • Estimating Sucks• Coders hate doing itProject EstimationPresented by Johnnie Fox
  • Estimating Sucks• Coders hate doing it• It wont be correct anyhowProject EstimationPresented by Johnnie Fox
  • Estimating Sucks• Coders hate doing it• It wont be correct anyhow• Skipping this step is the yellow brick road to HellProject EstimationPresented by Johnnie Fox
  • Estimating Sucks• Coders hate doing it• It wont be correct anyhow• Skipping this step is the yellow brick road to Hell• Sets ExpectationsProject EstimationPresented by Johnnie Fox
  • Estimating Sucks• Coders hate doing it• It wont be correct anyhow• Skipping this step is the yellow brick road to Hell• Sets Expectations• Directly affects customer satisfactionProject EstimationPresented by Johnnie Fox
  • Estimating Sucks• Coders hate doing it• It wont be correct anyhow• Skipping this step is the yellow brick road to Hell• Sets Expectations• Directly affects customer satisfaction• Leads to good project managementProject EstimationPresented by Johnnie Fox
  • Estimating SucksProject EstimationPresented by Johnnie Fox
  • Estimating Sucks• Good estimates increases team moraleProject EstimationPresented by Johnnie Fox
  • Estimating Sucks• Good estimates increases team morale• Builds ReputationsProject EstimationPresented by Johnnie Fox
  • Estimating Sucks• Good estimates increases team morale• Builds Reputations• There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow unless you put it thereProject EstimationPresented by Johnnie Fox
  • Estimating Sucks• Good estimates increases team morale• Builds Reputations• There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow unless you put it there• Keeps you from taking bad projectsProject EstimationPresented by Johnnie Fox
  • Discovery and Design Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • Discovery and Design • The good news is: its easier to estimate design work than an unknown project. Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • Discovery and Design • The good news is: its easier to estimate design work than an unknown project. • The other good news is: Customers will pay for good design work.  Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • Discovery and Design • The good news is: its easier to estimate design work than an unknown project. • The other good news is: Customers will pay for good design work.  • Blowing off bad customers at this point is a bonus Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • Discovery and Design • The good news is: its easier to estimate design work than an unknown project. • The other good news is: Customers will pay for good design work.  • Blowing off bad customers at this point is a bonus • Discovery and Design are the highest value add in the process. Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • Discovery and Design • The good news is: its easier to estimate design work than an unknown project. • The other good news is: Customers will pay for good design work.  • Blowing off bad customers at this point is a bonus • Discovery and Design are the highest value add in the process. • EVERY failed project skimped on these phases. Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • 1. The problem• What is this project anyway?• What technologies involved• What is involved on the clients side • Hardware • Hosting  • People • Departments/managersProject EstimationPresented by Johnnie Fox
  •  Customer Involvement Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  •  Customer Involvement •  Customer must be involved  Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  •  Customer Involvement •  Customer must be involved  • Can be one person  Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  •  Customer Involvement •  Customer must be involved  • Can be one person  • Could be multiple people,  Only ONE Decision Maker! Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  •  Customer Involvement •  Customer must be involved  • Can be one person  • Could be multiple people,  Only ONE Decision Maker! • You know they are participating when they tell you you have it wrong Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • 2.  Wireframes• Should be Low-Fi to begin with • bigger than a napkin  - get more napkins Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • 2. Wireframes• Tools • Photoshop / Omnigraffel • Google docs/drawing • Napkins • I like Balsamiq Mock-ups www.balsamiq.com • Drupal? • Tons of others - just search Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • Wireframes • Users think on screen = magically done• You  should have a mock up of each "type" of page.• Each type of widget should be mocked up • Mock-ups should be a part of the final design document with call outs to explain what happens where there is action.   Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • Wireframes• Print them out. Users should mark them up• Print them• On paper• Put a red pen in your users hand• Resist the urge to show mock-ups on screenProject EstimationPresented by Johnnie Fox
  • 3. Power of Teams• An estimate made by anyone that does not fully understand the work that is to be done is going to be poor.• Giving your team a look at the project can help you avoid potholes• Dont Poison the well - dont give leading information• It is better to ask how long did this take you the last time than "How long will this take" Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • 4. Estimate Time Time only comes in 2 sizes• 1/2 Day • Full DayBeware of estimates for a single item that are larger than 2 daysYou DO NOT understand the steps if your estimate is largerthan 2 days.  My experience is that an estimate of 3 days will be 5 days toweeks and weeks and weeks..... Project Estimation Photo Credit: h. koppdelaney http://www.flickr.com/photos/h-k-d/ Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • Did I mention that taskestimates of over 2 days are WRONG? Photo Credit:Bob Fomal http://www.flickr.com/photos/fornal/406285615/
  • 5. Customer Works• The customer must understand the functionality and appearance of what is going to be delivered.• You know they are participating if you get complaints• Do not accept "Ya, thats fine"• Customer has to be make the choices Photo credit: Amanda Slater about compromises http://www.flickr.com/photos/pikerslanefarm/ 4996863774/• Pictures describe better than text Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • 6. MAKE A LISTModified Delphi Estimation method.Developed by Rand Corporation in the 40sFancy word for list - Work BreakdownStructure (WBS) • Members of the team make their list of tasks SEPARATELY • After lists are made members meet and compare lists.  • Everyone must participate. • If there is no conflict and you didnt get any additions you are doing it wrong. Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • Time estimates are like hockey: It isnt really a game until a fight breaks out• Estimate separately• Fight out the differences together Photo Credit:Peter http://www.flickr.com/photos/psmithy/3282607845/ Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • Examples:Built by the underwear gnomes Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • About those listsHow do you create a task breakdown for something you havent donebefore?• You cant1.Do a prototype2.Find someone who has done it before sub-contract/buy training– Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • About those lists • Common pitfalls:1.Undiscovered requirements2.Undiscovered requirements3.Undiscovered requirements4.Overoptimistic/pessimistic  team members5.Undiscovered requirements6."You dont know how much you do not know"7.Uncommitted members of team (includes customer) Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • If I add up all the time..itstoo much• Since the customer is involved. Let them decide what to cut. Or to add budget.• Add up all the time then decide if you want to buy/discount the projectCheck your assumptions• Re-factor the solution• Reality will not change to no matter how much you need it to or how convenient that might be.• Some features may have to be cut• Some projects should be avoided. Project Estimation Photo Credit: Anthony Kelly http://www.flickr.com/photos/ Presented by Johnnie Fox 62337512@N00/4335060317/
  • PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER1.Understand the problem2.Make a Wireframe.3.Make the Customer tell you why its wrong4.Repeat steps 2 and 3 until Customer is exhausted5.Make a list of tasks (Work Breakdown Structure)6.Estimate time in fixed amounts7.Use the skill of the people you work with.8.Make a list of declined, deferred and discussed items that are NOT included.  Put this list in the contract9.Contract should state that only features that are in the contract are included.  No others. Project Estimation Presented by Johnnie Fox
  • Extreme Programming by Kent Beck Getting Real by 37 SignalsApplied Software Project Management by Stellman and Greene Software Estimation by Steve McConnell
  • Cat HerderFire FighterBad DancerProject Manager ResearcherDeveloper Johnnie Fox Johnnie@musiccitynetworks.com twitter: johnniefox