How Do We Do Project Estimation?

Before starting a new project we always prepare an estimation for it. First of all, it is vital to understand that project estimation as well as project delivery are multi-stage processes. 

To complete the estimation our team integrates several specialists to ensure our work meets the highest standard. 

Stage 1: Let’s talk through the project details

To make the most precise time/budget estimation it is essential for us to be aware of all project details. That is in Account Manager’s official responsibility. 

We expect our client to provide the Account Manager with initial documentation of the project which would give us an idea of the project’s mission and vision. 

The Account Manager reads through the documentation and makes sure all the project details are clear. In case there are questions regarding functionality, the Account manager will contact you to get more information. 

Stage 2: Let the developers see

The developer’s job is to get acquainted with the required function in the provided documents and to split the whole project into tasks. Why?

Agile approach and Minimum Value Product (MVP)
Our team is committed to the agile software development approach which allows us to be flexible and responsive to changes. We carefully split big projects into smaller pieces of work – iterations. Each iteration consists of tasks. For the first iteration we always offer to start from launching the Minimum Value Product (MVP). 

MVP is a product with the minimum set of prior  functions required for the project. 

Why is it good for our clients? Once our team completes the MVP tasks we present a product with a minimum set of functions that can be used.
By giving our clients the ability to test and see the first outcome of our partnership increases trust, emphasizes transparency of our company and shows our commitment to the project. 

Iterations and Task division
According to our work approach, developers will make a separate estimation for each iteration. Each task for the project iteration (e.g. MVP) is also estimated separately, and as a result the total project estimation is the most accurate.

It is helpful if our client prefers to add more functions or to make changes in the initial vision of the program. Then we will be able to add new functionality or make amendments to our project plan. 

Iteration estimation 

The developers provide an optimistic and pessimistic estimation for each task in hours required for one iteration. 

This estimation further goes to the Account Manager.

Stage 3: Checking the resources

While the developers prepare the time estimation required for the project measured in actual working hours, the Resource Manager distributes the resource load.
The Resource Manager will make an estimation of time required to complete the project, taking into account the current load of the developers. 

Stage 4: Proposal

The account manager prepares a Proposal document for the client where all functions and estimations are described in detail.

Stage 5: Agreement
Once the client gets acquainted with the Proposal document, the Account Manager gets in touch with the client to agree on the time and budget. Once these are agreed the project is passed to the Project Manager, who will further oversee the project. 

Notes. 

Estimation is work too. It is vital to have the most accurate details of the project in order to make the most precise estimation. 

Maria, Project Manager at A2 Design