[thelist] How do you estimate time for any given project?

scott wolpow scott at netalytical.com
Fri Aug 29 20:39:25 CDT 2003

Well this is a very complex system. The company produces extruded metals. 
That forms the first part of the SKU. Then comes the length, then the type 
of finish, followed by color if needed. In the future there will be also 
room for fabrications to it.
For example
die num   length (expressed in inches) Finish                   Color
29087        192                                          Bronze 
Anodized               None

The client needs to be able to use the all variations to build then SKU's. 
They need to track how many of each SKU they have on hand, how many on 
reserve, how many are on order from the factory and how many are in transit.
I mention all this because the client failed to be specific in what they 
wanted. They gave me print outs of what they wanted. (It began as a three 
month project and  1 year later we are getting towards a working Beta. (I 
feel like the passengers on the Minnow))
So to get to the question. To estimate you must first find out exactly what 
they need, for all products. My clients would neglect to tell me key info. 
It is because they are so familiar with the items they do not see it. Like 
we do when giving support. Then you must build an IA structure. This might 
find what has been missed.
Figure out what is needed on each input page. Figure of what is needed on 
the output pages. Do a sample page and see how long it takes. Multiply by 
the amount of pages and add another 25%. Make sure that you allow for 
application creep and your client knows about it.
This is just the beginning. I will try and write up a quick white paper as 
I do not want to have an email that is much longer than this. If you want a 
copy send me your email.
(Now back to my vacation)

At 05:43 PM 08/29/2003 -0700, you wrote:
>actually I'd like to know also if you wouldn't mind
>posting some info on the list...
>--- scott wolpow <scott at netalytical.com> wrote:
>I am finishing a massive online inventory system. Contact me off list.
>Scott at publiccto.com
>At 04:38 PM 08/29/2003 -0500, you wrote:
> >Hello,
> >
> >This question has once again passed through my office: How do you
> >time for any given project? I would like to siphon your thoughts,
>ideas, or
> >other methods you use to get an estimate.
> >
> >For example, I was tasked just recently to demo the possibility of a
> >Based Inventory Management System. Some of you where involved with
> >(i.e. "Item A Item A Item A")
> >
> >I managed to churn out the demo in about 3 days (12 actual work
>hours). I
> >was asked to write up a proposal to convert the real live thing to a
> >secure scalable model for future interactions. I quoted around 100 man
> >with the help of one other colleague.
> >
> >The catch is I've never really done anything like this, so I have no
> >about how much to estimate.
> >
> >TIA,
> >
> >Rob.Smith
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