Project Estimating

Duration: 2 Days

PDUs: 14

CEUs: 1.4


  • Project Managers
  • Team Members

  • Classroom Delivery

  • Virtual Delivery


You are routinely asked to develop effort, cost, and duration estimates for projects that may last only a few days or for projects that can span years. Ironically, few IT professionals have had any formal education in the art and science of estimating. Development of realistic and justifiable estimates is a crucial point in any project lifecycle because this is where the team sets expectations of scope, cost, time, and quality. Unfortunately, far too many projects are grossly underestimated, resulting in inevitable cost and schedule overruns, resulting in a loss of credibility for the project team. A good estimate is defensible and establishes a level of professional confidence between the sponsor and the team, conveying to the sponsor the feeling that the estimates are fair (challenging, but achievable). A well-founded estimate further provides the team with a sound foundation for negotiations of estimated cost, resources, and time.


The objective of this session is to introduce proven techniques for creating realistic and defensible estimates. You will learn and practice estimating techniques from effort distribution and parametric models, to detailed task-based estimates for projects of varying sizes and complexities. You will also learn the relative benefits, and correct application, of each estimating technique.

  • Pinpoint the reasons for poor estimates
  • Discover the differences among the Flinch Test, Estimate-to-Please, and defensible estimates
  • Understand the differences between size estimates, detailed estimates, and schedules
  • Assess the impact of project complexity on an estimate
  • Compute the impact of team skills, work interruptions, and productivity environment on estimates
  • Create size estimates using parametric and deliverable-based models
  • Develop detailed task-based effort, cost, and duration estimates, and
  • assess and account for contingencies
  • Perform cost and critical path compression
  • Present and defend estimates with confidence