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Step 2: Determine the Project Time-Box

The project time-box specifies the estimated duration of the project. Project effort and estimates for its duration should be based on industry best practices, such as function-point analysis; however, given the uncertainty of complex projects, estimates may not prove to be particularly accurate. The project time-box should be viewed as a boundary, not as a goal. As the time frame of complex projects extends beyond six-to-twelve months, the probability of any estimate being accurate drops precipitously. Time boundaries help manage the project by forcing trade-offs and by providing review points for learning.