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Project Management Checklists For Dummies by Nick Graham

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Chapter 23

Ten Tips for Estimating

In This Chapter

arrow It’s not just you – estimating is seriously tricky

arrow The huge value of historical data

arrow Three cases when you’re unsure – best case, worst case, most likely

Estimating is notoriously difficult … in most industry areas anyway. If you find that estimating to be a problem you needn’t feel lonely. Some areas, such as IT, have a few techniques to help, but even there you’ll often find limitations. An exception is the construction industry. If you ask for an estimate for an extension on your home, a builder will come back with the total cost remarkably quickly. So how does he do that when most people struggle for ages with project estimates?

tip.eps For a list of techniques, including estimating techniques, have a look at Chapter 20.

The answer to the building estimates question is rather simple. Your local builder looks at the different elements needed for the extension, and then he looks up the estimates in a commercially available book. For each item the book gives a unit, such as a square metre, and then the cost for materials, labour and total. ...

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