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Need template (possibly Excel) for estimating a software project

  1. #1
    PAUL M.
    Guest

    Need template (possibly Excel) for estimating a software project

    Hello,
    I need a template / tool (possibly excel) to estimate a software
    project. Any one know of anything?
    Cheers
    Paul M



  2. #2
    Rod Gill
    Guest

    Re: Need template (possibly Excel) for estimating a software project

    No such thing! If you think the project will take 6 months schedule 1 year.
    If you think it will take 1 year schedule 2. If you think it will take 2
    years it will probably never finish!!

    Seriously you have to start from the business deliverables. I recommend
    getting all key stakeholders into the same room and brainstorm what all
    their wins and losses will be. The wins are business deliverables, the
    losses business risks.

    Choose 20% of the features adjusting for size and complexity as much as
    possible.

    Schedule and deliver a release for this 20%. Deploy and use for 3 months
    then repeat the process for the next 20% and so on.

    Any schedule you get from someone else is almost guaranteed to cause more
    problems and wrong expectations than added value.

    Finally, the bigger and more complex the project, the vital an experienced
    project manager and skilled resources are. A top 5% resource is 20 times
    more productive than an average programmer: get the best.

    PS, please don't multi-post. If I'd seen you'd posted to multiple groups
    before sending I wouldn't have responded as someone else may have already,
    so wasting my time.

    --

    Rod Gill
    Project MVP
    Visit www.msproject-systems.com for Project Companion Tools and more


    "PAUL M." <paul@nospam.wanadoo.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:dm54e1$ec2$1@newsg4.svr.pol.co.uk...
    > Hello,
    > I need a template / tool (possibly excel) to estimate a software
    > project. Any one know of anything?
    > Cheers
    > Paul M
    >




  3. #3
    Marcel
    Guest

    Re: Need template (possibly Excel) for estimating a software proje

    Paul

    there are plenty around most seem to be around function point analysis for
    instance a set amount of time per functional element.

    do a search on the internet or perhaps tucows


    regards


    Marcel

    "Rod Gill" wrote:

    > No such thing! If you think the project will take 6 months schedule 1 year.
    > If you think it will take 1 year schedule 2. If you think it will take 2
    > years it will probably never finish!!
    >
    > Seriously you have to start from the business deliverables. I recommend
    > getting all key stakeholders into the same room and brainstorm what all
    > their wins and losses will be. The wins are business deliverables, the
    > losses business risks.
    >
    > Choose 20% of the features adjusting for size and complexity as much as
    > possible.
    >
    > Schedule and deliver a release for this 20%. Deploy and use for 3 months
    > then repeat the process for the next 20% and so on.
    >
    > Any schedule you get from someone else is almost guaranteed to cause more
    > problems and wrong expectations than added value.
    >
    > Finally, the bigger and more complex the project, the vital an experienced
    > project manager and skilled resources are. A top 5% resource is 20 times
    > more productive than an average programmer: get the best.
    >
    > PS, please don't multi-post. If I'd seen you'd posted to multiple groups
    > before sending I wouldn't have responded as someone else may have already,
    > so wasting my time.
    >
    > --
    >
    > Rod Gill
    > Project MVP
    > Visit www.msproject-systems.com for Project Companion Tools and more
    >
    >
    > "PAUL M." <paul@nospam.wanadoo.co.uk> wrote in message
    > news:dm54e1$ec2$1@newsg4.svr.pol.co.uk...
    > > Hello,
    > > I need a template / tool (possibly excel) to estimate a software
    > > project. Any one know of anything?
    > > Cheers
    > > Paul M
    > >

    >
    >
    >


  4. #4
    xpyttl
    Guest

    Re: Need template (possibly Excel) for estimating a software project

    "Rod Gill" <rod AT project-systems DOT co DOT nz> wrote in message
    news:eRQcwHT8FHA.3132@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
    > No such thing!


    Actually, there are some very good ones. But they tend to be pretty
    specific to the organization that created them. A good estimating template
    will be calibrated to the organization, and recalibrated frequently.

    The approach outlined by Rod is fairly typical. These estimates tend to be
    optimistic by a large amount, which is why he suggests roughly doubling the
    estimate.

    With little experience to guide you, probably the best approach is to size
    the request ... i.e., estimate the number of function points. Then look on
    the web to get a range of the typical capabilities of different
    organizations. Capers Jones, among others, has quite a lot of data.
    Productivity varies on the type of application, the tools you use, etc., so
    understand the variables. Recognize that since you don't have your own
    estimating model, you are probably among the less productive shops, so look
    to the low end of productivity in making your estimate.

    If you have some history (sounds like you don't) a better approach is to go
    back and size projects you have already done and see what it costs you to
    deliver a function point.

    Another way, subject to greater subjectivity, is to use a method like
    Cocomo. Cocomo is fairly widely used, but it depends on estimating lines of
    code. This is harder than estimating function points, and likely to lead to
    more optimistic estimates.

    An intermediate approach would be to size the request, then use a conversion
    table for your development environment to convert function points to lines
    of code (there are tables on the web). Then you can use Cocomo with a
    somewhat more objective size estimate.

    Whatever method you choose, begin keeping detailed track of the actual size,
    size estimates, and costs of doing your projects. Over time, you can get
    quite good at it, but only if you keep the data and pay attention to it.

    To come up with an estimating template in Excel requires quite a lot of
    data. Good templates ask a lot of questions about the application that you
    can know at requirements time. Each of those questions will result in some
    sort of factor. You need data from a lot of projects, many hundreds at
    least, to calibrate all those factors.

    ...



  5. #5
    Dave
    Guest

    RE: Need template (possibly Excel) for estimating a software project



    "PAUL M." wrote:

    > Hello,
    > I need a template / tool (possibly excel) to estimate a software
    > project. Any one know of anything?
    > Cheers
    > Paul M
    >
    >
    >


    I came across this example of an MS-Project file - I thought it looked like
    it had potential...

    http://www.gantthead.com/projectPlan.cfm?ID=121789


    Dave


  6. #6
    Al C-F
    Guest

    Re: Need template (possibly Excel) for estimating a software project

    Rod Gill wrote:

    >
    > Seriously you have to start from the business deliverables. I recommend
    > getting all key stakeholders into the same room and brainstorm what all
    > their wins and losses will be. The wins are business deliverables, the
    > losses business risks.


    You're certain it's a business change project then?

    >
    > Choose 20% of the features adjusting for size and complexity as much as
    > possible.
    >
    > Schedule and deliver a release for this 20%. Deploy and use for 3 months
    > then repeat the process for the next 20% and so on.


    Nice idea, assuming 1/5th of the project is of some value.

    >
    > Any schedule you get from someone else is almost guaranteed to cause more
    > problems and wrong expectations than added value.


    Depends on the detail. Perfectly sound frameworks can be expressed as
    project templates, leaving the PM and his team to develop the detail.
    Can you say 'progressive elaboration'?

    >
    > Finally, the bigger and more complex the project, the vital an experienced
    > project manager and skilled resources are. A top 5% resource is 20 times
    > more productive than an average programmer: get the best.


    Such precision in such a sweeping generalisation. Care to define
    'best', in a cost/benefit style?
    >
    > PS, please don't multi-post. If I'd seen you'd posted to multiple groups
    > before sending I wouldn't have responded as someone else may have already,
    > so wasting my time.


    If you're so worried about wasting your time, why are you fiddling
    around on usenet?
    >


  7. #7
    H. S. Lahman
    Guest

    Re: Need template (possibly Excel) for estimating a software project

    Responding to PAUL M....

    > I need a template / tool (possibly excel) to estimate a software
    > project. Any one know of anything?


    That depends on what sort of estimation you do. I would recommend
    estimation based on relative size because people are much better at
    estimating X is bigger than Y than they are at estimating the absolute
    size of either. If you insert one module that is small and another that
    is rather large and both those modules already exist, then these
    benchmarks can be used to calibrate the relative size estimates in
    absolute terms.

    This really doesn't require much of a tool. Just a white board and
    Post-Its for the team to define the relative order by consensus and five
    minutes with a hand calculator to calibrate the absolute estimates
    should be enough.

    [Back in the late '90s I reviewed a paper on this approach for IEEE
    Software that was published ca '99 or so. Alas, I can't find it so I
    don't recall the title or author. However, the author had a tool that
    he was planning to market to automate the calibration. It was also a
    bit more sophisticated in that is allowed 'bigger', 'much bigger', and
    'very much bigger' estimates for finer scaling.]

    *************
    There is nothing wrong with me that could
    not be cured by a capful of Drano.

    H. S. Lahman
    hsl@pathfindermda.com
    Pathfinder Solutions -- Put MDA to Work
    http://www.pathfindermda.com
    blog: http://pathfinderpeople.blogs.com/hslahman
    (888)OOA-PATH




  8. #8
    Dan Ligett
    Guest

    Re: Need template (possibly Excel) for estimating a software project


    "PAUL M." <paul@nospam.wanadoo.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:dm54e1$ec2$1@newsg4.svr.pol.co.uk...
    > Hello,
    > I need a template / tool (possibly excel) to estimate a software
    > project. Any one know of anything?
    > Cheers
    > Paul M


    Paul,

    Our COCOMO-based estimation tool, Costar, might help. You can download a
    demo from:
    http://www.softstarsystems.com

    Dan Ligett, Softstar Systems, (603) 672-0987



  9. #9
    prjctfish@gmail.com
    Guest

    Re: Need template (possibly Excel) for estimating a software project

    I agree with everyone above but also add that given that you may over
    estimate what you can deliver, make certain that you prioritize the
    functionality. I have just finished the Analysis Phase of a 14 month
    software project and we have already decided to cut scope (move to
    phase 2) because of risks that were uncovered. Because we strategized
    and completed our technical analysis with components in mind, pushing a
    chunk of functionality to phase 2, based on priority, was not a huge
    issue.

    Simon

    http://www.simonmetz.com/project_management/


  10. #10
    prjctfish@gmail.com
    Guest

    Re: Need template (possibly Excel) for estimating a software project

    I agree with everyone above but also add that given that you may over
    estimate what you can deliver, make certain that you prioritize the
    functionality. I have just finished the Analysis Phase of a 14 month
    software project and we have already decided to cut scope (move to
    phase 2) because of risks that were uncovered. Because we strategized
    and completed our technical analysis with components in mind, pushing a
    chunk of functionality to phase 2, based on priority, was not a huge
    issue.

    Simon

    http://www.simonmetz.com/project_management/


  11. #11
    prjctfish@gmail.com
    Guest

    Re: Need template (possibly Excel) for estimating a software project

    I agree with everyone above but also add that given that you may over
    estimate what you can deliver, make certain that you prioritize the
    functionality. I have just finished the Analysis Phase of a 14 month
    software project and we have already decided to cut scope (move to
    phase 2) because of risks that were uncovered. Because we strategized
    and completed our technical analysis with components in mind, pushing a
    chunk of functionality to phase 2, based on priority, was not a huge
    issue.

    Simon

    http://www.simonmetz.com/project_management/


  12. #12
    prjctfish@gmail.com
    Guest

    Re: Need template (possibly Excel) for estimating a software project

    I agree with everyone above but also add that given that you may over
    estimate what you can deliver, make certain that you prioritize the
    functionality. I have just finished the Analysis Phase of a 14 month
    software project and we have already decided to cut scope (move to
    phase 2) because of risks that were uncovered. Because we strategized
    and completed our technical analysis with components in mind, pushing a
    chunk of functionality to phase 2, based on priority, was not a huge
    issue.

    Simon

    http://www.simonmetz.com/project_management/


  13. #13
    JXStern
    Guest

    Re: Need template (possibly Excel) for estimating a software project

    On Thu, 24 Nov 2005 19:30:57 -0000, "PAUL M."
    <paul@nospam.wanadoo.co.uk> wrote:
    > I need a template / tool (possibly excel) to estimate a software
    >project. Any one know of anything?


    Available budget:
    Competitive bids:
    Value of completed system:

    Your budget: =min(B1:B3)


    J.




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