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How to Estimate a Project: Thunderrise Experience

How to Estimate a Project: Thunderrise Experience

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It is generally agreed today that project estimation is a simple process and as a Project Manager you won’t have any trouble with it. But it’s not entirely true, it has some peculiarity that are bound to be mentioned since they might hinder the workflow of app development.

There is a slump of IT companies that don’t pay much of attention to clien’t needs so they don’t conduct an accurate estimation of customer’s project, so as a result company might lose the client. Project Manager’s task in this process is to prevent wrong project evaluation and deliver the most explicit data.

From some observations it becomes clear that there are complex causes of discrepancies between client’s and development team vision of the project. Project Manager need to become an important link between communication of parties. He has to deal with next problems.

The discrepancy of client requirement. Imagine, you discussed features of the project with your client but you didn’t write them down. Your development team gave their estimation. In a few days, the client gives you another variant of his vision. It is clear, that now you should re-estimate it with your team. 

Thunderrise tip: This problem can be solved by voice recording. This way you will save your time. Finally, when you create the structure of client’s project, I recommend you to listen to requirements all over again.

Lack of experience of your developer. This problem often occurs with young companies. As a result, project estimation is performed by non-professional developers. In the end it might lead to missing deadlines.To prevent this Project Manager need to be the one in charge of project estimation, also think up and control the development squad actions in advance.

How to Estimate a Project: Thunderrise Experience

Primary estimation is not realistic. If your developer misses the point of the project he will surely give you false estimation. Moreover, if the estimation is exaggerated, you will get bigger budget, and as a result, you can lose your client. On the other hand, if your project cost is underestimated, total payment will be inadequate.
Thunderrise tip: Involve all of your specialists into the project, let them feel themselves a part of a whole organic system.

Oh, take a deep breath and let it out… It’s not that bad. Let us try to understand why accurate estimation is so important for bringing to life your start up. First and foremost, if a client has an accurate estimation of budget and deadlines are known, it will enhance the credibility of your company! Don’t forget about your reputation, with several successful projects it will greatly increase. Let’s get straight to the point.

How to Estimate a Project correctly?

  1. Make up a general list of project features. If you want to accomplish the highest goal with your project, you should analyze client’s requirements and extract all features in one column.
    Thunderrise tip: I recommend you to divide features into groups depending on kinds of functionality they are responsible for.
  2. Divide general features into small parts. This way will make process simple. Besides, it will help you to get the accurate estimation because it is simple for programmers to appraise their development time.
  3. Discuss special aspects of the project with your development team. That’s exactly what we do in Thunderrise. We cannot ignore the fact that our programmers aren’t involved in the project. We always setting up meetings between development team and management squad (Project Manager, Sales Manager, and CEO). With this kind of development workflow, you will easily get creative ideas from your developers and new suggestions for major project’s problems.How to Estimate a Project: Thunderrise Experience
  4. Estimate features with development team. Keep in mind the time for the test! Successful estimation directly depends on extra time for development. This time-scope comprises a period for Q&A and optimization. It’s a good way to elude bugs and system warnings.
  5. Add up cost estimate and make provisions for apt expenses. Noticeable, that when customers see a cost estimation with prediction time for some expenses he is more apt to work with you till the logical end of the project.
    Thunderrise tip: Point out some benefits for your customer’s, it will increase confidence in your company!

Technological documentation in IT

Furthermore, one shouldn’t forget that very important part of project estimation is writing technical documentation. It should be written before the project starts. At Thunderrise we spend 1 week for writing documentation and planning sprints (in keeping with Agile). What is more, we establish it with a client and then give it to our development team. In turn, our developers will analyze it and bring your project to life!

Thunderrise tip: Look at features list, perhaps you have already done few of them in another project of your company. Previous experience surely will make the development workflow easier.

With the benefit of hindsight, we use the specific approach to decrease the development time. For example, we involve experts (senior developers or CTO) to dev process. They have great experience and finally, we come with out-of-the-box-solution of our trouble. Similar approach can stimulate your developer team and sure enough reduce estimate scope.

To draw the conclusion, I can say that estimation time depends on many aspects, that we have already reviewed together. Thunderrise Dev Team’s responsible time estimation approach and our Project Managers time spent on project estimation will implement your idea to life within reasonable timeframes and in high quality standards. Contact us and we will create great things together. Have a nice day!