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Provide numbers to backup your estimates.

One item we commonly forget when providing estimates is to remind our customer (and ourselves) how large the project is.  We sometimes throw out an estimate with a large number of hours and feel guilty about how high the number is.   The customer sees the estimate and thinks we are blowing the project out of proportion.   In reality we looked at the project and we know how complex it is.  But communicating that can be difficult.

Sometimes just adding raw numbers to the conversation puts things into perspective.  Recently I was asked to analyze how much time it would take to do a large conversion.   I knew the project was big, and I knew my estimate would be perceived as high.  But I didn’t know exactly the best way to communicate it.

Just by pulling some raw numbers put my high estimate into a better light.  When the customer sees these numbers, and sees my estimate, they connect the dots.  This suggestion can be used with any technology or job.

Here is some example numbers that can be sent to the customer.

  1. Conversion includes 150 database views.
  2. Conversion includes 71 stored procedures.
  3. There is 70 forms and 50 reports that needs tested.
  4. In all the forms there is 177 buttons and 899 textboxes.  We need to check all of these to ensure there is no problems.

So the next time your not so confident about your estimate, and you think your customer may not appreciate your experience.  Throw some numbers into the mix to remind the customer that their “simple” project is not so simple.

 

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