University of Management and Technology (UMT)
Bad estimates are a leading source of project failure: if you promise to do a five-month job in three-months --- and it really is a five-month job -- schedule slippages and cost overruns are hardwired into the project before any work has begun. Clearly, individuals and organizations intent on reducing the levels of project failure they encounter need to focus attention on improving the way they develop estimates of costs, schedules, and resource requirements.
This course balances the "soft" and "hard" dimensions of estimation. On the soft side, it emphasizes that factors, such as the optimism of the sales staff, the naivete of the technical team, and political pressures to win a job at any cost, contribute mightily to understating cost, schedule, and resource realities. On the hard side, it describes a series of techniques -- including trend extrapolation and Monte Carlo simulation -- that enable capable estimators to do a better job of forecasting project requirements.