UBC Award of Achievement in Project Management with Microsoft Project >

4. Specifying and Estimating Deliverables

Friday, Mar 11, 2016 Or Sat-June 4, 2016

1. Scheduling Projects and tasks
Feb 19, 2016 Or May 27 2016
2. Managing projects and resources
Feb 26, 2016 Or Sat-May 28 2016
3. Initiating Projects Laying the Foundations for Success
Mar 4, 2016 Or June 3, 2016
4. Specifying and Estimating Deliverables
Mar 11, 2016 Or Sat-June 4, 2016
5. Building High-performance Teams to fast track projects
April 1, 2016 Or June 10, 2016
6. Communicate progress to clients and management
Mar 4, 2016 Or Sat, June 11, 2016
Brian Mullen , M.Sc, MCP,  your workshop leader UBC Robson Square

Estimating project effort and budget for a project is the biggest challenge a project manager faces. Before clients commit to a project they want to know how long a project will take and how much the project will cost.

Specify and Estimate Deliverables

See detailed agenda.

Projects deliver results to help clients reach objectives. Deliverables are the results produced by projects and tasks. Deliverables include systems, product designs, facilities, equipment, hardware, networks, new methods and procedures along with the associated documentation, training and support.

The fourth session covers key role that deliverables play in the planning process. Your Statement of Work defining the deliverables, determines what makes each project unique. Each deliverable requires a finite set of tasks to produce based on the method of delivery. Selecting a method of delivery for each deliverable influences schedule, cost and risk. The method of delivery determines skill sets and resource types to produce that deliverable.

Specification of deliverables starts during project initiation.  These specifications are refined during the Requirements  and the Design phases of a project. Each deliverable can be broken down by a bill of materials. Specification methods can be written, pictures, sketches, tabular, mathematical, graphical, schematics and diagrams.

Understanding the deliverables provides the basis for estimating and change control. Deliverables determine the size of your project. Increasing scope of deliverables will increase your budget and schedule. Specifications define what is to be delivered and provide the foundation for change control. 

Creating specifications to define the deliverables from projects, phases and deliverables communicates what the project has to accomplish and establishes agreement between the client and the project team.

How long a project takes to complete depends upon size of the project, the quality of the project planning, and the performance of the project team. Your deliverables determine the size of your project.

Translating scope into realistic estimates requires historical records of previous projects. Projects vary in size so estimating requires a method to extrapolate between projects. The schedule depends upon the work effort and the size of your project team. You can reduce the schedule by increasing the size of the project team.

Your estimate establishes expectations with your client. They plan other business activities based on when the project will be delivered. Underestimating work effort, schedule and budget has significant downstream impact.

The project budget built up from labor, equipment and materials. Labor and equipment costs are the most challenging to estimate.

Labor costs depend upon work effort and cost per unit hour. The work effort depends upon the size of the activities to be completed, the method chosen to complete the work and the performance of the resources performing the work. Higher performance reduces the work required. Performance depends upon the experience of the team, the methods chosen and level of preparation for the task.

Once you know the work effort for a task you can compute the cost with the formula:

Cost = Work * cost rate per hour.

A key step in estimating is to quantify the project size compared to other projects of a similar nature. Accurate project records require creation and update of project plans for these projects. Estimating helped if these projects have a standard work breakdown structure with a detailed specification of the deliverables. As well you need to know how to extrapolate between projects

Participants will learn to:

  1. Specify deliverables to achieve client objectives
  2. Decompose deliverables into components to create a bill of materials.
  3. Select delivery method for each component.
  4. Create an assembly sequence to assemble the project deliverables.
  5. Generate a project schedule based on deliverables.
  6. Understand the importance of strategy in ensuring a successful project.
  7. Measure project size and performance with parameters
  8. Overcome the challenges of estimating
  9. Apply industry standard estimating methods
  10. Estimate effort and cost by phase for each deliverable.
  11. Calibrate industry methods for your organization.
  12. Develop estimating spreadsheets rules of thumb

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4. Specifying and Estimating Deliverables
Mar 11, 2016 Or Sat-June 4, 2016, 9am - 4pm. 
  Topic Specifying Deliverables Clearly agenda
9am Specify Deliverables clearly
  • Understand Project deliverables types. 
  • Document client requirements
9:30 Specify deliverables to achieve client objectives
  • Understand project planning deliverables. 
  • Prepare statement of work defining deliverables. 
  • Decide delivery method (build, buy, assemble) for each component. 
10am Coffee 
10:15am Assembly Sequence planning.
  • Construct Assembly Sequence with Microsoft Project
  • Prepare master schedule. 
  • Re-use sub-tasks to reduce planning effort. 
11:15 Select superior strategies
  • Select method of delivery
  • Specification methods and repositories
11:00am Manage complexity with matrix decomposition.
  • Sequence stages for execution.
  • Identify tasks within phase for each summary tasks. 
  • Define work breakdown structure with Progressive Decomposition. 
  • Structure tasks in clusters with Outlining. 
  • Reduce complexity with matrix decomposition. 
  • Define project management methodology with Microsoft Project. 
  • Simplify complex subjects with Patterns.
  • Generate project plans from Estimating spreadsheets
11:45 noon Lunch break  
12:45 pm Estimating scope.
  • Challenges of estimating
  • Estimate project size
  • Estimating metrics
  • Estimating pipeline cost
 1:30 pm Apply  industry standard estimating methods
  • Estimating software development projects
  • Quantify project size
  • Applying industry standard performance metrics
  • Determine skills and resource types for each activity.
  • Estimate team performance/productivity
  • Improving team performance
  • Build project plans from estimating spreadsheets . 
2:30pm Coffee
2:45 pm Determine phasing strategy
  • Chunk project into phases and  by deliverables.
  • Package project into releases (alternative 3). 
  • Reduce planning complexity by looking for repeating patterns with Matrix decomposition. 
  • Select appropriate sequence for project phasing. 
  • Define tasks and sub-tasks under each project phase with methodology. 
  • Repeat decomposition to next level. 
  • Agile approach to scheduling
  • Achieve cognitive economy with matrix decomposition.
3:30 pm Improve estimating capability
  • Standardize WBS breakdowns with templates
  • Validate estimating methods with historical projects
  • Capture actual work effort with timesheets
  • Create historical records

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email Brian Mullen with your questions

Updated: Dec. 12, 2015.