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Management Coursework Assignment on Project Plan and Cost

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Management Coursework Assignment on Project Plan and Cost

Top-Down Modeling
Several different techniques and methods exist for creating a project estimate.
The estimate is dependent upon the size and complexity of your project, along
with your organization’s culture toward estimating. A commonly used method is
analogous estimating (top-down estimating). This form of estimating uses the
actual results from a similar, finished task to determine the cost of the current
task. Software projects may use a method called function point analysis to
develop the cost estimates; it calculates an estimate based on the number of
inputs, outputs, and other project characteristics. Other methods include the
Delphi method (a group approach using experience to provide estimates) and
the COCOMO (constructed cost model) method developed by Barry Boehm.
Parametric Modeling
Parametric modeling is a technique that uses cost-estimating relationships
(CERs) that make use of product characteristics (such as development time) to
estimate costs and schedules. Using historical information, a model is created
that uses key criteria (complexity, number of sites, number of hours of
training, etc.) as a basis of estimating. Completed projects help determine
where the product characteristics, project schedules, and costs are known.
Then, the project team can determine how much a particular task will cost. Add
up all the tasks, and the project budget can be determined. For example, an
organization that develops instructor-led training may have a historical costestimating relationship that defines the number of hours of development work
for each hour of training.
Bottom-up Estimating
Bottom-up estimating is the technique of preparing a budget by looking at each
and every task involved in the project. An estimation of how much effort each
task will be notated and the totals will determine the project budget. With
accurate estimates, this can be an extremely thorough means of estimating.
The downside to this estimating technique is that it takes a very long time to
go through every task. This type should be used by the beginning to
intermediate project manager. Similar types of projects can use the top-down
plan, in which you have a general idea of what each phase will cost, and you
can budget accordingly. Otherwise, you can create your own parametric models
based on your own experiences.
Rough Order of Magnitude Estimate
Cost Methods
The rough order of magnitude (ROM) could also be called the ballpark figure. It
is a high-level estimate, usually given as a range based on preliminary
information and a large number of assumptions. This type of estimate is known
as an assumption and is typically used to determine the scope and feasibility of
a project. In many cases, this type of estimate is used as input to a budgeting
cycle, and when the project is approved, a more accurate, detailed estimating
method is used.
Contingency is the amount of cushion you build into your project estimate to
ensure that scope changes and cost overruns can be absorbed. The importance
of adding contingency to the project is so that the project manager has some
flexibility to adapt to changes. Contingency can also cover errors and
inaccuracies in project estimating. A project that uses an ROM estimate as
opposed to a parametric model estimate will likely need a higher amount of
contingency to cover the variability in the ROM estimate. A best practice is to
add contingency as a single line item in the project budget as opposed to
adding a specific percentage to each line item. There is no standard percentage
for contingency—the project manager should apply what they know from their
own experience or use what is the standard accepted by the organization.

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