Delivery Date? Let Me Check My Crystal Ball…

How often are you pressured to commit to unrealistic delivery dates? How do you know if your projections are good or bad? How can you effectively convince others when you’re going by gut feel?

Find yourself constantly asking these questions and more? We recently launched a new feature that helps take some of the guesswork out of delivering real-world estimations.

Abracadabra Delivery Date

When someone is asking you for an estimate, what they’re really asking is, “When can I have it?” What they’re really telling you is, “I wanted it yesterday.” In these situations, project managers are subjected to unreasonable pressures:

  • No time. Stakeholders hate to hear that creating estimates takes time. And consumes resources. “What do you mean I have to pay to find out how much it’ll cost?” Sound familiar?
  • Limited information. When estimates are requested and there are too many variables to create a reasonable response.
  • No benchmarks. Only in the most highly rigorous organizations do you find project benchmarking being captured and managed.
  • No training. Project managers rarely have formal training in project estimation.

More often than not, coming up with a delivery date is tantamount to crystal ball gazing.  Many project managers find themselves waving a finger in the air, making a “guesstimate” based on an imperfect understanding of the requirements. And however hard you try to account for all the uncertainties, you’re screwed.

  • Deliver early? They’ll assume you padded the estimate and won’t take future forecasts seriously.
  • Deliver late? You’ll be roasted for increasing the cost of the project, negatively impacting ROI, and putting dependent business milestones at risk.

In an ideal world, accurate estimates would be available instantly without wasting people’s time and they would be produced in tangent with a complete understanding of the solution you’re planning for. How often does that happen? How many times have you guessed wrong? How much developer time have you wasted creating estimates only to have them discounted, ignored or subordinated to someone else’s whim?

In an attempt to step a bit closer to project management Utopia, LeanKit has recently introduced a Forecasting and Risk Management solution. To learn more about generating accurate forecasts to help you predict delivery dates, please contact sales@leankit.com.

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