On the Ibuildings blog today there's a new article that looks at some best practices when it comes to estimating the time you can tell the customer a "more correct" timeline for when things will be ready.
Our estimating team spent two months thinking and discussing how software companies create estimates; we discussed what works and what doesn't. While the final document itself, along with the accompanying workbook, are available internally only, some of what was learned about the meta process of estimating may be interesting to others. Here are four Best Practices that came out of the process that we want to share with everyone.
He looks at "rightsizing" your estimations to fit the project, using only qualified people and constantly monitor your estimates and those doing the estimates (to ensure things are progressing as they should).
The estimate is what it is; if the amount is too high for the customer to accept then the price per hour can be adjusted or the feature set can be reduced. The number of hours that the project will take, however, should never be arbitrarily adjusted simply to meet a client's budget.