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Software Project Estimation: Intelligent Forecasting, Project Control, and Client Relationship Management

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Have you been on projects where halfway down the road it seems increasingly unlikely that you will finish as desired, but you can’t put your finger on it and simply push through with a growing resentment? Have you been in meetings where scope discussions get increasingly difficult and depressing, ultimately sucking the energy out of everyone instead of enabling them to move forward with certainty and determination? Wouldn’t it be good if a confident assertion for the project’s ability to deliver is made as early as 1 or 2 months into the effort? What additional value and quality of working relationships can you generate if the time for estimation, tracking, and change management is slashed by a factor of 10 while simultaneously providing clients and team members with true peace of mind so they can focus on other important business activities? This book provides a practical tool that will help with all of this—it is a how-to book. But ultimately it is about the relationships we develop during projects and the appreciation of our colleagues and business partners.

It is 2019! Yet estimation and forecasting in the software development industry are still considered mystifying at best, and an archaic and obsolete concept at worst. Reliable forecasting continues to present a challenge for many teams and software development organizations. The practices associated with the two predominant software development methodologies are inadequate. Methods related to waterfall development are notoriously bad for long-term forecasting because they encourage too much information processing too early and have a tendency to skew reality into a Gantt chart. And methods that relate well to agile software development are not as notoriously bad, however, mostly because long-term forecasting is avoided altogether. This is problematic in many cases because it pushes important decisions too late in the project, adds unnecessary stress on people’s relationships, and ultimately diminishes the chances for successful projects.
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