Incorrectly estimating a product development schedule can cause endless grief: cost overruns, inefficient resource allocation, and unhappy customers. If you’re doing seat-of-the-pants schedule estimation, you’ve probably had more than a few arguments among team members or with management about what numbers to plug in. The truth is that it’s hard to have an adult conversation about scheduling when you don’t have a simple, reliable tool. There are lots of elaborate software tools available for estimating schedules and churning out beautiful charts, but most of them are expensive, complicated, and based on flimsy data. It ends up that no one wants to use them.
To tackle this problem, PDC developed the Parametric Schedule Estimation Tool. It’s built in an Excel spreadsheet—something everyone already knows how to use—designed to leverage the top five to seven critical parameters that consistently drive your schedules. The tool grows more valuable over time as you build up historical data about projects.
By engaging PDC to introduce and customize the tool based on your project experience, you can
- Immediately start using important project parameters to estimate and attach time estimates to each.
- Leverage the experience of your project teams to identify the top five to seven factors that make or break your schedule for each phase of a project, based on what made or broke them in the past.
- Create a time range using trade-offs for each phase based on factors that have actually made a difference in the past.
- Create a historical picture of your project schedules that grows more accurate—and thus more powerful—over time.
- Present your entire schedule in a one-page Excel spreadsheet.
- Have adult conversations about schedule estimates.