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18

Well the easy and probably not completely helpful answer is, agile requires a change in how the business plans. You fund teams, not projects. That's not entirely helpful so let me try and bridge the gap. The success of an agile project boils down to having a good backlog and dedicated teams. If you don't spend time planning a backlog, then you'll never ...


15

TL; DR Who is responsible for the project's money? The Product Owner is responsible for directing the use of the project's budget, while the funding source of the project varies by organization. Funding a Project Projects are funded in organization-specific ways. Usually, a project sponsor gets funding from a steering committee or the CFO. In other ...


11

TL;DR For agile projects, a basic formula for estimating budget is: (totalStoryPoints / velocity * teamHoursPerSprint) + nonLaborCosts = budgetEstimate The results should be reported as an estimated range using statistical confidence intervals or a "high, low, average" method. Estimate Budget Using Iterations The "secret" to estimating agile budgets is ...


8

Management Owns Cost-Overruns A Developer estimates between 70 to 100 hours for a task. Due to the urgency of the task and the developer's unavailability, a far less experienced developer is assigned to the project. The new developer takes 200 hours to complete the task. This is the agency's responsibility 100% of the time. Whether the estimate was wrong,...


6

Use Backlog Estimation to Provide Planning Values In Scrum, teams often perform a first pass through the Product Backlog (generally at the Theme or Epic levels) at the start of a project in order to define project scope and to set initial target dates. While story points, Sprint Goals, and the Product Backlog frequently change over the life of the project, ...


6

Risks are typically classified into these two categories: Known Unknowns and Unknown Unknowns. You can break the latter down into Unknown Knowable Unknowns and Unknown Unknownable Unknowns. Known knowns are not risks since this implies certainty. You have two types of drivers when it comes to your budget and schedule risks. The first driver is ...


6

One way to think about it is using the classic "accuracy vs. effort" curve. Sure, you can spend significant time planning up front, but you quickly hit diminishing returns on accuracy and will most definitely waste time planning things that won't make it into the final product (placing yourself far along the curve). Or you can take an agile mindset and ...


6

TL;DR Your job as a Product Owner (PO) or Project Manager (PM) is not to have all the answers. Your job is to have a vision, and to communicate options to stakeholders and business decision-makers. Analysis and Solutions What if somebody is asking a salary increase? if I keep him, I have higher costs. Hence probably my budget will blow up. I can try to ...


5

Think "Communications," Not Collections The nature of your budgetary obligations is obviously dependent on the definition of the Project Manager role within your particular organization. However, in my experience "chasing money" isn't the proper role of a project management professional. For example, you are probably not an enforcer working for a loan-...


5

Yes and no. The controls you put into place are the same no matter the size. A project is a project. However, when you are dealing with more money, you are dealing with more risk, so the rigor and formality will increase. This means your documentation becomes more formal, your processes more explicit and monitored, your inspections formally scheduled.


5

Two key expectations from a PM are: Assess, track and report Risk Manage Stakeholder's expectations You are doing all the risk management, and it seems the second part could be improved. So, you could take some actions, such as Consider and cost, on your original plan, the risk of going 50% beyond schedule. With this, you'll be agreeing upfront the ...


4

TL;DR Risks can be accepted, controlled, or transferred. Your project plan should certainly include risk analysis and recommended controls, but the risks properly belong to the project stakeholders. As the project manager, you should focus on documenting the risks and providing reasonable project controls for those risks that aren't accepted or transferred. ...


4

All in all, I really would like to understand what Budget Cost actually means compared to EAC and the Opportunity Cost for example and who is responsible for calculating it? Budget Cost is essentially the estimate of total project costs at the start of the project. Since this is an estimate it can (likely will) be somewhat different than the Cost of the ...


4

An interesting question and the right kind for anyone who wants to build their career to be asking. Every answer you receive will involve some (or many) generalizations. For context, I will keep the discussion to custom software development projects that are an order of magnitude above what you are doing now. Project Characteristics The characteristics of ...


4

TL; DR Big-budget projects aren't about pinching Lincoln until he screams; they're about deliverable high-stakes business value. The frameworks, and most of the controls, will remain the same. It's your perspective that needs to change most. Impact of Budget on Frameworks From a framework standpoint, the project's budget has nothing to do directly with ...


4

I'm going to read between lines a bit here, but I think the issue that management has is not explicitly that the mitigation strategy is too reactive- mitigation, almost by definition, has to be reactive. I think the issue is that the way you are handling the project is demonstrating that you don't really know what the budget or timescale should be and that ...


4

There is a difference between an estimate and planning value. An estimate is a probabilistic range and should include variables such as less qualified resources doing the work plus about 1,000 other aleatory and epistemic variables. Therefore, the proper estimate should have been 70 to 200+ hours. In this range, you need to chose the planning value, say ...


4

TL;DR There's nothing wrong with your vendor's model. The problems are: There's a mismatch between their business model and yours; and Your budget doesn't account for the known costs and business model of your current vendor. You have lots of alternative options. Pick one. Analysis Pay 2-5 hours for investigating, if it is fixed during those hours we ...


3

There is a joke: "Project managers are people that believe 9 women can give birth to one baby in a month." It is your professional responsibility to set realistic expectations. Going all out and working a 80+ hr. week is mentally exhausting, which in software development leads to more bugs than genuine progress. In France since 2000, the legal work week is ...


3

I suggest to sit down with your boss and talk about responsibilities and expectations. It sounds that he gave you something (the freedom) and expects something in return that he forgot to mention to you. There is a common misunderstanding that the extra work requires overtime. I think you as a project manager are expected to organise and prioritise your ...


3

The PM is accountable for all aspects of the project, including satisfaction of money owed to all vendors, including his/her own organization. So, the involvement needs to be consistent with accountability. Delegate tasks as you see fit, but accountability for task completion and success is not transferable. EDIT: If you are a seller of services, you ...


3

See FedBizOpps.gov: https://www.fbo.gov This is where the gov posts its RFP's. You may not be dealing with the federal gov't but this is a place to begin your research as the general process is similar. Since you are dealing with some kind of gov't agency, and you are just starting out, I strongly recommend that you hop on down to your local SBA and get ...


3

So my question: how can I a) work around not having crucial information, or b) explain to my boss that in order to do my job properly, I need that crucial information? In the absence of budget and time constraints your main objective is to prioritize work by value gained and ensure that work can be completed efficiently. That puts you in the best position ...


3

Let's simplify your question down. Feature A is expected to cost $X to deliver and in reality costs $1.2X to deliver. This can be because of a raise, inflation, change in needs, or a ton of other reasons. Let's assume for a moment that quality is a constant and you can't just release shoddy work to meet your deadlines. You mentioned the traditional iron ...


3

TL;DR Level of effort and complexity are much better metrics for estimating work than lines of code (LOC). Furthermore, they can only be effectively estimated by the people who will be doing the actual work. Using proxy metrics that don't map to actual costs is not a good way to plan a project or forecast a budget. Unless your company is actually paid for ...


2

We're developing an application on a contract basis for an arm of a governmental organization. At the moment, we're students, and payment was slated to done using student funding avenues. However, I've just heard word that we'll need to set up a business, write up formal requirements and a proposal, and assist in comparing bids of similar scope and ...


2

There are multiple metrics that would indicate the health, but since you mentioned costs and hours, Earned Value is the method you want to deploy. It is very involved to execute this method properly and is expensive to operate. Typically, it is used on more complex and expensive projects. While Earned Value monitors hours, it is a tool that measures ...


2

I second the Earned Value technique as a valuable tool for indicating status and forecasting. You might start simple by also asking for an Expected to Complete (ETC) in hours: how much time will they need to finish the other 50%? Is it again 30 hours or will it be the original 20? By adding the ETC to the actuals, you can calculate the total expected cost. ...


2

To be honest I just use Word or Excel in conjunction with pre-defined parameters to assess and report project health on a regular basis to my sponsors, project board and key stakeholders. Establishing those parameters is the challenging part, and they will likely change from one project to the next. You may want to investigate Earned Value Management ...


2

It depends: the line is where you draw it, knowing that if he wants more than you're willing to give, you have to find a different job where the line is drawn differently. Depending on where you draw the line, if you want to work less than other available PMs, that other job may be harder to find or pay less.


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