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21

Let's start with obvious observation: the moment that we know least about a project is at its very beginning. Unfortunately, for fixed-priced projects it is also a moment when we usually requested to say how much it's going to cost, thus to estimate. In such situation I would focus more on improving estimate quality than on choosing this or that estimation ...


13

Fixed price contracts and ambiguous scope do not belong together ...ever. You cannot go down the path of even saying clearly what you will do because no one knows what needs to be done. You cannot plan to handle it with change requests because a CR is a change to scope...and you don't have any scope. This is a time and materials contract. This is not ...


7

First thing, you need a business case. The project must either solve an existing problem, or be something that can create revenue. "This will be really cool!" is not generally considered a business case, but if you work at a place where it is, all the better. You also need to get a sponsor. Someone in the company that can see the value that this ...


7

Looking at this from the other side, as someone who has tended to be on the buying rather than the selling side, here's what I want from a proposal: A clear indication of the scope of work, which should reflect what I have asked for (but not just a cut and paste from my words). I want to be sure that you understand my requirements, and also understand the ...


6

In short, I'd say nothing. There's no reason working for free and it could cause several issues further down the road (who's going to pay for this 'free' work?). The analysis your team is doing is part of the estimating process. The underlying point in your question is: how accurate your client want estimates? If they only want wild guesses, then go for it....


6

If you have to estimate without requirements, you need to be very clear in stating precisely what you will do for the fixed cost payment you will request. So rather than accepting "the job" (which is some loosey-goosey handwaving specification), you will list specific deliverables that you can accomplish. Make it very clear that the deliverables will only ...


5

welcome to PMSE! Let's split your question into sub questions... Is estimating a project without basic requirements or user stories a good idea? No, it's not a good idea at all, but sometimes we have to dance to the music. My gut tells me that not having all requirements in advance creates too much risk. I personally want to know what "done" ...


4

US federal funding agencies such as the NSF, NIH, NEH, and NEH-ODH (these are the ones with which I have personal familiarity) with all at least have the following publicly available on their web site: abstracts of funded projects (taken directly from their project proposals; see the NSF's, for example) a sample proposal for each award program (in several ...


4

In general I agree with @Tiago Cardoso and @Mark Phillips; your client is effectively saying that they want to pay only for development, not for project management of the development effort. If that is what the client wants, I'd be happy to supply the name of three or four competitor firms, and tell them to keep my name on file to rescue the project when ...


4

Please don't try to specify everything using BDD. You'll end up with a horribly fine-grained backlog that takes ages to maintain and which will still bear no resemblance to the real project that emerges. Something I've done - and which works very well with BDD later on - is to look at the high-level capabilities which the system needs to provide. A ...


3

Start small and embrace failure as a learning opportunity. You said you don't have much knowledge in this area and there are some obstacles. In all likelihood, your first attempts will not work out, so don't bet everything on them succeeding. I have never written educational project proposals, so I can't give specific suggestions, but I can provide some ...


3

Expanding on what Tiago said, it is more than part of the estimating process, it is part of requirements gathering and is part of the project's billable time. On the other side of the equation, the client is looking for some sense of a total estimated budget before signing-off on the project. This is a reasonable request as part of giving you the go-ahead ...


3

Including the evaluation criteria allows the respondents to better understand the priorities of the RFP requester so they produce an RFP that is as tightly aligned to what the requester needs as possible. It doesn't confer any unfair advantages on a recipient of the request because all recipients receive the same information and so all Proposals will be as ...


3

Define Quality Through an Agile "Definition of Done" What level of quality are you expecting from this solution? While tempting, asking the question in this way is not useful because it doesn't lead to actionable or testable criteria. In addition, scope (and therefore to some extent quality) is the adjustable theory-of-constraint dimension in most agile ...


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

If you want to estimate the projects based on what you have so far you can do it by providing a range of dates instead of a fixed date. This is called "The Cone Of Uncertainty". The basic idea is that the less you know the less accurate your estimates are, so you should include that error in your dates. However, I understand that the client always want to ...


3

I agree with the other answers that it is impossible to estimate without knowing what the requirements are. What you could do, based on the information you have now, is to offer a Fixed Price Contract for a requirements analysis study only. You could include a rough or detailed functional and even technical spec if you are familiar with this type of project....


3

A lot depends on the audience. Figure out who has the biggest say (and its not always the boss) and who WILL read the report. Then tailor the proposal for them. You should always cover all the bases anyway just for completeness sake, but figuring out who has the most input in the decision making process and focusing on them tends to work best.


2

Here are a few key areas to include in a project charter: Project Goals Project Deliverables How the Deliverables Meet the Goals Anticipated Team Members Estimated Costs Estimated Durations Assumptions Risks Constraints Past History / Track Record


2

Another important aspect is your past performance. You should list some similar projects you have completed with a brief description as well as contact information for the project customer. That way the person reviewing your proposal can check your "references". If you have previously created something easily accessible such as graphics or a website, it ...


2

If you are competing, then it is less about the project and your approach and more about why you and your company. Once the approach is described, the language needs to become about benefits to the buying organization and why it is your company that can deliver them. Proof points become important. Ghosting, where you in a professional way degrade your ...


2

It can be a risky decision to accept project. it is advisable to go thru customer requirements, and most risky part is if customer explained project in one line. fixed cost project can be acceptable in following conditions - if solution/project is clearly defined from developer side - if you have strong feeling that customer will definitely satisfy wiht ...


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

Try a pitch deck It looks to me that the project charter and business justification are part of the PM process. While tradionally formal business plans were needed for such a discussion, in start-up circles nobody uses them at this stage in the game. The "pitch deck" is the favored option. It is really a few presentation slides that highlight the essence ...


2

You can create a checklist for building your client (Requirement list) and have the customer fill it instead of an open question. This will help you focus on the points you need to know and will help the customer to give the right answers. So for example, you'd say: Currently we're building the technical requirements for the client system we're buildng ...


1

The Vision is the expected end state, especially as it pertains to the business/user/customer facing end state. Simple example: Umbrella or similar product Vision: when walking outside I will be, using a light-weight, easily portable device, protected from sun, rain, wind. Proposal will describe what product or service the contracting organization will ...


1

This seems to be a common question theme lately. I recently answered similar questions in this thread and in this thread. There are three main issues swirling around you. Estimations are just guesses: In the 80' and 90's we somehow forgot the concept of "[Cone of Uncertainty][3]" in estimating. When you first estimate a project, you are lucky if you are ...


1

I stumbled upon a role doing this kind of work rather naturally; except mine was VBA for excel spreadsheets. You are correct that first you will need others to buy in to your apps. The problem is that the people using the apps really need to define the problem it is remedying. If the users define the problem then they will be gung-ho in supporting you. I ...


1

We are very often in this situation in our company. But that's just how we work. Our strength is not requiring details from customers, but to create proposal ourselves -- what we will provide for the customer by his money. Using Agile approach -- even on Fixed Price contracts. What we essentially do is following: Figure out customer's main problem ...


1

I assume this is during a bidding phase, where the client is determining what partner to work with. They have a problem and they want it fixed, as well as possible for a fixed amount of money. You wrongly assume that you should estimate what it costs to provide a certain scope. It is often the other way around: they have a budget available and want the ...


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