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Responsible Estimation Tool

Many times during the sales process we are asked to give a cost estimation based on our early understanding of an application’s core features. In order to responsibly and efficiently estimate, we conduct a range analysis. We use this technique because we want to establish a responsible middle ground between our optimistic and pessimistic estimates. Our estimate is appropriately buffered for the risk we see in the defined tasks.


This spreadsheet is the tool that we use to conduct our analysis. Tasks can be estimated in any time duration that you choose (i.e. hours, days, weeks). At the start of a large project we generally estimate tasks in days or weeks.

Michael Marsiglia (51 Posts)

Michael is a Vice President at Atomic Object. He has 12 years experience in software development, as a developer and as a part Atomic’s upfront team, helping clients match their business needs with custom software solutions. ‬

Mike is passionate about guiding clients through the development of effective products. He enjoys the challenge of figuring out how to build successful software tools, employing a minimum set of essential features.‬

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3 Comments

  1. Nicholas
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    As a cost estimator I think this is a good basic tool to prepare for a project. Upon completion do you check this form against logged hours, and will that in turn change the formula?

  2. Posted March 3, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Nicholas,

    Thanks for the comment.

    Normally, we find that our estimates at this level are pretty good. We have noticed throughout the years that when projects that take longer than the estimate it’s because of scope increase during the process. This is always a difficult thing to account for at the start of the project because it is different depending on the customer.

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    Posted March 3, 2010 at 7:53 pm

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