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Change Assumptions to Revise an Estimate' Book Excerpt

No program manager wants to hear that they need to completely revamp their cost estimates for a project. But it happens all the time, when the reality of getting work done runs headlong into guestimates that always find their way into annual budgets. This hypothetical case study gives you pointers on how to realistically trim costs without crippling the project.


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One of the most perplexing bits of feedback a project manager can get on their cost estimates is to “sharpen their pencil” and remove expenses that are necessary to meet the statement of work. It’s not like you put a lot of filler in your estimates to begin with – you sharpened your pencil before you got started.

This book chapter walks through a hypothetical scenario in which a project manager must review a cost estimate that’s come back 60 percent over the swag in the annual budget. Some tactics covered are negotiating a reduction of scope with the business owners, looking for less costly alternatives and, of course, checking your own work for flaws.

This chapter comes from the book “Lessons in Project Management,” by Jeff and Tom Mochal and published by Apress.

Included in this zip file are:

  • EstimatingAssumptions.pdf
  • Intro Doc.pdf
  • Terms and Conditions.pdf

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