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Project Management: Manage expectations with proper estimates

Project Management: Manage expectations with proper estimates

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A recent controversy in a project, emphasised the need for deeper attention to the way out and exchanged various estimates - estimates for the project. 

This article has been translated from Greek with the use of an Automatic Tool.

Click here to view original Greek Article

The issue arose when a group presented estimates for a business project a high profile. The core of the project, listening to the assessment team and the aftermath of this and during the period of the project, disturbed, leading to escalating tension and exert pressure on the team, so that the project completed sooner. Before biggest controversy erupted between the two groups proved that the estimate originally given, were in the worst possible scenario, which included a large number of risk factors, with varying degrees of likelihood and impact the project. Relatively short, therefore, the group presented its estimates, a more likely and realistic scenario, which satisfy both the needs of the project and helped to restore a climate of trust and respect between groups. 
Manage expectations: Correct estimates and appropriate communication 
The moral of the above case applies to both directions of project management, estimating / forecasting and communication. Both of them lead to the proper management of expectations, a key factor for the success of the project, because the estimates and expectations bring. 
When communicating, it is important to ensure that the message you send will reach its purpose. The purpose of an assessment is to set an expectation, a goal that could be accomplished. As in all forms of communication, the recipient of the message will interpret it based on their own filters, knowledge, personality, experience. So, if you know what you need for the recipient of your message, and you can adjust your message accordingly. Similarly, if you receive an assessment to upset or make you disagree, you have only to contact the author, asking personal affairs, although there are other possibilities in order to avoid any tension. 
Estimates and adaptive management 
These estimates represent a range of values, with the most pessimistic, most likely and most optimistic points respectively. For professional project managers, the prudent is to have all three points, along with several assumptions lurking behind. Unfortunately, the wise, is not always so wise! 
An experienced project manager (PM), knows that the custom command is the most effective approach and means to do what is right most every time and not always the same. Often it is best to present an estimate without something to accompany the (analysis), other times it must include all the possibilities-possibilities, others to make a choice between the whole range from pessimistic to optimistic signs. In all cases, however, have to support your assessment detail, including all conditions and risks. The personality and the past of the man who will take and build your appreciation determines the approach to be used every time. 
In the example of the principle of the article, a practitioner of the art technology showed its appreciation to the PM, who have benefited from years of experience in this industry. The PM immediately felt that there is exaggeration, that the controller did not correctly estimate the work and instead ask him for details, angry and escalated the issue. If the person responsible assessment had taken account of the past and PM experience, would host a full range of assumptions and estimates and cooperation between the two men would be well and appropriately between two colleagues. Instead, he protected his own working group, with a formal presentation of assessment in finding that the recipient would have neither the training nor the patience required to manage a multi-point assessment. 
Pessimistic estimates 
Pessimistic estimates represent the worst possible scenarios. It is valuable, because expectations are set very likely be met and when done properly, provide a very realistic picture of the risks attached to the project. If, however, there are only pessimistic estimates in a project, then the bar is set very low. If the members of the team, working to achieve the assessment then it is almost certain that the project will finish late and off-budget. Often they will not implement the assessment believe that the pessimistic estimate is there so that the team will not have to work hard. Pessimistic estimates can lead to incomplete judgments. They can force the project manager to switch to alternative products and service providers that promise to complete the job faster and cheaper. 
optimistic estimates 
Similarly, optimistic estimates represent the best possible scenario. It is equally valuable, because they show what would happen if all should be like and 'force' participants to do their best for the desired results. When adopted no emphasis on "small print", then act as an indirect means of pressure to achieve the objective. In some cases for approval of a project, for example, that in other circumstances would have been rejected. The disadvantage of these estimates is that they often bring almost unattainable expectations and when not confirmed following the feeling of frustration, trying to apportion blame and possibly financial losses. 
Quality- proper assessment 
Proper assessments ensure their recipients a sense of credibility and indicate how much detail is given to the object that is appreciated. Estimates of three points analyzed earlier belong to this category as well, giving accurately the full range of possibilities. A qualitative assessment is one that expresses exactly all the requirements and conditions that must be met in order to achieve the expected result in the expected time and cost. Cases of assessment on these conditions and label each scenario may involve for example the outcome of a potential risk or duration of the approval process a decision. 
Many powerful stakeholders in a project estimated confuse three points as a multiple choice question, which will ultimately choose the option that seems most agreeable. Not the same but the most agreeable with the most likely option. 
So from the perspective of the appraiser must estimate the message to be understood in the full range of stakeholders and to constantly be reminded that the estimates are not sure data evolution, but dynamic elements, which are subject to change. 
At the same time, the side of the PM, must ensure that the estimates within the reach of poor quality, taking into account all the risks and supported by reasonable assumptions, and should be verified during the implementation of the project.

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