by John Swaren
| September 25, 2014
...wear the worst shoes. The cobbler was a master at his craft; he was just too tired to practice it when he got home from the shop. Sound familiar?
A disciplined approach to understanding (functional) requirements as well as analogous projects (with actuals) is our not-so-secret sauce. Why run the risk of creeping back up our career learning curve? There’s already enough scope creep to keep us busy. Plus, for you management types charged with prospecting, a consistent approach towards estimation is a great way to connect with people who've felt the pain of being the cobbler's kids.
I recently reconnected with a colleague who found himself immersed in an early-stage, large-scale federal software project. Discussion points ranged from parametrics utility to sizing to Earned Value Management. Not leaving my toolset at the shop translated into good conversation with followup request. A bad example is yours truly, a year ago, so immersed in a highly-featured personal project, that he neglected to find agreement on scope and cost with his team. Bad idea! Now my “shoes” (a one-off custom hot-rod) are way behind schedule and way over budget. Keeping on my professional cost estimation consulting hat would have saved on both… bigtime!