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10 Dumb Statements on Estimating

Category: White Papers

You don’t spend 30 years in the cost estimating field without uttering and hearing a fair share of silly, if not plain old stupid remarks. This doesn’t refer to the everyday missteps that all humans experience; those are typically one‐off innocent mistakes. This presentation deals with the more frequently heard excuses, complaints, and obstacles to estimating that anyone in the field is likely to hear on any given day. Because the statements on the list are often subversive and offered by those with little, if any topical experience, they are deemed to truly deserve the categorization of dumb.

While the subject is covered in a light‐hearted way, the intent is to address the psychological battle that estimators must often wage within the community we serve. Ours is not a well respected profession. Our products and methods are often subjected to far more scrutiny and criticism than are the requirements, engineering, and program documents we rely upon for development of an estimate. Learning to accept the situation and to meet the challenge of addressing dumb statements can be the most effective way to gain both respect for estimating and the engagement of reluctant participants.

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