Figure one shows our project schedule and how estimations directly depend on the level of uncertainty which can be increased while working on product design, specifications and gathering more data. The cone of uncertainty recognizes that the underlying risks decrease over time as closer the project gets to its finalization. By facilitating data-driven decision making methodologies, our teams are able to reduce uncertainties based on similar projects and project-unique characteristics, eventually drawing on our entire experience. This, ultimately, reduces the level of uncertainty in planning and cost estimation for our clients.
By combining agile principles and methodologies with our expertise, we can deliver better outcomes even at very early project stages like project cost estimation and planning. It is achieved through a combination of teamwork, best practices and our expertise covering multiple industries and environments. For instance, our past experience in developing marketplace platforms enables us to predict the risks associated with building similar products.
While many believe that the outcome is more important than the beginning, we strongly emphasis the crucial importance of every project planning phase. By carefully planning, we force our client to go through a concrete funnel of processes which help identify required functionalities, yet untapped business opportunities and current constraints. As a result, we can introduce a unique concept, apply a suitable type of project kick-off (PoC, MVP, etc.) and base our cost estimation on the decisions made together with the client.
To streamline our processes, we formulated our guiding principles as follows:
Cost estimation and planning steps to be undertaken:
- Gathering data and requirements.
- Requirements analysis and synthesis.
- Estimation and planning.
These steps will be explained further in the following chapters.
Results anticipated (depending on a client's needs):
- List of prioritized requirements in the form of epics and user stories.
- List of tasks required to implement specific user stories with coherent cost estimation.
- Full project cost estimation based on the level of uncertainty and available buffers.
- List of non-functional requirements and risks which were taken into account during the estimation process.