Let’s build an airport

07 Nov 2017 0 Comments , , , , Estimated reading time: 3 minutes read

Once again a talk I held. This time it is quite a long time ago that I talked about estim­at­ing large scale products on UX Camp West 2016 in Cologne. Two weeks ago I repeated the talk in an intern­al meet­ing at McCann. And I remembered that I still wanted to blog about it. 

So here we go. The first thing: why do I talk about large scale pro­jects? Because estim­at­ing is always rough and inher­its a lot of insec­ur­ity. The lar­ger a pro­ject is the less import­ant becomes estim­at­ing one item wrong. Basic­ally, estim­at­ing large pro­jects accur­ately is much easi­er then small ones. 

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So why do we estim­ate a project? 

  • We want to plan tim­ings, work­load and staffing.
  • We need to alloc­ate a budget
  • We get some kind of raw concept

And get­ting there requires three simple steps: 

  1. Gath­er all inform­a­tion about the pro­ject using any tool your famil­i­ar with. From a UX per­spect­ive this could be brief, vis­ion, per­so­nas, scen­ari­os, cus­tom­er jour­neys, etc.
  2. Define the tasks that need to done. First the high level tasks (I know this is wrong, but I call those epics). And when that is done, break down those tasks to smal­ler man­age­able ones (again wrong: stor­ies). Those stor­ies should be pos­sible to do in less than 5 days.
  3. Go through the stor­ies and assign a com­plexi­tity and effort meas­ure­ment. I usu­ally use small, medi­um and high.

One thing is really import­ant to me: you should always estim­ate collaboratively. 

I have cre­ated an Excel work­book that can help you with the estim­a­tion. Feel free to use it. 

Update 1: I have cre­ated a Google Sheet ver­sion of the Estim­a­tion Tool. You can use it under the same con­di­tions as the Excel ver­sion.

Update 2: I have released a V2 of the Excel Work­book. It now uses a three point range estim­ate and 5 com­plex­ity meas­ures.

This Estim­a­tion Tool is designed to help you to estim­ate large scale digit­al products. The tool is provided as is with no war­ranty. In order to adjust the tool to your pro­ject, please alter the val­ues provided in the Con­fig­ur­a­tion tab. All cal­cu­la­tions are based on the inform­a­tion provided there.

The Estim­a­tion Tool is licensed under a Cre­at­ive Com­mons Attri­bu­tion-ShareAlike 3.0 Ger­many License.

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