Whether you are a project manager planning for a smooth implementation of a plan or a project sponsor on whose decisions a project depends, you cannot escape from the fact that project estimation is essential to its success. In the first place, there are three basic requirements that a project must satisfy: schedule, budget, and quality. The need to work within these essential project boundaries poses a huge challenge to everyone in the central management team.

There are various aspects that affect project estimates, such as team skills and experience levels, available technology, use of full-time or part-time resources, quality management, risks, iteration, development environment, requirements, and most of all, the level of commitment of all project members.

Moreover, project estimations do not need to be too complicated. There are tools, methodologies, and best practices that can help project management teams, from sponsors to project managers, agree on estimates and push development efforts forward. Some of these include the following.