Resource estimate for a design

1 Aug 2008 - 11:37am
6 years ago
4 replies
834 reads
Lakshmanan Laks...
2008

Hi,

I work on interaction design for an engineering/design application. I would
like to get some feedback from the forum on how do you do your resource
estimates for your design tasks.

Most of the times we end up under estimating the resource required to do a
design and have trouble delivering our designs to the Development team on
time. We typically breakdown the design into smaller chunks, and estimate
the time and resources required on research, core workflow design, UI
design, error handling, usability tests, documenting the design, etc., but
still we do not get closer to a precise estimate.

Any pointers/suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Lakshmanan

Comments

2 Aug 2008 - 7:17am
stauciuc
2006

Hi,

Not a direct answer, but this reminded me of A. Cooper's *An Insurgency of
Quality*<http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1416866797&channel=1274129191>
.
He answers a similar question around the time 37:37 of the presentation.

Sebi

On Fri, Aug 1, 2008 at 7:37 PM, Lakshmanan L L <lll_konapet at hotmail.com>wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I work on interaction design for an engineering/design application. I would
> like to get some feedback from the forum on how do you do your resource
> estimates for your design tasks.
>
> Most of the times we end up under estimating the resource required to do a
> design and have trouble delivering our designs to the Development team on
> time. We typically breakdown the design into smaller chunks, and estimate
> the time and resources required on research, core workflow design, UI
> design, error handling, usability tests, documenting the design, etc., but
> still we do not get closer to a precise estimate.
>
> Any pointers/suggestions would be appreciated.
>
> Thanks,
> Lakshmanan
>
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--
Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc
http://www.sergiutauciuc.ro/en/

3 Aug 2008 - 9:51am
Bob Dickson
2008

Just an idea - make your normal estimate and add 50%. If you still
under-estimate, keep on adding (say to 75%). If you feel you have
over-estimated, reduce it.

Alternatively, work out what you should have got for your recent
projects and compare them with what you estimated. This should give
you a figure to multiply your estimates by.

Not all items can be increased like this, so increase the more
nebulous things like the estimated staff time to reach the final
total.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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2 Aug 2008 - 8:47am
Marielle Winarto
2008

Try to find your correction factor. Review some projects you did in
the past. Would you have been able to complete them in time if you
had had twice the time you estimated? Or 1.5x, or 3x? Or even higher?

Next time, estimate your resources in the usual way (breaking down
into chunks, etc), then apply your correction factor. I once read
some numbers in a book on extreme programming: typical correction
factors for programmers without practice in estimating their
resources range from 2 to 5. If you keep track of the real time you
spend, it quickly gets more accurate.

Marielle

--
Marielle Winarto usability
www.mariellewinarto.nl

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=31778

4 Aug 2008 - 9:27am
Jennifer Berk
2007

Joel Spolsky gave a great description of how to use this idea
systematically, calling it Evidence Based Scheduling:
http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2007/10/26.html

No reason it wouldn't work as well for design as for development, though you
might need to adjust the method to account for different degrees of
mis-estimation on different types of design tasks.

This does require keeping very good records of estimated and actual times
for each task, so there's a significant startup cost to the method. Better
schedules are probably worth the inconvenience.

Jennifer Berk

On Sat, Aug 2, 2008 at 9:47 AM, Marielle Winarto <mwinarto at gmail.com> wrote:

> Try to find your correction factor. Review some projects you did in
> the past. Would you have been able to complete them in time if you
> had had twice the time you estimated? Or 1.5x, or 3x? Or even higher?
>
> Next time, estimate your resources in the usual way (breaking down
> into chunks, etc), then apply your correction factor. I once read
> some numbers in a book on extreme programming: typical correction
> factors for programmers without practice in estimating their
> resources range from 2 to 5. If you keep track of the real time you
> spend, it quickly gets more accurate.
>

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