Using a Software Development Estimate Template is the most common way to produce a software development estimate, and many companies do this on a regular basis. However, if you use a template, then you are limiting your effectiveness in your ability to ensure you get the best price for your project. You will find that using a template makes it difficult to make changes that might be necessary to your estimate based on the advice of the lead engineer or the client.
We know many estimators feel that having a template makes their job easy and they can use it to produce an estimate at a much lower cost. But then, what they are missing is that the software development estimate is not the only thing they need to produce a good estimate.
There are two parts to the final software development estimate – the initial research and estimating the scope of the project. And if you use a template to produce your estimate, you will still have to do the project and then write a report.
Now the thing that some estimators forget to consider when producing an estimate is whether the scope of the project will be sufficient to cover the additional cost. The reason that this happens is that the scope may be overstated to make the estimate appear lower than it really is.
If the scope of the project will cover the additional cost, the estimates from those estimators will appear more accurate. However, if the scope will not cover the additional cost, then the estimates will appear to be a lot lower than they really are.
This will cause both the client and the estimator to resent the estimate, especially if the small increase in cost is in some area that would not normally be included in the small change. This can be very costly in terms of the amount of time spent by both parties reviewing the estimate, getting into a blame match and turning away from the project.
As an experienced estimator, you will probably also be very interested in knowing which areas of the project are going to take up the most time and which ones will be easy and which ones will take up little time. But you will be surprised how quickly you can forget that simple fact.
It may also be difficult to actually include all the important details in your estimate, because you will have already spent so much time analyzing it. As an experienced estimator, you will probably be looking for the key details in your estimate and will find it hard to include these.