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17. Why Good Estimating practices are so important to project risk management.

Project management would be a lot easier if our original plans were accurate and reliable.  This is relatively easy when it comes to follow-on production or deployment of a well-established repeat services.  It gets progressively more difficult as the complexity and risk associated with development projects increases.  In certain organizations, a top-down estimate suffices.  In others, a bottom-up estimate of project schedule and cost is developed from scratch each time.  In others, analogous data (from past projects) is readily available, and used to arrive at new estimates based on objective data.  And in the more adept organizations, multiple estimates are developed, then “bridged”, and even analyzed from an overall project risk stand-point using Modelling and Simulation tools and techniques.  The right approach (or “best practice”) to use should be dependent on the project profile.  The more complex and risky projects, whereby project team performance is highly scrutinized, would likely fall into the category of using the most versatile and effective estimating tools and techniques.  These typically necessitate complementary organizational infrastructure and support systems for establishment of requisite databases, and enabling effective implementation.   Applicable information regarding the use of these various tools and techniques is provided in my book “Project Risk Management: A Practical Implementation Approach.”  “Doing more with less” in an effective way will likely necessitate a certain amount of investment in organizational assets.