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Five Questions a Project Manager Should Ask About Every Estimate

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Every day, project managers make decisions on estimates. Since each decision can determine whether a project succeeds or fails, credible estimates are critical. Projects launched without a rigorous initial estimate have five times more probability of experiencing delays and cancellations. Even projects with sound initial estimates are doomed to overrun if they are not guided by management rules of thumb and formal estimates-to-complete. Therefore, project managers must be armed with simple metrics along with rigorous estimating models to be successful. Simple or complex, there are five questions project managers should ask about every estimate and they should then compare the answers to their own rules of thumb.

This presentation will enforce and value of credible cost, schedule and risk estimating and discuss the project management discipline of compiling metrics to develop estimating rules-of-thumb.


Anthony A. DeMarco
Mr. DeMarco is the President and Managing Member of PRICE Systems L.L.C., a privately held company in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. PRICE is the world leader in Parametric Planning, Estimating, and Budgeting software, training and services with clients in the North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. PRICE introduced the first commercially available Hardware and Software Cost Estimating Models in 1975 and attained its industry leading position through dedication to speed, quality and customer satisfaction. PRICE Systems is a PMI Registered Education Provider (REP) and NASA maintains an enterprise-wide license for PRICE Systems software.
Mr. DeMarco received a Bachelors degree in Mathematics from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a Masters degree in Computer Science from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ.
Since joining PRICE Systems in 1981, Mr. DeMarco’s accomplishments have included the development of the PRICE electronics cost model (PRICE M), major enhancements to the PRICE hardware model (PRICE H), and the personal computer program XPERT/H. As PRICE Product Development Manager for several years, Mr. DeMarco led a team of operations researchers, logisticians and computer scientists in the development of parametric models and tools to serve the cost estimating and analysis community.
Mr. DeMarco is a recognized expert and frequent speaker on predictive cost modeling and Program Affordability Management. He has contributed over 25 papers on cost estimating, analysis and management and is cited on two U.S. patents for cost estimating techniques. In 1997, Mr. DeMarco received the highest honor bestowed by the International Society of Parametric Analysts (ISPA), the Freiman Award. In 2001, Mr. DeMarco served on the NASA International Space Station Management and Cost Evaluation Task Force (IMCE) to help address cost growth on the program. Mr. DeMarco works with many cost engineering societies and currently serves as a Director on the Board the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Delaware Valley Chapter.