Hell Oh Entropy!

Life, Code and everything in between

The Estimation Business

Posted: Jul 04, 2008, 01:29

I was recently involved in estimation talks with my client along with my manager. I gave me so many reasons why I don't really enjoy heckling that it's not even funny.

We were told that a new system was to be built from the scratch up with a few extra features -- "Nothing really that serious. You would be able to do it within a month and a half". And with a couple of lines describing the system, we were asked to give an estimate. We assumed functionalities of some current systems and made an estimate of around 8 months, allowing for testing in at least 3 environments. And then came the fun part...

When we got back to them with the estimate we got an expected reply, "Itna kya hai sir.... ye to 1 month me ho jaana chahiye... we're not asking for too many extra features...". So we rework our estimate with some additional hours and manpower and come down to their estimate.

And then they tell us all the bells and whistles they want on their system. We can't even refuse at this stage since it could jeopardize our relationship. So I guess we'll be pretty much staying at office for the next month.

Wasn't it like bargaining on buying a car (not mentioning which model) and bringing the price down to 4 lakhs and then saying that you intend to buy the Porsche with it? Only "professionals" like us would probably fall for it...