Occasionally the question comes up as to who should estimate tasks and who should create the work breakdown structure (WBS) for a project. Should the technical lead estimate the tasks for the developer? Should the developer estimate their own tasks? And if either the task estimation or the WBS creation take more than one person to do, doesn’t it get expensive to do all that planning? Two principles from my studies in prepping for the Project Management Profession (PMP) exam immediately come to mind (both from Rita Mulcahy’s excellent study guides):
- Estimating should be done by the person doing the work whenever possible, and,
- The project plan, for which the WBS is one element, should follow the BARF principle.
BARF stands for: <ul”> </ul”>
- Bought into
For the WBS to be bought into and realistic, it must be created with the help of the team. Of course, there are always exceptions. Perhaps you don’t yet have all the people who will be doing the work staffed on your project or even know who they are. But when questions like this come up it’s good to know there are at least generally accepted best practices for guidance. And if you cut corners, don’t be surprised if down the road you find yourself wishing you spent a bit more time on the planning phase of your project.
Estimating Your Next Solution
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