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Estimating Database based projects [message #350143] Wed, 24 September 2008 03:57 Go to next message
vishal gupta
Messages: 111
Registered: March 2001
Senior Member
Just a general question.
What is the basic estimation technique used for Database based Projects.e.g. ETL projects ?

Re: Estimating Database based projects [message #350230 is a reply to message #350143] Wed, 24 September 2008 08:09 Go to previous message
Messages: 3728
Registered: October 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Senior Member
One reasonably common method is Function Point Analysis. It's a bit of a black art, but there's lots of info out there on the web.

What any technique will eventually come down to is counting "things" (eg. tables, ETL jobs), classifying them in terms of complexity, and coming up with a standard effort estimate for each level of complexity (eg. 10 days for a Super-Complex, 4 hours for a Super-Simple).

This will give you a BASELINE figure that you then have to adjust for risk. This is the big unknown and can affect project estimate by many orders of magnitude.

I did a nice project management course some time ago (Rob Thomsett course) that provided us with a Risk Analysis spreadsheet of about 30 or so risk factors. You could grade each risk according to Likelihood and Impact, and come up with an final aggregate "risk factor". What the course didn't provide - and NOBODY can provide this - is how you can use that risk factor to adjust your baseline estimate.

The obvious affect is that low risk will impact the baseline estimate a little, large risk factors will impact the baseline a LOT. And by "a lot", I mean 100%-1000%+, not 10%-30%.

Some of your bigger risk factors will include:
- Number of stakeholders
- Degree of "buy-in" from the customer
- Maturity of the company's IT department
- Maturity of the provider's IT methodology
- Expertise of the team
- Project timeframe
- Budget fexibility

Ross Leishman
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