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time estimation

karl koch
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 25, 2001
Posts: 388
hi all

right now im working for company developing software in the insurance sector in GB.
one of the a biggest insurance companies here has released a RFP which is about developing a software to collect data (number of cases, budget, human resources stuff....) in a flexible way. it is not directly related to the insurance-business itself since it will be used for statistics and calculations, reporting and observation of limits. there would be a rich featured-GUI interface. user management, keeping the company structure is also a requirement. there is a user base of about 300 users doing monthly datainput on probably 600 installation sites for client software and one or two sites for server. there will be a low number of users managing the app, use the reporting functions.
even though there are a LOT of MISSING facts (would take too long..., infos must not leave our office) what are your guesses and expireinces about the duration ? the reason im asking is the - in my eyes - impossible deadline which is part of the RFP.
Paul Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
It is not possible to give you that with the limited information you provide. Although customers ask for just that all the time.
karl koch
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 25, 2001
Posts: 388
yep i know. the informations are a little vague....i was just frustrated about the ignorance of the company sending the RFP.
building the complete application within 160 days seems impossible to me (because there will be 120 of talking before any architect might be able to start working....and oh, somebody needs to code it, test it, write docs, test reports, make translations, install it at customers data center, feed the basic data, connect it to other apps, run security checks, have the customer do acceptance testings, change requests, alpha, beta, rc, fc, still frustrated ;-)
to all ranchers: have a nice weekend
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

I think Jobs Discussion is a better fit for this topic, so I'm-a move it there.

Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Mark Herschberg

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Well, you might be able to do back of the envelope calculations, but these could easily be off by a few hundred percent. Here are some questions to get you started?
How many people will be work on the project?
Do they have the proper tools and training?
How many people will have input into the project (e.g. proposing requirements)?
How many requirements are there currently?
Has a similar system been built before?
Is it brand new, or to be integrated with existing systems?
How diverse is the operating environment?
How complex will the dpeloyment be?
What happens if it's a few days late? a few weeks? a few months?
Can a more limited version be done within the timeframe?
Two other thoughts....
1) Bring in an outside consultant for anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks to do an assessment. (If you want more info on this option, let me know.)
2) Read "Death March" by Edward Yourdon.

I agree. Here's the link:
subject: time estimation
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