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IT PM Efforts Estimation Research Group

Hello fellow members,

Introduction to the Estimation Research Group

I am looking to conduct a study on Project Management effort estimation approaches for different types of IT projects, and to collate a set of guidelines around this activity. I am also looking to generate supporting data to prove the validity of statements and assumptions made.

I would like to leverage the ProjectManagers.Org network to initiate contact with potential collaborators and data/inputs providers.

The context of this study is: I have read several articles/ where PM efforts on IT projects have been assessed at values ranging from 5% of total project effort to 30%, and sometimes even higher. Obviously, these ranges (or sub-ranges) may apply to different types of projects and where different SDLC models (Waterfall, Lean, Agile Scrum, Agile Kanban, etc) are used.

In this context, Project management efforts include the efforts to be spent by all Project Management staff working on the project – PMs, Senior PMs, Portfolio Managers, Project Coordinators, and potentially PMO staff.

The study approach, types of IT projects, and SDLC models in consideration, etc are all only tentative at this time; These shall be finalized after the study group has been set up.

I propose that we conduct this study using two approaches: Bottom-up analysis & Metrics analysis.

Results & outcomes expected from this study group

For each Project category & each SDLC considered, the results to be generated from this initiative as identified at this point of time are:

  • Bottom-up analysis:
    1. Identify activities performed by various project management staff as part of Project management of IT projects
    2. Assess typical efforts to be spent on these activities
    3. Calculate total Project management effort as a percentage of total Project effort
  • Metrics analysis:
    1. Using the collective experience of the study group members, and using the Project management metrics data collected, calculate Project management effort as a percentage of total Project effort
  • Analyze outputs from both of the above streams to come to a unified set of recommendations on PM efforts
  • Develop set of guidelines for calculation of PM efforts.

Proposed team composition – based on project categories

The Estimation Rearch Group team ideally should have around 12 members, allocating 2 members each to a sub-team assigned to work on each of the the 6 categories of projects named below:

  1. Software Product development projects: Projects that result in a new software product being developed for the purpose of marketing to external customers.
  2. Application development projects: Projects for the development / enhancement of Custom-built applications to satisfy specific business process automation needs within organizations.
  3. Infrastructure projects: Projects that focus on architectural design & implementation of hardware, software & networking products, such as set-up of a Data center.
  4. Software/ Hardware upgrade projects: Projects that target upgradation of out-of-support hardware and software.
  5. System Deployment projects: Projects that are usually used to install, configure and deploy COTS (Commercial off-the-Shelf) Software products for Customers.
  6. Exploration projects: Projects that are initiated to learn about new technology and their potential applicability & usage in specific customer scenarios/ business processes.

If there are any other project categories that need to be considered, then we may need to increase the team size, or extend the study duration & allocate more than 1 project category to each sub-team.

Tentative study timelines

The study is likely to run tentatively for 3-4 months, after the teams have been constituted.

Next steps

The findings and conclusions of the study shall be published on ProjectManagers.Org, with full attribution to all Study group team members as well as any data/ input providers.

If you are interested to participate in the study group, please leave a comment below, providing your contact information.