Successive Principle – Best in the World
The Successive Principle provides effective estimation of uncertainties in the surroundings and the project’s tasks. Via a simple iterative technique, robust estimates are made, e.g. of the project budget or of the amount of a material at the construction site.
The project participants first estimate the influence from the surroundings, e.g. requirements management, project management. The participants then estimate the work packages that the project must deliver.
Often 80–90% uncertainty lies in the project’s surroundings, i.e. not within the project! It is very thought-provoking, knowing that many people only estimate what they know, i.e. project tasks, materials, investments, etc. – but often fail to include estimates of the uncertainty in the surroundings!
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Try The Successive Principle: Change A Tyre On Your Car.
This exercise is included in project estimation training. Project: ‘Change A Tyre On Your Car’ gets the participants to start to use the method. It is a type of project that most people know. However, the participants’ first guess at how long it will take will vary quite a bit.
The participants estimate to what degree the surroundings can affect the project. For example, the weather, their mood and experience. Consider for instance, if it is now the third time you have had to change a tyre in a week, it’s dark and the neighbour’s dog has just bit you. This affects the time that the project requires.
The surroundings: For example, the weather, your mental and physical condition, and your experience.
The tasks: Prepare the tools, change the tyre and tidy up. Things are then separated and subsequently, the group can see where the greatest uncertainties come from.
Opgaverne: Forberede Værktøj, Skifte hjul og Rydde op. Herefter er tingene adskilt og efterfølgende kan gruppen se, hvor de største usikkerhedsbidrag kommer fra.
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Three-point estimation: Learn the math
Here you can see the simple calculation principles that are used in the ‘engine’ of the Successive Principle.
Try it today and make some simple three-point estimations. This is only to illustrate the basic matemathics in the method. You can use the excel above to make a full estimation of e.g. your project, budget proposal, purchasing of a new greenhouse, a confirmation party, etc. Obtain robust budgets!
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