Yup, I’m pretty familiar with this stuff… McConnell’s “Demystifying the Black Art of Software Estimates” was a big thing for me. :) In this *particular* niche of development, I am super-good at estimating… actuals on both budget and timeline tend to be within +/- 10% when I have a decent spec up front and work with a team I am familiar with.

In this case, the team has NEVER worked with the development tools other than a 1 week bootcamp 6–12 months ago, with 2,200+ screens even a 20% overage will be a deadly mistake, etc. etc. etc.

So my proposal was to implement the initial framework, which I SWAG’ed at 200–250 hours for a team of incompetents (and then said “400”), then have the team that will use it for those screens do 10 screens on that framework so we can get a more-accurate velocity using the actual team doing the actual work.

And then after all of this, with an estimate that came in WELL under $1m for 2,200 screens…

“Oh, that’s too much.”

Umm. What? I gave you a MIRACLE estimate, anyone who has ever done this work would thing I was a mad man to give a project that cheap…

And that’s what I mean when I say no one ever even thinks about ROI, never mind any other 2nd or 3rd order calculation. All they care about is the upfront and recurring sticker price.

J.Ja

OutSystems MVP & longtime technical writer

OutSystems MVP & longtime technical writer