Making Estimates

The process of making estimates, often referred to as estimation, is a prevalent practice in various domains, including software development, project management, and product planning within the information technology (IT) sector. It involves predicting and approximating the resources, time, effort, and costs required to complete a specific task, project, or activity. Estimates play an essential role in guiding decision-making, setting expectations, and managing risks within the IT landscape.


Estimation is an integral part of the software development life cycle (SDLC) and project management in the IT sector. It empowers organizations to gauge the feasibility and viability of their endeavors, enabling them to plan and allocate resources efficiently. Making accurate estimates is crucial for effective project planning and ensuring successful outcomes.


Accurate estimation provides several distinct advantages in the IT sector. Firstly, it facilitates resource allocation, allowing organizations to allocate human resources, budgets, and timeframes appropriately. By estimating the time required for each task, project managers can determine dependencies and streamline workflows, thus enhancing productivity and reducing potential bottlenecks.

Secondly, estimation aids in setting realistic expectations for stakeholders, clients, and team members. By presenting a clear breakdown of the project scope and deliverables, organizations can manage expectations and prevent scope creep or misunderstandings. This promotes transparency and enables effective communication, fostering trust and satisfaction among all parties involved.

Thirdly, making estimates enables risk management. By identifying potential challenges, risks, and uncertainties upfront, organizations can develop contingency plans, mitigate risks, and implement appropriate corrective measures. This proactive approach minimizes the likelihood of project delays, cost overruns, and dissatisfaction among stakeholders.


The process of making estimates finds applications in various IT activities. In software development, estimation is used during the initial planning phase to determine project feasibility, articulate requirements, and assess software complexity. It assists in creating realistic development timelines, identifying potential roadblocks, and allocating development resources efficiently.

Estimation is also crucial in custom software development, where clients often require cost and time estimations to evaluate project proposals and make informed decisions. Accurate estimates facilitate effective negotiation and contract agreements, ensuring alignment between client expectations and deliverables.

Furthermore, estimation is valuable in personnel management within the IT sector. By estimating individual skill levels and the effort required for specific tasks, organizations can assign resources appropriately, promoting productivity and employee satisfaction. It also aids in evaluating project progress and employee performance against estimated targets, facilitating performance appraisals and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.


The practice of making estimates is a fundamental aspect of project management and software development within the IT sector. Accurate estimation empowers organizations to plan, allocate resources efficiently, manage expectations, and minimize risks. By embracing estimation best practices, IT professionals can enhance decision-making, optimize project outcomes, and ensure client satisfaction. This practice contributes to the continuous growth and success of the IT industry, enabling stakeholders to navigate the dynamic landscape with confidence and precision.

This glossary is made for freelancers and owners of small businesses. If you are looking for exact definitions you can find them in accounting textbooks.

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