Estimating Process - Tasks
In the previous article covered how to build a work breakdown structure. Now that you have a list of your deliverables (WBS) you can either do a high level initial estimate or you can come up with the detailed steps to develop each of the deliverables (work items in your WBS).
If your team, division, company or profession has a standard process for developing deliverables (build a house, design a freeway, develop software, etc), then each of the process steps has the potential of being an individual task.
I have spent most of my career developing software, so my example is goling to be a software example following a traditional approach. If I was developing a debugger, I would need a parser, so my deliverable and tasks would be
- Parser capable of processing C++
- Gather requirements describing C++
- Code / Unit Test
- Integration Test
- Functional testing
When there isn't a standard process for developing a deliverable you will probably want the team to come together to document a simple process for developing the deliverable. You can use the same approach for developing a simple process you used for developing the WBS as described in the previous article.
Sticky notes and flip charts are an excellent way to collect information but they are not very useful for storing information for any length of time. In my next article I will provide you with a tool (Excel template) for collecting all this information and for estimating the individual tasks (or work items).