Re: Estimating Projects

Subject: Re: Estimating Projects
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2000 07:30:33 -0700 (PDT)

> > First off, there IS no "industry standard" for consultants. Any
> > attempt to say so is simply hype.
> Oh - but isn't FrameMaker an "industry standard!"

I wouldn't say so. It may prevalent, it may be common, but I don't
think it is industry standard.

> If you can't trust your clients then why should they trust you?

I think consultants and clients start from a point of guarded trust
that can go south real have to validate that trust by all
the little things, such as accurate time sheets (like if working from
home and putting down less than 7 or 8 hours if you did work less
than 7/8 hours...I mean, who would know?), good work habits (like
showing up every day or when being late, calling in)

OTOH, trusting the client involves not beiong set up for a fall
because you're "only a contractor", having your ideas and
requirements treated with respects, etc.

> This is why you write up a detailed estimate that says "here, this
> is what I
> will do and what it will cost." That way, 3 months later when they
> are whining
> that you didn't do something, you have the signed estimate to go
> back to as a guide.

How quickly do the little things add up...things like marketing
asking you to convert 6 images from bmp to tif, things like your boss
wanting to learn RH and asking you for 30 minutes of time, things
like finding a bug in SW (such as Acrobat 4 not producing multi-copy
collated output and needing 3 hours to reinstall Acro3)...these are
the things that creep in that all of a sudden, you go " did
i get behind. You can't expect these to be documented in the
requirements, but you also can't say no.

> I have worked with Oracle. Yes, their AR is messy. But they pay.

But doesn't delayed paying still cause issues? As a business owner,
aren't you always trying to reduce AR float, even if it is from 40
days to 36 days..after all, is is only 4 days and you ARE getting

John Posada
Technical Writer
mailto:john -at- tdandw -dot- com

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