Asked • 04/04/19

How can we mitigate uncertainty about project estimation in the initial phase?

According to *Boehm’s Software Engineering Economics*, during the project initiation, estimates can be off by as much as 400%.However, in order to make the sale, account managers are expected to make on-the-spot estimates of the project duration. The result is that we end up with a number of unrealistic schedules which we are contractually obliged to stick to.The schedules tends to be underestimated, since there is a feeling here that if we quote too high, the project or the tender will simply be snapped up by another company.What strategies exist to mitigate that uncertainty? Are there standard contracts that sell an initial requirements extraction phase to better understand the requirements before making a long term estimate?

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