How to measure time and cost of new server implementation project in IT industry

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blackjack03
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I am interested in Project Management. I read some PMP books.

I am involved in an IT product migration project. If we use EVM for this project, how could I measure Planned Value and Earned Value and Actual Cost?

Other than EVM, how could I measure time and cost of this project?
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dhaughey
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I cost many of my projects at task level following the initial planning. With some added contingency for unknowns I find this provides accurate estimates. Rate based costing is straightforward in Microsoft Project. I calculate it based on the pay rates for each resource and the amount of work (tasks and duration) carried out by the resource.

My developers tend to be optimistic, so I use Three Point Estimating to calculate the duration of each task. It gives a more balanced view. You can do this in a team planning meeting and get a view across the team for each task. It also assures good team acceptance of the plan.

Once you have costed your plan you can track the value earned as each task is completed. It's not as sophisticated as Earned Value Management, but works well for smaller projects where a lower level of accuracy is needed.

EVM is more effort and worthwhile if there needs to be a high-level of reporting accuracy. Most of the time I find stakeholders want approximate figures, which rate based costing provides.

I hope this helps.

Duncan
blackjack03
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Thank you.

I understand how to estimate Planned Value and Actual Cost (based on wage rate and estimated duration).

How do you usually measure progress of tasks?

If it is Software Development I know I can measure number of design documents or number of programs or step count, etc.

But, how about server engineer related project like new product implementation or replacement project?

I am server engineer.
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dhaughey
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I look at this in two ways, time and task progress. Time progress is the amount of hours a resource spends on a task and is what he or she enters on their timesheet. Task progress is the work completed and the amount of work remaining expressed as a percentage. If some parts of a task are harder than others these may not match, so you may report different progress in percentage terms than the hours spent. For example, in a 20 hour task, the resource has spent 10 hours working so it is 50% complete, however, you may choose to report it as 45% complete, if you feel the harder part of the task is to come.

There are several ways to estimate task duration. In the building trade records are kept for the standard time jobs take, for example, how long it takes to lay a metre of concrete or lay 200 bricks. Another example is Information Technology where estimates are based on lines of code a developer writes. The most effective technique is to produce your own table of production rates. Repetitive tasks such as server installations are measured and recorded. Estimates are created from the production rates, which are validated and adjusted after each project. This will give you better estimates. Once you have these accurate estimates you can measure progress using the hours a resource spends on each task.

Planning Planet has a range of production rates that make a good starting point.

Does this make sense?

Duncan
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