How to Make Accurate Time Estimates

When it comes to estimating projects, I am always far too optimistic. Too trusting of efficient skills and fact-finding, and always a little too forgetful of inevitable hiccups, problems, and stuff that comes up along the way. Reading Steve Pavlina’s post was quite the eye-opener. The solution is so simple, really ā€” just figure out your own personal "fudge factor", say 1.5 in Steve’s case, and multiple your time estimate by that number. If I’m not careful, I’m going to start coming up with accurate estimates now…

Link: How to Make Accurate Time Estimates.

"My average fudge ratio is about 1.5. This means that whenever I make an off-the-cuff estimate for how long a task will take, on average Iā€™m too optimistic; the task ends up taking about 50% longer than my initial guess."

3 thoughts on “How to Make Accurate Time Estimates”

  1. I learned a long time ago to build in a fudge factor. Depending on what kind of work it is, I tend to either double or triple the time it feels like it SHOULD take. I cannot tell you how many nights I missed sleep because a set of drawings that should have taken 6 hours really took between 12 and 18.

  2. I, too, am the same as you. I am poor at estimating time. I am too trusting on the situation that nothing will go wrong. I’ve told myself to set an allowance but often times I fail to do so. I guess I better take making accurate time estimates more seriously. šŸ™‚

  3. yes, that whole “forgetting that things can go wrong” has always been my downfall too. I’m getting better about it though, trying to remember that. I think my fudge factor takes the “here’s if all went smoothly and just right” and I’m probably adding 1.5 or 1.75. So far seems to be helping…


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