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How to Get Accurate IT Project Estimates

10 mins read
written by
Dhoof Mohamed

It’s a common complaint that IT projects always get delayed and go over budget. And while technology can be complicated, that alone does not explain this problem. When looking at the problem more closely, here is what we found.

Most IT professionals have not been trained in project management best practices. In addition, they are typically task oriented. That is why when you ask most IT professionals how long it takes to set up a new server, they will tell you about four hours... and they are right. However, that estimate is only for the time it takes to do the actual setup, not the full project.

To get an accurate estimate of the total project time, you need to include a few more things: time for dealing with any equipment problems (which are common), time to manage vendors, and interruptions that can slow down the process. If you add those additional things, the IT professional should be budgeting 7-8 hours for a server setup.
If you add up all the components of an IT project, each with lower than realistic time estimates, it becomes clear why projects are frequently behind schedule. The additional time also adds to the project budget.

When you use best practices in project management, the project manager includes enough resources for each piece of the project and allows time for vendor management. When planning is done this way, estimates are more accurate and most projects get done on time and within budget.

That is why you want to ensure your IT team has strong project management skills, whether it is an outside provider or your internal team. Working with a team that is trained in project management best practices will greatly increase the accuracy of project estimates and allow your team to stay on time and on budget.

Improving IT Teams and Infrastructure

Most businesses can benefit from having someone assess how their IT teams and business systems can better support business goals. Skyriver IT helps businesses leverage technology to improve existing processes and ensure you have an IT team with the right skills supporting your business efficiently. If that sounds interesting to you, contact us to schedule a time to talk.

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