Software Project Estimate Excel Template and Example

Free Software Project Estimate Template in Excel / Google Sheets  The template below has been successfully used in dozen of software development project. It calculates total project effort based on development estimates.  You can finetune the template to your project by adjusting corresponding percentages. Please follow the steps below to obtain full and realistic project estimate. Free Excel Software Project Estimate Template Free Google Sheets Software Project Estimate Template How to use this template Please follow the steps below to obtain full project estimate. Fill-in the cover.  It is important to list all the assumptions that make your estimate relevant. They may include the versions of frameworks, agreements with your client or contractors, disputable points in project scope definition, requirements etc. Place them onto Assumptions sheet. Create a WBS for your project. Noun-based WBS is preferable. List the work items in ESTIMATE sheet. Carefully read the contract, RFP or any

Software Project Estimate Assumptions

 "Common sense is not so common." - Voltaire 

Software estimation assumptions

When estimating a software development project, make sure you have agreed and fixed the following:

  • Definition of Done of the project and its tasks. Different understanding of "Done" between you, your client and your team can cause serious ramifications.
  • Estimation's "Best before". It is not rare when client dusts off an estimate received X years ago and demands to implement the project according to long expired RFP response.
  • Versions of languages, framework, OSs, devices, third-party software and everything else you are going to use or depend on. Make sure you include upgrade effort of you expect the versions to change during project execution.
  • Access to external resources and other dependencies. Weeks of waiting for an access to a corporate system may significantly affect the effort.
  • If you are going to rely on third-party components or APIs assume the are going to work according to their documentation (which if often not true, you know).
  • Hardware and Performance requirements. It is an unpleasant surprise when you users say the system is "slow" on 15 years old PC or phone.
  • When estimating a brownfield project make sure you have analyzed the legacy artifacts well enough. Otherwise assume the estimate must be reviewed once you receive access.
  • Estimated the amount of data. Upgrade of 1TB database is very different than upgrade of identical database with 1Gb of data. Big data operations take much more time and it grows not linearly.
  • Any comments, assumptions, contradiction you notice or expect in project execution.
  • Estimation is done for [Senior / Middle / Junior] developer and must be reviewed if team qualification differs.
Do not forget to include the written list of your assumption to your project estimate and communicate them to the addressee.