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 Estimation Checklist

Project estimation checklist

Checklists save time, money and sometimes lives. Although the cost of a mistake in software development is far from one in aviation or healthcare, I highly recommend to use and maintain your own checklists for project estimation.

You may find more inspiration in The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande.

So, make sure you have not forgotten to estimate time for:
  • The estimate itself. Someone has to pay for it at the end of the day.
  • Project, financial and other reporting.
  • Clarification and update of existing requirements and designs.
  • Translations from/to different languages (especially for multinational teams).
  • Onboarding and education of new employees.
  • Preparation for demos (environments, data, scenarios, demos themselves).
  • Release activities (build, pack, recheck, describe, upload, deliver, handover).
  • Update documentation after requirements or code changes.
  • Post-release warranty and support. Make sure you have addressed corresponding sections of the contract or RFP.
  • Maintenance of code quality.
  • Automated tests and test documentation.
  • Other types of tests besides pure functional ones.
  • Certification and audit of your software.
  • Support of your development and other environments, possible downtimes and recovery.
  • Error fixies in and integration with legacy code, its refactoring.
  • Technical and other debt from previous project phases or subprojects.
  • Maintenance of test and other data.
  • Security tests and security compliance.
  • Code review, refactoring and regression test after it.
  • Performance test and tuning.
  • Synchronization with other teams. Possible rework due to poor synchronization.
  • Interim upgrades to new versions of languages, frameworks and components.
  • Risks of new technologies, components, domains.
  • Addressing non-functional requirements
  • Any activities specific to your platform / framework / system landscape / way of working.
As a rule of thumb, the effort of a typical software development project is three times higher than  development effort alone. Interestingly, this coincides with the conclusion of classical book Mythical Man-Month written in mid 70s.