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[Proposal] Pre-sales estimation

08 Jan 2021 00:05 #1 by al_rodin
First I would congrat myself  about the last graphic improvements in 9.0 version. It's a big enhance for your product!
About the object: what about introducing a step regarding Pre-sales activities? I mean, before starting a project, often a PM needs to act as a pre-sales helping the Organization to fullfill documents like the business case or, even better, the Statement of work or the Project Charter. They usually contain an estimantion (cost and/or schedule) upon which the Project will be mostly based. Usually the consequent Project cost and schedule baseline (for each activity) are based on the "progress" values of time to be filled by the PM inside each activity card. But at this point we already are in a planning process. This means that the Project is already approved and the contract already signed.
These values of time and consequently cost for each activity could be the result of an estimation procedure (at high level) that usually are needed before the Project starts. Could be nice to improve and add this feature to Projeqtor, so that also Pre-sales activities can be also performed in Projeqtor.
The estimation (time and cost) could be based upon a first raw activities' declaration (a sort of Pre-sales Project) through a three-point method, beta distribution or (best of the best) even MonteCarlo analysis. Then it could be added to the SoW, the Contract or the Project Charter as attachment Only after the Contract signing. Lastly, the Pre-sales project which is almost in a raw status, becomes the base for the real Project. At this point all the baselines could be completed.
I know that's a lot of work, but this can really could make the difference, as Projeqtor could also be used to help from the very beginning of a Project till its completion.
Best wishes!


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08 Jan 2021 17:25 #2 by babynus

Request recorded as Ticket #5171

But, you know, you can do a great part with existing : 
Build a new project for the pre-sales.
This pre-sales of the project includes all the tasks (activities) to execute the pre-sales process and a sub-project which is the basis planning for the real project to come.
When contract is signed, you just have tp copy this sub-project or move it on another "operational" structure for it to become a real operational project

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08 Jan 2021 19:32 #3 by al_rodin
Hi babynus!
I usually plan my pre-sales projects in the way you mentioned, not only in Projeqtor but also in other portfolio management software.

My two cents: I think that the tricky thing could really be to add  some fields and some ways to calculate the effort estimation for each activity.
The calculated estimation will be used in the schedule baseline of the project once it is approved. The difference is that, due to the resource availability, the effort will be translated into duration and elapsed (as Projeqtor already does while scheduling considering the time the operator inputs in the activity progress).

Here there's some consideration about.
For each activity, Projeqtor could provide three estimations: optimistic (OE), pessimistic (PE) and most likely (ML). These three estimations for each activity should be mandatory (at least two, read below).

Then I imagine three ways to estimate for each activity
1) three points estimation: (OE+PE+ML)/3 . This is the most used one, but less accurate. At least this should be developed in a first moment
2) weighted: only two estimations, OE, and PE, but weighted with an integer factor (WE), which goes from 1 to 3. The algorythm is: (((PE-OE)/3)*WE)+OE. Largely used with a little bit more accuracy
3) PERT estimation, based on BETA distribution: the most accurate. The algorythm is (4*ML+OE+PE)/6

Obviously the cost estimation will be performed when resources and their cost will be assigned to the acivity, otherwise you won't be able to get any cost estimation for the activity or the whole pre-sales project.

Finally, the MonteCarlo analysis, which is an estimation "by project" could be applied to all the project activities ON THE CRITICAL PATH in order to have the most accurate forecast in terms of time for the whole project.
MonteCarlo distributions represents just the probability to end a project (or an activity) before a certain date and is made by casually iterating the calculation of effort or cost of each activity in the project according to the method you prviously selected. 
MonteCarlo can be applied also to costs, but in this case it must be applied to the whole set of activities in the Project.

The difference between a sales project and a real project is that in the first case resources are considered to be unlimited (each one at 100% on their activity), and the project won't have any lag.In other words, only effort should be considered, as said at the beginning of this post. Estimation methods and MonteCarlo could also be applied when re-planning.
That's all.
I understand that's a lot of things, but... maybe it deserves some investigation... :-D
Have a nice time!


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