[OSLC] ESTIMATION/Proj. Mgt Workgroup: Representing an effort estimate in OSLC: Suggestion for topic for next meeting of ProjectMgt./Estimation workgroup

Andrew J Berner ajberner at us.ibm.com
Wed Jul 22 08:23:24 EDT 2009

(Note: we're going to hit the two meanings of "resource" in this 
discussion:  a) A person who works on a project  and   b) A data structure 
represented by an XML file transmitted by a REST call...be careful not to 
get confused...I'm pretty sure ) 

Last time, one of the accomplishments was we pretty much finalized in 
principle (I think!!!  maybe we just didn't talk about all the issues) a 
way to represent an estimate of "likely schedule":  a quantile 
representation with as many "quantiles" as desired of a number of units 
(e.g. months, years, quarters)...Do we have a proposed XML format for 
this?  I think it's captured somewhere in the samples, right?   I think 
the "rollup" of schedule without looking at the detail breakdown of the 
schedule (into phases, iterations, tasks, etc.) is a useful construct. 
>From what I know about the use cases, this is useful to the portfolio 
manager to help decide if a proposal should be a project.   (We haven't 
talked about how this translates into an initial WBS for the project 
management tool, but that can be put off a bit).

We haven't talked, though, about effort metrics.  This is more 
complicated, because the rollup into "total project effort" is useful, but 
not enough.  To be useful for project inititiation, we also have to talk 
about how effort is broken down into "resources required for the project 
with roles" and the contour of how those resources are applied (roll onto 
the project, roll off the project, full time, part time).   This is a much 
more complex structure that must be communicated from the estimation tool 
to the portfolio or project management tool, and there is also a two way 
exchange of data (at least dimension data about roles and costs).   To add 
to that complexity, we need to discuss how to represent this as a 
probability distribution also.

We'll need this representation for all the use cases we are interested in, 
I suspect.  It's not clear to me also if the structure is different at 
different points in the project (e.g. is the same structure needed for 
initiation and for project control).

Can this be the topic of the next meeting?  To start off the discussion: 
Estimation vendors--can you start describing what's typical for estimation 
tools to provide about estimated effort?  Also related:  what does "team 
size" mean, given that a project team is often not static throughout the 

Andy Berner
Lead Architect, ISV Technical Enablement and Strategy
IBM Rational Business Development
972 561-6599
ajberner at us.ibm.com

Ready for IBM Rational software partner program - 
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