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Manage   »   Estimation   »   Wideband Delphi Estimating

This estimation technique is described as a consensus based technique. It comes from early forecasting methods using a Delphi title developed in the 1940s and further re-developed into the wideband variant in the 1970s.

Wideband Delphi estimating involves a team of subject matter experts, each presented with a specification along with an estimation form. A facilitator runs a Wideband Delphi session in the style of a workshop. In the workshop the participants discuss the specification and the subject of estimating the effort involved. The estimation forms are completed anonymously and submitted to the facilitator. The facilitator goes through the forms and summarises the conclusions back to the participants.

We find this latter part is best done in a simple graph or pie-chart driven from data in a spreadsheet. The participants can very easily see which are the high and low estimates and see divergence in estimates. Largely conflicting estimates are the normal we find, especially on the first pass. The team then reconvene to debate this convergence and resubmit anonymous estimates once the debate has completed. This circuitous process continues until the deviation between estimates is minimised and some level of consensus is reached.

So you have used one or more of the techniques, you have your estimates completed and have agreed with the team that you will assess and re-evaluate these estimates throughout the project. As your organisation estimates and delivers more and more projects using the Toolkit the estimating process will improve and the estimates will become more accurate.

This will add further pace to the estimate cycle and assist the preparation of the next estimate. Where similar projects are delivered one after another the opportunity to perform what we term Incremental Estimating is offered.


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Wideband Delphi Estimating


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