Estimating Time for Design
Words of wisdom from Shel:
timing, projects and pragmatism, oh joy!
lots of time you will find that project managers need you to tell them how long things take in order to complete their project plans. this is a good thing b/c it gives us an opportunity to give ourselves what we need to architect. it's also bad b/c it puts a lot of "personal pressure" on us as individuals to meet our own schedules... and we all know these things are very difficult to "know."
some things i've learned about timing...
- the more pressure that is on you, the more you will distract yourself. budget time for stress. budget times for walks outside. budget time to vent with team members about why the client and other team members are so "backwards." know that the client and other team members are saying this about you too, so don't get offended. its just stress. :)
- budget at least a full day for technical difficulties per month. if traveling, budget half a day to get connected and half a day when you get back to get caught up.
- in "development" phases schematics take 2 to 3 times longer than they took you to make in the "architecture" phase. this is b/c you are out of the cut and paste rythym. if a set of schematics normally takes you 4 hours, budget for 8. also because sometimes you will be making schematics from designed pages that evolved since your original architecture you often have to start completely over... the end of a project cycle is always the hardest part, no matter how well we plan.
- budget time to be wrong and have to fix mistakes
- budget time to convert your files to a useful file format
- budget time to prepare presentations
- add at least a day per three weeks for "fires". inevitably there will be last minute meetings that take away from time you otherwise would be architecting
so my estimates say that you should add at least 1.5 days per week for maintence and logistics - 2+ days if you are traveling back and forth across time zones.