Project Estimation is one of the major aspects of Project management. You cannot work on the project without a proper estimation in terms of the resources and cost. You will have no targets and no cost limits without estimation. Estimation sets the limits to your resources including employees, cost and time to be utilized for a project. It gives the clients a rough idea of how much effort is required to complete a project under the current circumstances. As far as the contractor or the organization is concerned it is the base for determining the cost of the project, the time required for completion and the number resources required to be allotted to the project for timely completion. These form the basis for quoting the final rates to the client and the benchmark based on which the project will be planned and executed.

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The Excel way of Estimation

While MS Excel remains a powerful tool and a popular one too for basic estimation, it is not as useful when it comes to preparing the estimate which has to be given to the customer. The estimate and the billing have to be done manually when MS Excel is used for estimation. Moreover, advanced techniques have to be used to record and compare the actual data with the estimates. Real-time data analytics is impossible using MS Excel though for micro establishments with very few employees and small projects it may work out cheaper. Excel definitely cannot provide you comparisons and reports that you need to check how the project is progressing.

Migrating to a Project Management Tool

Though many organizations, particularly the employees, are a little skeptical of migrating to a project management tool, it is probably the best way to manage the project end to end without any hassles. Project management software usually has an estimation tool that lets you estimate considering the best scenarios available and keeps track of the various versions of the estimate given to the client as well as the various estimates given to different clients on similar or different type of projects. The estimation software usually has a presentable format which can be either mailed to the client directly from it or be printed out and sent to the client for approval. There are various aspects considered while preparing the quotes and yet the process is so simple using software that it is completed within minutes provided all the required details are provided. Most of the Project Management tools let the clients prepare custom estimation formats while staying aligned with the company’s business validations. You can add your organization’s signature such as the company logo and a format that catches the attention of the customer and at the same time conveys the money matter clearly. Estimates are all about money and a competent estimation software lets you create specify the margin for each estimate. It will show you how much you will gain out of the project if it is completed on-time as planned. It further helps the clients to keep track of the quote and do quick follow-ups so that the client will finally pitch in. The quotation can be revised and all the revisions are saved so that the initial and final quote can be compared with the actual cost of work completed. When the quote is confirmed, it is automatically converted to jobs which are assigned to the proper employees.

Advantages of Project Estimation Tools

Project Estimation Tools make life easier and manageable for the project managers. They help the project managers to prepare the estimate, get it approved, convert the estimate into tasks, assign it to the right employees, follow it up and complete it on time as planned. Timely reviews and revisions of the estimates are possible comparing the work in progress with what was planned. It further keeps track of the various estimates given to the same client as well as many other clients which are used for important analytic reports. With real-time data available to the management, details about the progress of the current projects are available on the fingertips. While there are many cumbersome project estimation techniques, the Project estimation tools are the ultimate way to plan for the projects as it helps manage multiple clients at a time. It is a must for all organizations that has more than 10 to 15 employees and regular work so that they can keep track of their project more efficiently and use the analytics to find out and fill the flaws on time.

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