How to Create a Robust Scope Document & Convince Your Clients In Software Estimation


Software estimation is all about presenting future visuals to your client. It is a process of presenting clear and accurate size measurements of the system software, cost of the system and timing of delivery.

The development firm and the team has to present a rosy but affirmative description of the future. You have to ensure what you design in the plan has solid ground to appear convincing to your future client.

If you tend to paint the picture too rosy – by being overoptimistic, and submitting unrealistic estimates of effort and time, you would surely win the project, but your team would suffer. Implications could be drastic.

If the estimates are loose and you overestimate cost and time – you fail in the competitive landscape.

Your aim should be to build the ground for robust estimation capabilities and ensure that your estimates don’t fall in the over AND under estimation domain.

Most development companies are using traditional algorithmic formulas and calculations to ensure robustness of estimation. However, with little success in software project success rate, there has been ample discussion over ditching the traditional, enigmatic and expert based traditional software estimation techniques and adopting a new model.

To ensure robust scope document, the project team needs to focus on granularity. Granularity or deep technical analysis of the scope ensures that estimation has touched all grounds, directions and technical fronts to prevent loop holes. The only prerequisite for this is – a good Requirements Analysis.

I have covered an article –10 Tips for Ensuring Perfect Requirements Analysis To Prevent Scope Creep which deals with requirements analysis perfection.

Once you ensure that, requirement analysis is perfect; robust scope estimation should be done at a granular level. By granularity, I mean –estimating for all possible user actions and system triggers. Ignoring even a single system trigger would underestimate the scope.

If you break user stories into all possible use cases and into implementation types, you have perfected the art! The next step would be application of environment for accurate estimation. By this I mean applying platform technologies, implementation options, version controls, re-use factor, complexity level –to estimate development effort. You also need to apply testing environments, browser versions, devices, and number of test cases to estimate testing effort.

Prior manual procedures are high on calculation and prone to inconsistency – different experts estimating differently. To gain consistency, automation becomes indispensable.

Employing an estimation tool with extensive real environment capabilities – as mentioned above, would standardize estimation procedures of your team. It would lend credibility and consistency to your estimates apart from accuracy and reliability.

How to Convince Your Clients about your Estimate?

You have to ensure that the estimates you present in your scope document is not just accurate and realistic but also convincing to the client.

Quick FPA, an innovative software automation tool is pre configured with the most common implementations and related effort/test cases based on historical project data and advice from a panel of experts.

Quick FPA estimates are highly accurate and truly reflect the development capabilities of the team. They provide a detailed breakdown of both implementation and testing effort, thus justifying the cost of the project to the stakeholders.

You can review estimates produced by pre-configured data as per your development team productivity standards and decide whether it’s appropriate or not. If not, you always have the option of customizing effort calculation as per your organization’s benchmarks.

Calculating estimates through a standardized, detail oriented consistent software estimation tool will ensure that the scope document is highly robust. A robust scope speaks for it-self in terms of justification of the estimate numbers.

Your cost and time estimate has convincing technical validations as to what you are charging for and why.

Your capability as developers should be showcased to the clients at the very beginning of development engagement – estimation of the project. The more granular and detailed your scope document is, the greater the chance of the client to be convinced about your capabilities as a developer. Justify your estimates through a convincing scope document. Try to be unique in your approach. Your presentation speaks volumes about your skills and enables you to win projects on solid grounds of technicality.

We are here to help you establish your brand as ‘capable developers’ in the competitive landscape. Estimation capability is our uniqueness and we would guide you establish your capability through our innovation – Quick FPA.

For experiencing a trial version, register on our website and start estimating today!