Getting Early Estimates Right

Time slot: 
March 8th, 1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
Sheraton 1
Business and Strategy

Almost all clients who approach you about a project want to know up front what the total cost will be. They hand you some loose notes and expect a fixed number of hours or price. To many this presents an impossible task. What is often forgotten is that an exact estimate isn't expected. What you need to produce is one that is accurate enough to close the sale.

In this talk I will introduce an early estimation method. Using it we're able to tell a client early on the expected size of a project and close sales faster. It allows us to provide estimates early on helping clients to make early decisions regarding the scope and focus of the project.

In this session you will learn how to:
- Use fixed estimates to manage uncertainty
- Break requirements down into features
- Drafting rough Drupal solutions for features
- Estimate based on experience instead of guesswork


Intended audience: 

Project managers, developers, sales people and others involved in the early sales process.

Questions answered by this session
Question 1: 
How can I make early estimates that are based on more than just hunches?
Question 2: 
How can I help a potential client prioritize features and define scope?
Question 3: 
How can I help a potential client get a picture of the total cost?
Question 4: 
How can I speed up the early estimation process?
Question 5: 
How can I provide value for my client early on and close sales faster?
Getting Early Estimates Right has been selected and voting is closed.


Don't miss out on this session !

I attended at DrupalCon Copenhaguen and this was one of the two best sessions I attended : insightful, energetic, providing the tools to do the job.

It really helped me improve the estimate process at our company.

Very good session. Thank

Very good session. Thank you.
As a suggestion for other DrualCon's, a continuation of the discussion we had after your session would be nice i.e. a session to share experiences related to estimates and offers.

Great session, thank you!

Great session, thank you! Where can we find the spreadsheet that you spoke about?

Susan: You will find the

Susan: You will find the session materials here, including the sheet I showed:

session materials gone...

That link to the session materials no longer works, but the estimation template google doc is at

Aha. Here's a living link to

Aha. Here's a living link to Jakob's "resources" page:

That's on NodeOne's dev server, so it may not last.

The important stuff:
Version 3 Template:
Version 3 Example:
Version 1 Example:


The URL ( seems to redirect correctly now. Sorry about it being broken!

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