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Bias in Estimation with Jacob Bodnar

“We tend to think we can do things a lot faster than we really can. We also tend to think that the risks won't really be as bad and that the benefits will be really good."

Anyone who has ever estimated a project, or even a single task, knows that it’s tough work. Not only are you making guesses about time spent or pricing, you’re probably also making guesses about the scope of the project itself. One question uncovers another question, and a detail you needed to know. But are you on the right path to get what you need to create a truly realistic estimate? 

You might think you are, but the answer is probably no! Check out this episode of Time Limit, where Brett talks to Jacob Bodnar—the VP of Operations at Maestro—about biases in estimating, as well as in project management itself. They also discuss:

  • The science of bias
  • Project management bias
  • The planning fallacy
  • Optimism bias
  • How to use your team as a check and balance when it comes to bias
  • How to get to a place of understanding and deal with issues head on
  • how to define a project and what you do/don’t know
  • Where to find “unknowns”
  • How to rule out the optimism; framing
  • The language you should use in estimation

About our guest

Guest

Jacob Bodnar
VP of Operations, Maestro

Jacob is the VP of Operations at Maestro, a design and technology agency in Michigan. In his current role he leads a team of project managers in addition to being responsible for the agency's day-to-day operations and process. Prior to his current role, he was a Strategist at Maestro and spent two years as a Business Analyst at Kellogg Company.


Episode Transcript

Transcript

Brett Harned:                                          Hey, welcome to Time Limit. I'm your host, Brett Harned. My guest today is Jacob Bodner. He's the VP of Operations at Maestro, which is a design and technology agency based in Michigan. Jacob is really well-researched on the topic of bias. So in our conversation, we dig into the different types of bias, how biases manifest in project management and in teams, and even how to overcome bias. Then we also zero in on bias in project estimation, which is a topic that Jacob has really established some great thoughts and practices on. Check it out. Hey Jacob, how's it going?

Jacob Bodner:                                          It's going really well, Brett. How are you?

Brett Harned:                                          I'm doing well. Thanks. It's great to have you here. Thanks for making the time to talk to me.

Jacob Bodner:                                          Yeah, absolutely happy to be here. Looking forward to the conversation.

Brett Harned:                                          Awesome. So yeah, today we're going to talk about estimating projects and even bias in estimating. So you're going to be presenting on that topic at the 2020 Digital PM Summit, which is going to be happening online. And I'm curious, we didn't really talk about this much. How did you come up with the topic or why is the topic important to you?

Jacob Bodner:                                          Yeah. So I've always been interested in the way the brain works and the idiosyncrasies of the human mind. And in my role, in my previous role, I was a strategist at the agency I work for and we did a lot of work with companies and training employees and their learning teams and things like that. And through that work, I started to think through when companies train people, they're all adult humans and there's some commonality in how your brain consumes information and the science behind that. So I started to dive into that as part of that strategy work and as part of actual client work and just got really interested in it.
                                                      It ended up being really illuminating for some of the client work we did. Then as I started to build into a role at the organization that was working more on the business, I started to become more responsible for project management and the estimation process and things like that. That led to this understanding of well, estimating is such an important thing of what we do in our business. How can we make it better? What can I figure out from how we as humans are good or bad at estimating, or even planning projects in general and use that to our benefit and try to correct some of those things. So that's where it was born out of it and then I just went down a deep rabbit hole of all of the literature and stuff that comes out of that and how that can apply to what we do. That's where the idea was born.

Brett Harned:                                          Cool. I love it. I think one thing that you mentioned was bias in planning and all of that, and it feels to me like a level up above bias in estimation. In the role that we're talking about, it seems like probably bias in project management. I'm wondering if you think that there is bias in project management and where it might exist.

Jacob Bodner:                                          Yeah. There's definitely bias in project management as project managers. Again, as humans, we have these biases that we have and you'll hear them call just cognitive biases or sometimes heuristics. Basically what they are, just essentially shortcuts for our brain to do things. We are exposed to just thousands, just think of all the different stimulus you're exposed to in a given day things that are unconscious and subconscious or subconscious and conscious and how your brain deals with it. So your brain has to come up with all these ways to make sense of everything that you are exposed to throughout the day.
                                                      So it has little shortcuts that it does and little things that it does in order to process stuff without exerting so much energy, right? There's this idea of fast thinking and slow thinking, the idea of being there's fast thinking things. So things that are really habitual, like driving a car. You don't really think about stopping when the lights red, it just sort of happens because it's very subconscious and it's just ingrained in you, versus slow thinking things, which is really where project management would fall, which is stopping and actually being very intentional about what you're doing and thinking about what you're doing. What's interesting is a lot of these little shortcuts your brain takes will find its way into these slow thinking activities like managing a project or planning the project or whatever, and sometimes those things aren't totally logical.
                                                      It makes it worse because when you're planning a project or when you're thinking about a project, you are in a place of great uncertainty, certainly at the beginning of a project. If you're thinking about the onset of it, you don't know a whole lot. You're in the wide end of that cone of uncertainty. So your brain has to fill in those gaps too. So that makes it hard. So the big one that impacts all of us is called the planning fallacy, which is a cognitive bias that basically says that as humans, our ability to predict the future is actually really bad, which isn't really surprising to many people. We tend to have an optimism bias for doing that. And everybody probably has experienced this if you've done a home project or gone on a road trip.
                                                      And you think like, oh yeah, replacing the floor in my kitchen, I'll do that in a weekend and it'll be like 500 bucks and it's $2,000 later and seven weeks later and you're still without a floor. We tend to think we can do things a lot faster than we really can. We also tend to think that the risks won't really be as bad and that the benefits will be really good. We're just overall really bad at that. So that comes into project management obviously. When you're planning out a project, you might downplay the risks for whatever reason or you might think that it might go faster it might otherwise, or certainly people on the team might think that way. So there's a lot of those little things that come into the process of project management that can color things and create a little bit of haywire.

Brett Harned:                                          Yeah. So it sounds like some of the ways that a bias can affect a PM or even projects is like you mentioned, the planning fallacy, thinking that you can get something done at a lower budget at a higher pace or in a quicker clip than normal. What about effecting people like stakeholders or clients? Have you seen bias affect those audiences, like the bias a PM might hold affect them?

Jacob Bodner:                                          Oh yeah, for sure. I think that there's a lot of bias too around the decisions you make based upon how you feel about something positively or negatively or someone positively or negatively. So that could come into play. If you've got a project that you really positive about, you're really excited about, you can tend to make more emotional decisions in those instances and not necessarily think through all the objective criteria that you might otherwise want to as part of a project. Same thing if you have a bad relationship with a client or a stakeholder, or a positive one for that matter. That can affect things in terms of how you think through a project. So that's a big one as well.

Brett Harned:                                          Cool. I wonder, you can talk about these biases and they're things that we almost inherently just do or ways that we behave or things that we believe. You sound super researched on this so I'm excited to hear your response, but how do you think a project manager can start to curb that bias to course correct so you're not getting into situations where you think things are rosy, but you're also not going so far in the other direction that you're almost paralyzed to make a move? What are the things that you can do to set things straight, I guess?

Jacob Bodner:                                          Yeah, for sure. I think the first thing is just knowing some of these things exist and knowing the tricks your brain plays on you sometimes. If you know that, then you can start to be cognizant of it. That's really like at our agency where I work, that's really the tack we've taken on it is here are some of the things that you will experience, whether it's an estimating or project management, and just be aware of them. And also enabling people to call each other out on it. And one of the interesting things too, I think is also using your team as sort of a check and balance. So what's interesting about the planning fallacy, which is where you're overly optimistic about the future, is that tends to be true of the things that you're doing.
                                                      So it's usually one's own tasks that you're optimistic about. So if I go to a designer and I say, "How long is it going to take to design this thing," they're probably going to give me an optimistic answer. But what's interesting is when you're another person estimating on behalf of someone else or thinking about someone else's tasks, you actually tend to have a strong pessimistic bias. So you tend to think it's going to take a lot longer than what it might actually take. So obviously those naturally balance, right? So as a project manager, you could ask somebody, "What's it going to take to do something? What do you think?" And then you know they're going to be optimistic. You know you're going to be pessimistic. So maybe somewhere in the middle is where the truth lies. So balancing each other a little bit to within those biases, I think helps a lot, but the big thing is just knowing they exist, knowing what they are and making sure the team knows what they are too and holding each other accountable to those things.

Brett Harned:                                          Yeah. It's almost like just getting facts out and just being honest and committing to one another that you're going to do what you think is right. You might end up being wrong at points, but you're in it together to get past some of that bias, because I think I'm sitting here thinking a bias that a lot of PMs experience and things that are bias that I feel like I've experienced earlier in my career is the bias against a PM, right? There are teams or individuals within teams who just think that PMs aren't worth their weight or there's no need to have that person in the role. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Jacob Bodner:                                          Yeah, for sure. I think that what's interesting about that is that's sort of another brain thing too is our brain likes to compartmentalize things and put things into what's called schemas, which are just easy ways to identify stuff. And you tend to do that in your professional career, right? Whether it's another role that has that feeling about project managers and says, "Oh, they're just professional organizers and they're not really doing anything," or if it's a project manager that has that feeling about another role, like a sales role, right? Because those tend to butt heads if you have those types of situations. I think those are really good things to just again, be aware of and put out in the open and sometimes just say like, "Hey, look, I understand this is the value that I bring.
                                                      Here's what I'm doing." And most of that's just getting to a place of understanding, like usually those types of ways, we box people into those roles and compartmentalize people's roles and de-value them sometimes is usually just from a place of I just don't really understand what you do. I see that you do this and so I make up this story in my head. Again, the brain sort of makes up stories because it needs to fill the gaps of the unknown. So I think you're right, just opening it up and coming from a place of understanding with everybody will usually help at least help solve that problem.

Brett Harned:                                          Absolutely. I really like this conversation. There are so many big themes here that are relevant in a lot of other areas in our lives, but this idea of just getting to a place of understanding to overcome the bias is huge. I'm wondering if you've gotten the experience or are there any things that you within your role or have done in the past where you rally the team to get to a place of understanding?

Jacob Bodner:                                          Yeah. The biggest thing is just having a culture of that, obviously. If you work in a place where there is a culture or you're in a position where you can help set that culture of understanding, I think is huge. Just encouraging people to deal with issues or deal with frustrations with people head on and open it up and talk about it, there's a sea change in this, I think a lot in the professional world, but it used to be very much so that you would gripe to your boss or your manager about frustrations you have, and then your manager would talk to that person's manager and they would figure it out. Then it would just never really get resolved because the conflict was between the two people that were below that manager.
                                                      And I think that there's definitely a cultural change happening in a lot of professional organizations where that's more of no, deal more directly with those individuals. That's what I always encourage my team to do is, Hey, if you've got a frustration with somebody or I hear consistent themes of it, it's always, "Hey, go try to understand what they're going through." I think if you're in a place where maybe you're one of two or you're on a smaller team, I think just having somebody who can hold you accountable to that, because again, it's really hard as an individual to recognize that you have those thoughts or that you have that bias, or you have that feeling towards somebody and then take that action. And people tend to beat themselves up about that, but that's unfair because as humans, we're not good at that.
                                                      There's a certain level of self-awareness we can have, and there's some people have a lot of it. There's some people have a little of it, but being able to self-recognize some of those things is really tough. So having somebody who can be really honest with you and push you and be accountable to say, "Hey, you really need to understand where this person's coming from," and have more empathy too in that situation, having somebody, a third party to, to push you in that direction is super, super helpful. Whether that's your manager or it's a colleague, or it's a friend or whatever, it's a spouse, it doesn't matter, just somebody who can help you kind of recognize the situation, see the forest for the trees.

Brett Harned:                                          Yeah. Somebody to push you to be more empathetic, right? Or at least to open yourself up to other points of view.

Jacob Bodner:                                          Yeah.

Brett Harned:                                          Just on the topic of bias that I feel is kind of timely right now is there is a bias out there that people won't be productive when they're working from home. To me, that statement really, it pulls everything you said together right now, because I think people are learning that that's not true, that that bias is incorrect. And I think it's going to start to change the way we're working and the way that we practice work for years to come. So anyway, not really a question there, I just wanted to mention that. I think it's interesting. I don't know if you've seen any of that kind of bias in your workplace or previous workplace.

Jacob Bodner:                                          Oh yeah, for sure. I think especially when the pandemic started and we all had to work from home, there was this little bit of a fear in our company, I'll be honest where it was like, okay, what's productivity going to be like? Is this going to really hurt things? We had this bias of, yeah, it's going to. I think if you actually sit down, and that's the other thing too with, when you have these thoughts as to try to force yourself to sit down and be like, why do I actually think this? What are the facts that actually support what I'm thinking? And in that situation, the facts are pretty slim. There's not really great objective data, or maybe it's colored.
                                                      This is another sort of bias that you have with in your brain of, it's called the availability heuristic, which is this idea that immediate things that are able to come to your mind will color how you think about them. So if you just had a situation where, sure, you might've had an employee or somebody on the team who did work from home a lot and was really unproductive and that might come to your mind. A, you might be incorrectly linking those two things, and B, that might color your thought process on working from home just simply because it happened recently, even though it has no impact on of course the future of how other people will work from home.
                                                      But your brain is going to bubble that up and say, this is relevant and you're going to think, oh yeah, that's really important. And that's going to then change how you think of things. So I totally see that and I think it's interesting that now that we've had the world's largest experiment of working from home and actually been able to collect data on it, we've been able to see that in many cases, people are more productive working from home than they otherwise were in an open space office where there's thousands of distractions.

Brett Harned:                                          Right. Yeah. It absolutely makes sense. It's interesting how though once you have the data, you can prove the bias wrong to convince people, but it can be so personal that without that data, it's just hard to prove otherwise, right?

Jacob Bodner:                                          Yeah.

Brett Harned:                                          So let's jump into bias and estimation. I think it's pretty obvious that not all projects are equal. Not all project managers are equal. We're all working in different industries. Some projects aren't even estimated, so this doesn't apply to everyone, right? But I want to talk about common ways of estimating projects just to kick the idea of bias and estimation off. I'm wondering if you can talk about the way that you estimate projects and what some good practices for estimation might be?

Jacob Bodner:                                          Yeah. So our method of estimating I think is probably pretty similar across places that estimate. Our big thing is basically just if we've got a process in place for the work that we do, obviously we'll follow that as best we can, but it's basically the idea of taking the end goal and breaking it down into its requisite parts to figure out, okay, what are the steps that we're going to take to get there from a medium to high level, get as detailed as we can. And then just start to pull in the subject matter experts around that and start to have a conversation around what do you think the work effort is here?
                                                      And really, I always say that the estimation process is just as much qualitative as it is quantitative, which is to say that we should be documenting the conversation that we're having and figuring out what are the gaps in what we know and what we don't know? What are the assumptions that we're making around a lot of this stuff and document those so we have those on hand, as well as start to put numeric values to work effort and try to figure that out. Of course, in our business, being an agency, estimating is a prerequisite to charging the client money. So it's a dependency. We have to do it, and obviously that's different for different people. And certainly if you're a project manager in a company, you might not have a similar as strict of a process or guidelines.
                                                      So that's our process and we'll, we'll break it down into the parts. We'll bring the subject matter experts in. We'll have a conversation around these parts, see what the gaps are, see what assumptions we're making, try to get to as good of a place as possible for how long we feel like something's going to take. And then one of the two bigger things, sort of the best practices I think that we would say are breaking things down into smaller parts, like I mentioned. Our rule of thumb is if you tell me something's going to take 10 days to do it needs to be broken down smaller than that. There's a certain point where just again, as humans and in our brain, we just can't conceptualize time very well. So it's really hard to tell me something's going to take 15 or 20 days and you really be able to understand that that's going to take that long.
                                                      So that's a flag and we'll say, "Okay, let's break that down further." Then the other thing is to do it in ranges. We used to do estimating where we would just say, "Okay, 20 hours, 15 hours." We'd just have one number and it's silly because again, you're at the beginning of the project, you don't know a whole lot. Everything you're looking at has unknowns in it, whether you realize it or not. So we always say put a low end, put a high end. And then that becomes a useful tool to say if the delta between the low and the high is big, there's a lot of stuff we don't know there. So you better have good documentation about what are we missing to need to tighten this up? What are the big risks here? What are the assumptions here? So it gives you a tool to scan through and say, okay, what parts do I maybe need more information on or have inherent risk in them that we need to be able to pinpoint and talk about and figure out how we're going to manage?

Brett Harned:                                          Yeah. Our practices sound pretty similar. To me, it really is about breaking down every step. I'm a big fan of the work breakdown structure. Just like you said, if somebody says it's going to take 10 days to do something, I want to know why it's going to take 10 days and then break that down into the task level. Then that then downstream can help you with planning and resourcing and all of that awesome stuff. But I'm curious, where do you think bias creeps into that process of estimation?

Jacob Bodner:                                          Yeah. So going back to the first piece is like we talked about with the planning fallacy, which is, if you ask someone how long it's going to take to design this logo or whatever, they're going to be naturally optimistic. So they're going to say, "It'll take such and such time." And you're going to have to realize there's optimism in there. They're probably being optimistic. So that's where you, as a facilitator of estimation or project manager, your natural pessimism, which again, is inherent in that planning fallacy can help balance that or counterbalance that. What we found in our agency that we've been really working hard to root out is the opposite.
                                                      So what I see all the time is someone will give an estimate and then someone will make a comment about, "Wow, that feels high." Or, "I think this is actually going to be easier than you think." And they'll start to use those kinds of words, which actually is the opposite of what you want to do because the science tells us that those people are already being optimistic. If you start to frame things that way, you're actually making them more optimistic, which is actually going to work against you. So what we try to do is, this is another thing called framing, which is the idea that how you present something to someone will impact how they respond. So if I present a project to you or a work item to your task, and I say, "Yeah, this should be pretty easy," or "This is pretty straightforward," you're going to have that colored and you're going to say, "Okay, that's probably pretty easy."

Brett Harned:                                          Minimize it, right?

Jacob Bodner:                                          Yeah, that's going to be a little bit easier than I think. That's a big piece of bias of those little things that you say. So we try to tell people don't use words like easy or simple or straightforward because it'll A, make people more optimistic than they already are, B, we found that a lot of our team members just straight up don't like that because it in a lot of ways devalues the work they're doing. If you tell them, "Yeah, this thing you're going to do is simple." Right? It's what we were talking about earlier. So that's a big one.
                                                      Framing and then the planning fallacy is a big one. And then there's other little ones that come into, things like the anchoring bias, which a lot of people might be familiar with, which is basically the idea that we tend to rely really heavily on initial pieces of information, which is the anchor. So this is a lot around numbers. If I throw out a big number, like, oh, the client only has X number of dollars for this project, that will again, influence people and how they estimate because they're going to have that anchor there. So there's a lot of little things that come into play. We've actually put together what we call the sins of scoping, which are six different things that are around biases that help people understand the little things that they do that inject bias into that estimation process.

Brett Harned:                                          I like that. So the sins of scoping, are those things that are made public to everybody who might be involved in an estimating session or estimating a project so that it's like setting an expectation before you even get in a room to have a conversation?

Jacob Bodner:                                          Oh yeah. We did a ...

Brett Harned:                                          Nice.

Jacob Bodner:                                          ... big workshop where we went through it with everybody. And then in the document we use for estimating, which we call our workbook, they're right in there, front and center. I've tried to train people to say, "Look, I want to hear people calling people out on it," not in a negative way, but just in an accountability way. Like, "Hey, you're framing this way. Make sure that you are staying more objective and not using these subjective adjectives that make it seem like something is easier than it is." And again, going back to what we talked about in terms of thinking through the facts, what we try to train people to do is if you find yourself saying that this is straightforward or we should find efficiencies in this or whatever it is, just stop and ask yourself why you think that. Why do I think something is simple? It could be simple, but think about why it is and present that information to the team, and that should be the input that they use.

Brett Harned:                                          Absolutely. Those are good practices to have when you're in the project too, right? Those are things that a team can rally around because change happens in projects, estimates need to be reworked. Sometimes you get into projects and you realize your estimate was way off and you have to think through things over again. So do you keep those, I guess, what did you call them? The six sins of scoping, do you keep those top of mind through the course of the project or do you have other kind of similar kind of ideals within your company or your teams?

Jacob Bodner:                                          Yeah, I think those are good things to keep in mind throughout. I think the other thing we try to do, we could get better at it, I think this is probably true of any project manager is just try to like revisit scope as you go or revisit estimates as you go through the project. So in other words, if again, you're at the wide end of the cone of uncertainty if you do an upfront estimate and if you use that as the basis throughout, you're not really seeing what's changed. So at different milestones, we try to get people to say, "Okay, stop. Let's actually look at and re-estimate this a little bit." Because even if it's way, way off, I'd rather know that than being surprised by it. And I might not be able to rectify it by going back to the client and asking for more money or more time or whatever. But again, knowing it, just knowing it out in the open will at least help you overcome it versus being surprised when someone goes way over budget, way over time and it takes longer than you expected.

Brett Harned:                                          Absolutely. Yeah. Those are things that you just want to get ahead of regardless of the situation so that you can, as the PM, think strategically and find another path or find a way to do that thing with a lower budget, motivate the team to get there if they can, or just beat that time and cost and just go for it, right?

Jacob Bodner:                                          Yep.

Brett Harned:                                          All right. So this has been really cool. You're really educated on the bias thing, which is awesome, and thank you for sharing that with us. On the podcast here, every episode I ask a final question that's in keeping with the show title, which as you know is Time Limit. And it feels like those time limits can also be resource limits and they can impact our estimating process. I think those limits or the stress around those limits can definitely create bias.
                                                      So two questions around this. So first, should you create estimates based on what you think a project should take or should it be based on your current reality? So I guess an example of that might be on a project, I know that I need two designers to get work done, but I don't have two designers free. Do I estimate for two designers and hope that I get another later or do I plan on using one? I hope that makes sense, but it's just this idea of I know that I need more, but I don't have that now. So let's create an estimate based on what I have right [inaudible 00:28:04].

Jacob Bodner:                                          I would say, do whatever kind of gives you the most, the most flexibility or whatever's going to be the most conservative estimate that allows you to set the right expectation and be able to potentially exceed it in the future. So this happens frequently with us where we'll say, okay, we're really, really loaded up with designers right now. So let's put an estimate together that assumes that we're going to be able to put 20% of a person on this project right now because we're really, really loaded up and it's going to take a lot longer. We're going to stretch a big amount of time across a lot of weeks. Then it's a happy surprise if ... Because the thing is of course reality is going to change. In most people's worlds, things are moving really, really fast.
                                                      What you thought was reality today is going to be different tomorrow. So we always try to do it where it's let's do it conservatively and what gives us the most flexibility to set a good expectation and then gives us the ability to then be the heroes and come in and say, "Well, actually, our schedule opened up and we can put more of this person on it. We can get it done quicker, or we can put another person on it," or just give yourself options. So whatever gives you, the most options is what I would lean towards so you set a good expectation because the last thing we want to do is that a bad expectation and then be like, "Well actually, we can't really do that. It's going to take longer than we thought."

Brett Harned:                                          Right. So it's be realistic about the level of effort, right?

Jacob Bodner:                                          Totally.

Brett Harned:                                          And if it's the level of effort you needed two designers, but you've only got one, then give that one designer the time that they would need for two people to do the work.

Jacob Bodner:                                          Exactly.

Brett Harned:                                          If that makes sense. Okay.

Jacob Bodner:                                          Also, sometimes bringing in another person doesn't make things quicker. It makes things harder.

Brett Harned:                                          So true.

Jacob Bodner:                                          So keep that in mind too. Yeah.

Brett Harned:                                          Yeah. So here's my second question, and it's more around just time and being busy, right? We have time limits on our day-to-day just because of life and busy-ness at work. So there are times I'm sure in your life working in an agency where a big important client comes up and they've got this new idea and they need an estimate out by tomorrow or the end of the day. That might deplete the amount of time that you have to pull those subject matter experts into a room and talk through and do work breakdown structures. So what's your recommendation for when you're stretched for time and you just need to get an estimate out quickly. How can you do that and feel confident about it?

Jacob Bodner:                                          Yeah. So I think the first thing I would say is to plan for it. In other words, you know at some point you're going to be asked to put something together quicker than you thought. If your normal time is two weeks to put an estimate together, put a plan together to have a expedited process so that you can do that in five days or one week or whatever the case might be, which is what we've done and we try to hold to. So we have a normal estimation process and then we have the quick route. If something does have to go quick, here are the things that we absolutely must do because I think naturally what we find is people want to subvert pieces of the process and just get right to the end and just get right to the number when they're under pressure to do it.
                                                      And what's funny is that in those situations, you actually should be more dependent on the process and have more scrutiny over what you're doing because when you're moving that fast, you are for sure going to forget something, going to miss something. That's just, again, human nature. So I would say, think through. If you have an estimation process now, think through what the quicker version of it would be. What are the must haves that you have to go through so everybody knows when that quick thing comes in, this is the way that we go about it. These are the things that we have to do, and here's the minimum amount of time it takes to put an estimate together.
                                                      And then the other thing is realized that that quick estimation process is a risk of the project that you're going to have to manage because again, you will undoubtedly have forgotten something, have mis-estimated something. So either spiked the estimate a little bit to account for that or just be very cognizant of the fact that this estimate was put together quickly. And if you have to hand that estimate off to a PM, make sure they know that so that they can be aware of it, because again, there will be gaps in there and you're just going to have to manage around them.

Brett Harned:                                          Absolutely. This is all really great information and really good advice. Jacob, thank you so much for joining me today. Really appreciate it.

Jacob Bodner:                                          Yeah. Thank you so much for having me.

Brett Harned:                                          All right. Have a good one.

Jacob Bodner:                                          Yeah, you too.

Brett Harned:                                          All right. So I need to know, what's your bias and how are you going to overcome it? I'll share a little bit about mine. So my estimating bias tends to be the planning fallacy that we discussed. I have to say, I'm really good at underestimating and realizing that a few days before something's due. I need to get better at that. Anyway, thanks again for listening to Time Limit. If you're enjoying the podcast, give us a good review and subscribe so that when a new episode's available to download or stream on your favorite service. And of course, check us out a teamgantt.com if you're looking for a quick, easy, and well-designed project management tool, or if you're just looking for some free PM education. We've got you. Until next time.

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