The estimator's charter is not to state what the developers should do, but rather to provide a reasonable project of what they will do. - Tom DeMarco
Here's a few resource materials for estimating cost, schedule, and technical outcomes on software intensive systems. In meeting about managing risk in the presence of uncertainty below, it became clear we need to integrate estimating with risk, technical performance measures, measures of effectiveness, measures of performance, cost, and schedule.
- Quantifying IT Forecast Quality, J.L. Eveleen and C. Verhoef
- Cost and Schedule Uncertainty: Analysis of Growth in Support of JCL, Darren Elliott, Tecolote Research
- Software Cost Estimation Metrics Manual for Defense Systems, Bradford Clark and Raymond Madachy.
- Analysis of Empirical Software Estimation Models
- A Framework for the Analysis of Software Cost Estimation Model
There are 1,117 other papers and articles in the Software Cost Estimating folder on my server. These are just a very small sample of how to make estimates.
The notion that we can make decision in the presence of uncertainty in the absence of estimating (#NoEstimates) the outcomes of those decisions can only work if there no opportunity costs at risk in the future. That is there is nothing at risk for making a choice between multiple outcomes.