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(EST-2751) Estimate Quality: Observations from Independent Reviews of Owner's Estimates

The cost estimating process is used to predict uncertain future costs (which will often become the baseline by which a project is managed). A key aspect of cost estimating is the minimization of the uncertainty of the estimate given the level and quality of scope definition.

An estimator’s skill, judgement and experience are critical factors affecting the quality of cost estimating artifacts and ability to minimize uncertainty in the numbers. In addition, the level of detail provided in estimate documentation will define how useful the estimate can be for further cost engineering activities such as change management, earned value, resource loading, and cost control.

AACE® RP 46R-11 provides recommended competencies for a project cost estimator, however detailed skills, knowledge and methodology, are excluded from this recommended practice document.

Based on the Author’s work reviewing owner’s estimating artifacts, this paper describes:
• Some of the common areas of improvement across the organization’s estimating products,
• Elements an owner’s estimating organization can implement or review to address those areas, and
• Recommendations for maximizing the use of the estimate for other cost engineering activities.