Bottom-up estimating is a technique that involves estimations on a granular level for components of a job. These are then aggregated to a total estimate for the whole project. It is regularly referred to as one of the many exact methods of estimating. Estimating price, duration or resource needs of a job typically starts through a rough order of magnitude in the beginning. This is followed by more exact estimates later on in a project.

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In this short article, we will certainly introduce theconcept, cover the distinctions and interdependencies with other estimationmethods and administer guidance to and an example of bottom-up estimating injobs.


What Is Bottom-Up Estimating?

Example of the aggregation of bottom-up approximates (click to enlarge).
The demands administration team, forcircumstances, might have actually used analogous estimating. In that situation, they estimatedtheir reresource, time and also budobtain demands based upon observed worths from previousworkshops and specifications. Hence, they came up via estimates of 12 persons,29 days and $104,400 for their workstream.

The testing team, on the various other hand, mightrecognize exactly how many test situations a perkid typically creates per day and also exactly how many instances ateam member typically completes per day. They multiply these parameters via thenumber of intended test cases in the existing project, i. e. they are applyingthe parametric estimating technique.

The light-blue rows in the above table showthe estimates on the work package level (i.e. the amount of the estimates of theactivities). The dark-blue lines reexisting the second level of aggregation – thesum of sources, expenses and also duration on a phase level (tantamount level to thatof deliverables in other WBS types).

The orange cells contain the totalaggregateways for the totality project: a full headcount of 47, a sum of time neededof 274 days (which is not necessarily the task duration, view explanationbelow) and also complete price of $893,700.

Keep in mind that the numbers of headcount and timeare just the sums of the particular granular estimates. In fact, theheadcount could be lower as some team members might work in differentactivities and also job-related packages. For circumstances, a organization analyst that writesspecifications might also be deployed for testing in a later task phase.

The amount of the duration approximates of all tasks does not necessarily equal the complete duration of the project. This is bereason scheduling may bring about parallel activities or waiting time that is not estimated on the task level. This is actually a part of the breakthrough of the in its entirety schedule.

Advantperiods and Disadvantages of Bottom-Up Estimating


Bottom-up estimates can be veryspecific. This is because team members are estimating the piece of occupational theyare responsible for. As they frequently have the many knowledge of their workpackage, their approximates tfinish to be much more precise than top-down estimates.Estimation errors can balanceout across the components of a job. If the time or expense of one work packagehas actually been underapproximated, for circumstances, this can be offset by anoverestimation of one more job-related package. Such errors could therefore notnecessarily influence the budacquire baseline at the task level.Bottom-up estimating can besupplied in conjunction with other estimation methods, e.g. the task durationmight be obtained through parametric or analogous estimating.


The underlying assumption isthat the job estimate consists of the sum of its pieces. This may ignoreoverhead and also integration initiatives that may happen in enhancement to the job-related definedin tasks. This holds for big and complex tasks, in certain.The bottom-up estimation itselfrequires a lot even more resources than other methods such as analogous estimating(top-down estimation).The cost estimation is based onthe duration estimate. Both rely on the approximated reresource demands. Thus,an estimation error tright here would cause inaccurate time and expense estimates aswell.In practice, bottom-up estimatesdeserve to be susceptible to the bias or the interests of the estimators. While this appliesto all types of approximates (to some extent), it might be much less manageable inbottom-up estimating. This is bereason these estimations are normally done by manyvarious estimators, i.e. those responsible for a work-related package.


Bottom-up estimating have the right to be an extremely accuratemethod to identify the definitive estimate of a task. It needs a certainamount of resources and also an established job-related breakdvery own framework. The projecthave to have been damaged dvery own to the work-related package and activities level before youdeserve to use this approach.

Acomponent from estimating resources, time andcosts for the planned job-related of a project, this strategy deserve to additionally be supplied toassess readjust researches, e.g. in the course of a cost-benefitanalysis of such alters.

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There are likewise numerous various other approaches to estimate the prices or duration of tasks and their components. Make certain you review our short article on expense estimating and estimating task durations to obtain an overview and also comparichild of the different viewpoints.