Quality is delighting customers
In Fortune500 organizations that have lots of technology/business deliverables slated quarter after quarter, estimation process follows a three-step evolution:
Step 1: High level estimations
- These are the very first set of estimations that your team will provide. At this stage, you would be lucky if you had a BRD available for your reference. The scope outlined is also at a very high level that your estimations are usually at a variance of +/- 100% (the worst case)
Step 2: Mid level estimations
- By now project documentations have started to take form and functionality to test is becoming apparent. The requirement documentations are still in its final stages and have not been solidified. The estimations at this stage are usually at a variance of +/- 50%.
Step 3: Closest proximity estimations
- BRD is finalized and could also be signed off. Scope is clear and the testers have a clear picture of their testing effort. The estimations at this stage is usually at a variance of +/- 10%.
I am not sure if all organizations follow this model or not, but this is something that works best for North American financial industries that churn out multi-million dollar releases every quarter.