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14 Examples of Basis Of Estimate

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Basis of estimate is a document that describes exactly how an estimate was calculated. It is often described as a tool or system as it gives you everything that you need to apply a consistent estimation method to programs, projects, processes or activities. The following are examples of basis of estimate content.

Assumptions & Constraints

Any assumptions and constraints that were required to generate a set of estimates. This isn't a repeat of project assumptions but applies to the estimates themselves. For example, assumptions that were made to generate a list of comparable projects for estimate benchmarks.


Identify the version of requirements, risk registers and other project artifacts that are the basis of the estimate. Attach any source documents such as price quotes from suppliers.

Estimate Summary

A high level summary designed to communicate the estimate to all stakeholders such that it can be easily understood.


A description of the estimation procedure. For example, describing a bottom-up estimation process of identifying tasks and having subject matter experts estimate each. Include details of calculations or algorithms.


Principles that are used to guide estimates. For example, a principle of using three point estimates to estimate complex tasks.

Bottom-up Estimates

If bottom-up estimates are used the details are included at the level at which estimates were produced, typically the task level.

Parametric Estimates

The details of any calculations or algorithms that were used to generate estimates. Algorithms are sufficiently explained in plain language such that they aren't a mystery.

Analogous Estimates

Any comparisons that were used to generate or validate estimates based on your historical projects. The details of the historical projects used are listed.

Reference Class Forecasting

Any benchmarks that were used to generate or validate estimates using a database of similar programs, projects and initiatives. The details of relevant database entries are listed.

Third Party Estimates

Details of price quotations and other estimates provided by third parties.


Details of contingency added to an estimate to account for risk. Potentially includes confidence intervals for estimates.


Details of any analysis related to the estimates.


Details of sanity checks and validations that were performed. For example, a bottom-up estimate technique that is validated with reference class forecasting.


An audit trail of approvals for the estimate.
Overview: Basis Of Estimate
A document that describes exactly how an estimate was calculated.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about estimates.
Base Case
Basis Of Estimate
Budget Estimates
Cost Estimates
Parametric Estimate
Risk Estimates
Work Complexity
More ...
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The common types of estimates.

Reference Class Forecasting

An overview of reference class forecasting as an estimation technique.


Projections of costs, task completion times and resource needs for a project.

Story Points

An overview of estimating with story points including planning poker.

Parametric Estimate

A definition of parametric estimate with examples.

Cost Analysis

The common types of cost analysis.

Budget Estimates

A definition of budget estimate with examples.

Level Of Effort

The definition of level of effort with examples.

Technical Requirements

An overview of technical requirements with common examples.

Project Risk

A list of common project risks.

Project Management Basics

A list of basic project management techniques.


A definition of workaround with examples.

Project Branding

A list of project branding techniques.

Stakeholder Management

An overview of project stakeholder management with examples.

Action Plan

A definition of action plan with examples.

Cost Overrun

The primary types of cost overrun.

Document Control

The definition of document control with examples.

Project Oversight

A guide to project oversight.

Design-Driven Development

A definition of design driven development with examples.
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