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9 Types of Estimates

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Estimates are forecasts of cost and time that are used to plan, develop strategy, manage operations and make decisions. This implies uncertainty and risk where information is unknown and/or incomplete. The following are common types of estimates.

Cost Estimates

Estimates for the cost of work or purchases such as assets, tools, parts and materials.

Time Estimates

Estimates for the time to complete tasks or processes.

Project Estimates

Cost and time estimates for a program or project, often at the task level.


An estimate by the customer for how much a project or purchase should reasonably cost. Used to validate proposals and purchases.


Prices provided to a customer. In some cases, these are estimates of effort that may change based on actual work performed.

Risk Estimates

Estimates of the probability and impact of risks.

Market Estimates

Estimates of customers and competition. For example, an estimation of demand for a product in a particular region.

Value Estimates

Estimates of the value of assets such as property or software.

Financial Estimates

Estimates of financial results such as revenue and earnings estimates for a firm's upcoming financial year.
Overview: Estimates
Definition (1)
Forecasts of cost, time, value, markets and performance that are used to plan and operate a business.
Definition (2)
Future forecasts or current approximations that involve uncertainty.
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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