The two key elements that are candidates for ‘trimming’ on a project estimate at the sales stage that’s beyond the budget of the client is frequently the Project Management, and Testing time.
These are seen as not-quite-essential items.
Many hope that they can ‘wing’ it.
On a good day, with wind behind you, if everything goes to plan…
You don’t really need anyone managing the team; a good team will manage themselves.
If you get really good developers and consultants…
You don’t really need testing, everything will work juuuuuust fine.
… Don’t forget to cross your fingers, toes, and arms for this.
They are, in fact very critical support functions within the team, and you should avoid reducing those numbers without understanding impact of doing so.
Now that you have estimation to build and deliver the project against a client’s requirement, and delivery a quality project – what do you do next to win the sale?
I believe that it now boils down to the commercial approach and the negotiation process.
Taking down estimates (and costs) will involve either:
1. Reducing the day rate or providing a discount, or
2. Reducing scope.
I strongly believe that it should never involve reducing the estimation without slimming down the requirements.
It’s a bit like the ‘measure twice, cut once’ adage.
Take the time to get it right at this stage, and you set the project up for a smoother ride, and a more meaningful experience for everyone.