Analogous Estimation

analogous estimation

The word analogous comes from ‘Analogy’. Analogous Estimation is basically an estimation technique that can be used for calculating several project parameters especially duration and cost in project management.

The estimates are basically based on historical data by comparing the current activity with a similar activity that took place in the past. Analogous estimation is thus a kind of expert judgment, with a dash of historical data, since no calculations are taking place.

Example of Analogous Estimation

For example, previously, projects of this size took 4 weeks for design activity so it should be the same this time around. The key is to identify similarities. Analogous estimation won’t work in situations that aren’t similar

Advantages of Analogous Estimation

  1. First and foremost, this is a simple technique and doesn’t require using a software or a formula to come up with the estimates
  2. The technique works best in the initial stages and is thus very advantageous when only a few details about the project are known
  3. Making use of the analogous estimation technique, you can come up with estimates pretty quickly
  4. Since we are only drawing comparisons from historical data, this technique is also helpful in estimating tasks in the WBS
  5. The accuracy of this technique is often questioned but on the contrary since the organization’s own historical project data is being used, the accuracy is rather high

Ideally, analogous estimation should be used when there is limited information regarding the current project. As a Project Manager, several times you will land up in situations where the higher management or executives want you to provide an initial estimate of cost and duration when not much is really known about the project. This estimation can help them with project selection.

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