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Planning your projects

 
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Just interested in the different methods everyone uses to plan their projects, set timelines, etc.

 
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  1. Thinking about what kind of project should I start.
  2. Trying to find what need to be done in that project.
  3. Starting to complete a few tasks.
  4. Getting tired.
  5. Give up.
 
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For me it is simple (perhaps simple because I have used the same organizing technique since college.....), I estimate the maximum project time, and then I will add 5% more time to that for incidentals. I then plan on my calendar when I can accomplish said task, and carry out my planned days. If someone contracts me to do a networking job, because of the organization, I can give them exactly when I can do it, and sometimes I can even get to them early...becasue of that 5% cushion! And when you get to a job "early", people like that :)

I hope this helps answer your question, I was not quite sure what you were looking for.

 
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>Just interested in the different methods everyone
>uses to plan their projects, set timelines, etc.
What is this planning thing you speak of? Just kidding, I use a variation of Scrum that's optimized for small teams.

 
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I am also having trouble with those, and now searching the net how can I improve in this.

I estimate the maximum project time, and then I will add 5% more time to that for incidentals.

Yeah, you can put safe estimations.. but doens't that happen that you cliets move to other programming companies because they offer faster and cheaper solution?

 
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Yeah, you can put safe estimations.. but doens't that happen that you cliets move to other programming companies because they offer faster and cheaper solution?

There's always going to be a company that's willing to undercut your estimate. The question is: are you willing to risk offering an unrealistic estimate just to win the client? Keep in mind that clients who only care about the lowest price are problem children more often than not.

 
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There's always going to be a company that's willing to undercut your estimate. The question is: are you willing to risk offering an unrealistic estimate just to win the client? Keep in mind that clients who only care about the lowest price are problem children more often than not.

thanks, at least thats good news

 
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another question:

lets say you need to do some task on existing project. Upgrade functionality. And you need to tell how much will it take to complete. But that feature, which you are going to code is dependant on lets say 5 or more existing things - to make your feature usefull, you will have to make adjustments on those 5 existing things.

How are you planning when at first you don't know exactly those dependant thing, you just know them aproximately? Are you examining carefully them, lets say modifying code a little bit to simulate breaking of those things so then you can be sure that this, this and that will not work after my new functionality?

And still you are not sure if adjusting those 5 things will not break something else, so how to know that?

And still how to be sure that you noticed all of those things that will need adjustments, how can you be sure that you didn't miss something?

This is mystery for me now at least. I know some things where I can improve lets say css, mysql - just practice and you improve at them. But how to improve at seeing all the things that will break?

 
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But how to improve at seeing all the things that will break?

It's impossible to account for all of the potential problems. Estimates are nothing more than an educated guess. Really all you can do is add padding to the estimate relative to potential unknown factors. As you gain more experience, both the estimates and padding become more accurate.

 
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The question is: are you willing to risk offering an unrealistic estimate just to win the client?

One thought came - what if you have no clients and you need to win every posible client? I am now working on my own and have not enough projects. No projects - no money. How to pay for rent, also I need to eat. Not even talking about entertainment, like going to pub with friends and so on.

Edit: probably its bad to work on your own, if you don't even know how will you get the clients.

 
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well, if you want to work for yourself, you have to be able to deal with some extra costs. for instance: what if you do have a project, but the payment from your client arrives a few months later than expected? sure, in a perfect world that would never happen, but in a perfect world, there would be no need for money.

maybe it's best to start of working for a consultancy agency, or for another company, until you have enough financial stability to guarantee you won't fall without the necessities. being your own boss is great, but if it lands you in the gutter, it's only a fools dream that doesn't last long enough to wake up from.

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