In this article, we will provide an overviewof this technique, that definition, common uses and also examples ofanalogous estimating in job management.

You are watching: Analogous estimates are called activity based costing

What Is Analogous Estimating?Advantages and also Disadvantages the Analogous EstimatingExample the Analogous Estimating in Projects

What Is Analogous Estimating?

Analogous estimating is an estimation techniqueis likewise referred to together top-down estimating. It involves leveraging the estimators’experience or historical data indigenous previous tasks by adopting observed cost,duration or resource needs come a existing project or sections of a project.Analogous estimating walk not require data manipulation or statisticaladjustments.

This an approach is valuable if you require toproduce approximates without having actually plenty of info available. This may bethe situation during project an option or initiation phases, once overseeing a bunchof tasks at the portfolio-level (source:PMI practice Standard forProject Estimating), or in the at an early stage stages of a project. Estimations canrelate come a whole project or components of a project, together as occupational packages oractivities.

Estimating expense of a Project: Techniques and also Examples

Analogous estimating is generally used toget 4 types of estimates:

a single-point or absolute worth estimate,a ratio estimate,an calculation range, and

What Is an pure or One-Point Estimate?

This term refers to an estimation resultthat consists of a solitary absolute value. Because that instance, if the expense of a previousproject supplied to it is in $100,000 and also it is approximated that a new, similar projectrequires a similar budget, the analogous estimate would be $100,000, anabsolute value.

Chart showing a range estimate identified through analogous estimating based on historical data (click to enlarge the image).

What Is a Three-Point Estimate?

Three-point estimating calls for the projectmanager or the team to come up through three different estimates:

optimistic estimate,pessimistic estimate, andmost likely estimate.

These values room then transformed right into a last estimate using the triangle or the PERT distribution. Review our comprehensive guide for more details.

What Is the Difference in between Parametric and AnalogousEstimating?

Parametric estimating uses historic datain a different means than analogous estimating. It needs calculations andadjustments to account for the attributes of the existing project.

This is typically done utilizing a statisticalapproach. It entails identifying parameters in historical data that correlatewith cost, duration or resource-related values of a project. Inserting theparameters the the existing project will certainly then lead to the estimates for thecurrent endeavor. The implementation that this method varies greatly amongorganizations – it normally ranges from a simple ‘rule the three’ calculate to complicated statistical models and algorithms.

Analogous estimating, on the various other hand,does not generally involve an adjustment of data. It additionally does no requirestatistical proof of suspect relationships. Instead, it relies much more onexpert judgment.

Parametric Estimating | Definition, Examples, Uses

All in all, parametric estimating often tends toproduce an ext accurate results thanks to its statistical and data-drivenapproach. Analogous estimating, top top the various other hand, needs fewer data and also fewerresources and can therefore be used when only a small information is known.

How do You apply Analogous Estimating?

Analogous estimating usually entails thefollowing steps:

Creating a list of similar projects (you deserve to start v a longlist first and filter it later).Getting the historic cost, durations and/or resource requirements and additional details on the features of past projects, e.g. Scope, activities, complexity, eco-friendly factors, etc.Refining the longlist by removing previous tasks that room not deemed appropriate anymore. The result is a shortlist the projects, the are similar to the existing one.Deciding which form of estimates is needed, based upon the stakeholders’ requirements, the ease of access of data and the to trust of the estimators. Refer to the an initial section the this post for the interpretations of the different an outcome types that analogous estimating.Select or calculate the calculation from the historical data.

Read this step-by-step indict for more details and guidance.

How to carry out Analogous Estimating – an shown 5-Step Guide

Advantages and Disadvantages that Analogous Estimating

Like any type of other technique to estimating cost,schedule or resources, the analogous estimation technique comes through a numberof advantages and disadvantages.


Analogous estimating commonly does not require a the majority of resources or time.This type of estimating deserve to be performed v very minimal available data.It is thus ideal in the project initiation phase and also for tasks for i beg your pardon not lot information and historical data space available.


Estimates have tendency to be rough andthey are often not an extremely accurate.The underlying presumption isthat historical data or endure of the estimators would be applicable to thecurrent project. If it turns out that this assumption was incorrect, theestimate will certainly be useless.In practice, top-down estimatescan occasionally be thrust by political considerations or even pressure ratherthan based upon the project-specific features or the expertise of thesubject issue experts.The high level and thepotential inaccuracy the analogous approximates put specific limitations ~ above theiruse because that decision-making or job planning and also controlling.

What are the common Uses that Analogous Estimating inProject Management?

Analogous estimates are used by projectmanagers of nearly all type of projects. Its applications is frequently dependent onthe project’s phase and also the access of data rather than the subject matterof a task or activity.

Within the lifecycle the a project,analogous approximates are an especially common in the project selection orinitiation phases (source).However, the presumptions for the cost-benefit evaluation of change processes orless far-reaching parts that a task could additionally be approximated using this method.

This technique can additionally be used to anylevel of granularity in ~ the work break down structure. However, it isparticularly common to estimate entire projects or bigger portions the a projectin very early planning stage.

You might consider applying the analogous estimationtechnique in instances where

resources because that estimating arelimited,not plenty of details about theproject (and/or equivalent projects) are known, ora turbulent estimate fits for thepurpose.

In practice, project supervisors tend come relyon analogous estimating largely in situations where only minimal resources orlittle input info are available. Developing rough outcomes that space ‘goodenough’ because that a step or a part of a project is an additional typical use case.

Another example is program monitoring (source: PMI exercise Standard forProject Estimating): for the high-level administration of a investment portfolio of projects,rough approximates are often sufficient to produce data together a basis because that strategicdecisions.

When projects have actually been to run for sometime, such estimates are usually polished or replaced based on much more accurate typesof approximates (e.g. Bottom-up or parametric estimates).

Read on for an instance of how the differenttypes that analogous estimating can be provided in practice.

Example that Analogous Estimating in Projects

In this example, the different types of theanalogous estimation method are used to the adhering to situation:

An IT vendor is asked by a prospectivecustomer to calculation the implementation price of off-the-shelf software. Thevendor has actually done comparable types of tasks a couple of times before and stored the keyindicators of past projects in a committed database. The database reflects thefollowing data for a long list of comparable projects:

Historical job data cost (in $1,000) duration (in days)
project A 100 40
project B 200 70
job C 80 50
project D 160 50
project E 120 60

In stimulate to determine an analogousestimate, the estimators compare the qualities of the upcoming projectwith those the the 6 previous tasks for i beg your pardon they obtained the historicalcost and also duration values.

One-Point Estimate

The team applies some experienced judgment andconcludes that the attributes of the current project are comparable toProject E. There is in reality an overlap in terms of scope, intricacy andavailability the resources. Subsequently, they room using the observed expense andduration of that task as their analogous estimate (E):

E_cost = $120,000

E_duration = 60 days

Range that Estimates and three-point estimate

If the estimators space not maybe to uncover anexact match in their historical data, they tend to choose estimating a rangeinstead of a single value.

In this case, castle exclude job C as theyconsider that an outlier in terms of scope (narrower than the existing scope) and also cost(low). Their approximates are:

E_cost_min = $100,000

E_cost_max = $200,000

E_duration_min = 40 days

E_duration_min = 70 days

The estimators connect this range.However, together this selection is rather broad, the stakeholders questioning the estimators tocome up through a ‘most likely’ estimate. The team then supplies the above-mentionedone-point calculation (based on the same considerations) as the ‘most likely’estimate:

E_cost_mostlikely = $120,000

E_duration_mostlikely = 60

For a three-point calculation that have the right to befurther processed in a triangular or PERT distribution, the team provides theminimum and maximum estimates as the hopeful and cynical points,respectively.

Ratio Estimate

The estimators could also determine a ratioestimate. Because that instance, if they expected the existing project come incur 30%higher cost and take 20% an ext time than project A, their estimates would be:

E_cost = $100,000 x 1.3 = $130,000

E_duration = 40 job x 1.2 = 48 days

For some projects, a failure intodifferent components of a project might be required. According to the team’sexperience, job efforts and time space usually dispersed as follows:

Project management: 10%Installation: 10%Customization: 50%Documentation: 10%Testing and also quality assurance: 20%

Applied to their previous estimate, theirnumbers room as follows:

usual share expense estimate Time estimate
total estimate 120 48
Project management 10% 12 4.8
surroundings 10% 12 4.8
Customization 50% 60 24
Documentation 10% 12 4.8
Testing and also quality assurance 20% 24 9.6

Uses of these Analogous Estimates

Depending top top the trust of theestimators, these estimates may or may not be deemed great enough come quote aprice for their customer’s project.

In any type of case, the team will probably share therange (cost that 100 come 200 and a duration of 40 to 70 days) as an stimulate ofmagnitude. At the exact same time, they might want to request more details fromtheir prospective client, such as a list of demands or areas that need tobe customized. This feedback have the right to then be offered to produce an ext accurateestimates.

For their interior communication, e.g. Withtheir account management team, the estimators might want to use the ‘most likely’or the proportion estimates. These numbers can help obtain a decision of even if it is thevendor is willing and also able to go after this opportunity. Castle may additionally rely onthe breakdown (ratio estimate) to examine the accessibility of resources, e.g.whether the tailoring experts forced for this project would be availablefor 24 days.

If analogous estimating is supplied in internalprojects of an organization, the ratio estimate can additionally be advantageous to calculateresource demands in the early stages the a project and also to determine towhich extent departments or reality are affected by a project.

In any type of case, these analogous approximates arestill rather rough, so an company will likely want to replace them withmore accurate numbers over the course of a project.


Although the analogous or top-down estimation method is frequently rough and also high-level, that is very relevant in practice. Wherein not much details is obtainable (yet) or an bespeak of size is required rather than a critical estimate, analogous estimating can be the an approach of choice.

See more: Articles By Susan Kerr The Courier-Express, Tell No One

Nevertheless, if girlfriend need an ext accurate numbers, you should consider using various other estimation techniques. You will certainly find review of the different methods in this post on cost estimation and also this article on expression estimation.