Go BackGo Forward Index Home    

Project
Code
Meter

Estimating a Future project schedule and cost for producing a price quote

Whether being a part of a software company or an individual freelancer, when accepting a development contract from a client, you need to produce a price tag that would beat the price quote given by your competitors, while remaining above the margin of development costs. The desired cost estimation is the cost of that implementation by an average programmer, as this is the closest estimation to the price quote your competitors are offering.




Step by step instructions:
 1. Select a software project with similar functionality to the future project you plan on developing. Usually an older project of yours, or a downloaded Open Source project from one of the open source repository websites such as SourceForge (www.sf.net) or Google Code (code.google.com)
 2. Make sure you don't have any open ProjectCodeMeter report files in your spreadsheet or browser, as these files will be updated
 3. Put the project source code in a folder on your local disk (excluding any auto-generated files, and files which functionality is covered by code libraries you already have)
 4. Select this folder into the Project Folder textbox (make sure NOT to select "Differential comparison")
 5. Select the Settings describing the project. Select the best Debugging Tools settings available for the platform (usually "Complete system emulator") since your competitors are using these which cuts their development effort thus affording a lower price quote. Select the Quality Guarantee and Platform Maturity for your future project. The Price Per Hour should be the market average hourly rate of a programmer with skills for that kind of task.
 6. Click the "Analyze" button. When analysis finishes, Time and Cost results will be shown at the bottom right summary screen


Use the Project Time and Cost results as the Development component of  the price quote, add the market average costs of  the other relevant components shown in the diagram above. Add the nominal profit percentage suitable for the target market. The resulting price should be the top margin for the price quote you produce to your clients. For calculating the bottom margin for the price quote, use the process Estimating a Future project schedule and cost for internal budget planning.