For somebody working in a development agency, estimation is a critical part of the job. Different companies handle this process differently, and the method can be anything from a wild guess (“That’ll cost around $n”) to a very methodic approach.
Recently, I’ve been using the early estimation spreadsheet that Jakob Persson posted a while ago. This spreadsheet has been very helpful, however, I’ve run into a few cases where the formulas get messed up and the estimate ends up being completely inaccurate.
To resolve this issue, I’ve written a small web app called estmt.me.
This app works a lot like Etherpad. When you land on the main page, you’ll be redirected to a unique URL where you can edit your estimate. When you’re done, you can click the “View client summary page” button at the bottom of the page, and you’ll see a quick summary of your data without the ability to edit it. If you want, you can send this URL to your clients.
In the future, I’ll be adding a handful of extra features:
- An assumptions field
- More control over the level of detail on the client summary page
- The ability to export your estimate as a CSV or a PDF
- Password protected estimate summary pages
- Vanity URLs (either http://companyname.estmt.me/project-name or http://estimates.companyname.com/client-name)
I’m at Drupalcon this week, so if you want to discuss the app with me, come find me! I’ll likely be at the Propeople booth or in the coder lounge.