How do you estimate the project’s budget? A new poll

I just want to bring your attention to the new poll I published on the sidebar of my blog. Especially for those who are subscribed to my RSS feed and don’t visit the site.

The question this month is: How do you estimate the project’s budget? My personal observations are that in the software companies in Bulgaria the project managers are not allowed to deal with the budget. The financial estimates are made by the top management and usually are kept in secret from the team, sometimes even from the project manager.

I am very curious if this practice is used elsewhere.
Please, vote! Your opinion matters!


  • Bart Stevens says:

    What we see more and more are the use of web based PM tools. They create a lot of transparency. Are you using these type of applications in Bulgaria as well?

  • Mike Ramm says:

    Hi Bart,

    Thank you for your participation in the discussion!

    Yes, we do use web tools, at least I do in my work. But what I ask is not a matter of technology, it’s a matter of trust.

    My observation was that the budget estimation in many of the Bulgarian software companies is done by the upper management secretly from the PM because they usually don’t trust their PMs to deal with money.

  • Craig says:


    I am the one who does it by the book.

    Where I work (large Australian corporates) we go by the book. Ususally propjects follow a waterfall finance-gated model.

    Even when development is managed in an agile fashion estimates need to be done up-front for funds to be released.

  • Mike Ramm says:


    It’s great that you do it by the book. I also estimate my budget by the book when I am authorized to do so.

    My question to you is: Do you make the financial estimates or your bosses?

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