Socalizing An Estimate
We are sometimes asked how to "socialize an estimate".... That is a great question. According to dictionary.com socializing is "to treat as a group activity." What a great idea.. getting stakeholders involved in the estimate process as well as applying the estimate to project plans. Socializing the estimate means it is not just a one time event that is thrown in the corner but a cornerstone of project planning. An provides the groundrules and assumptions as well as the results and risks for the viewing (and sometimes changing) by those involved. Of course the changing needs to be controlled so we don't have stakeholders attempting to drive down the schedule or cost by making arbitrary changes. That is why SEER for Software provides versioning and configuration management of estimates.
I still shutter when I recall some time ago, a program manager who stated that he had nothing to do with the estimate... that others produced them and he ignored them.. he generated a plan completely independent of the estimate. That is more than just a shame. Socializing estimates can mitigate that. And help ensure project managers and other take ownership.