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I am database specialist.

I've recently been assigned to product management and project management activities for a project (related to database ) only because I am good in database skills.

I don’t have a pmp or any project management certification. These days I am struggling a lot as all underestimating and the project is getting delayed every month. Frequently, it is because I thought something would be easy , but when you start coding and get more real life scenarios that code has to deal with - it gets more complex. Also, I am new to development.

How do you guys suggest that I approach the problem of avoiding delays and improve my project estimations skills?

I really don’t have much time left in my day due to so much work and also learning coding in Python. Also have a baby coming soon.

I started doing project management course in Udermy, but I am struggling to improve my skills there.

My manager is way too senior and he has allowed me full freedom. So he kind of wants me to figure out the solution myself :)

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  • Are you making any adjustments as you go. Sounds like you know you always under-estimate, have you thought about that when performing new estimates? Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 4:47
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    I’m voting to close this question because it belong in the Project Management stack. Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 4:52
  • Please don't be offended, but what is your base? What can you comfortably do? You said you are new to development, new to project management, new to python... there must be something you are not new to? Otherwise I'd say you are in way over your head.
    – nvoigt
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 9:45
  • "Also, I am new to development" - in short this will make it hard produce good estimates by any systematic method (e.g. number of functional requirements), and impossible to produce good estimates from experience. Pad schedule and get help if possible, including perhaps on the software side (that way you get to work on the PM, which is arguably more valuable). The good news: having a new kid often gives people tremendous energy. Good luck!!
    – Pete W
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 11:30
  • @GregoryCurrie: I'd argue that a question dealing with employees' bad estimates are PM-stack related, but a question on how a specific employee can improve their estimates is not project management in and of itself.
    – Flater
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 9:45

2 Answers 2

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You avoid delays by increasing your estimates. You should be able to look at your previous work and sort out how much you underestimated those work items and apply that multiplier going forwards.

As you learn more in terms of the technical and business aspects of the development work, your estimates will get more accurate over time. Keep up with learning project management skills as much as you can.

For now, put more work into the analysis phase of the requirements so that you know what you need to do and estimate accordingly.

It sounds as though you're getting distracted by real-life issues, so try and deal with those issues before you start work, or push them to after your working day. Every time you get distracted away from your work, you're losing time when you get back in trying to figure out what you were doing before you got distracted.

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  • you stole my answer!!! basically, yes, that's it. Measure your average multiplier, and use it everywhere. I've been at X3 at some places, at X4 at others. Sounds like one day of easy work? Well, let's estimate 3 days of trouble. And that's it. And every quarter, you reevaluate your multiplier.
    – gazzz0x2z
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 8:20
  • Often, when starting out, it is best to simply bump to the next time unit: 2 hours = 2 days, 5 days = 5 weeks. I've also heard to bump to the next time unit and double it.
    – David R
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 18:01
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I don’t have a pmp or any project management certification.

Quite frankly you need training. Go and ask for training. Do not do a free online course or youtube tutorial or some self-learning shenanigans on your time. You are a professional, you are expected to deliver a professional result, you can expect to get professional training.

If you had a new guy coming in to do actual database work, would you be confident to get a professional result if they said they learned about databases in this free online course over the course of two evenings? Probably not. They wouldn't even know where to start. Project management is a profession, not a hobby.

Ask for professional training. If you have project management colleagues, ask them for advice on what training might be appropriate. If not, ask your boss.

There is nothing bad about asking for training, the only bad thing is failing because you had none and you never asked for it either.

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  • "I started doing project management course in Udermy, but I am struggling to improve my skills there."
    – user124851
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 11:50
  • @Snow Okay, maybe Udemy is not officially "free" as I mentioned, but even if they want 20 bucks, they are still a glorified youtube video. I mean real, professional training, by real human that is available in realtime. There is a reason professors don't just create a Udemy course and then sail the Caribbean for the next 40 years. Nothing beats a real life human trainer, that's how we learn.
    – nvoigt
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 14:56
  • I'm always dumbfounded by companies that expect their employees to learn on their own, producing multiple months of almost no productive output (including the time spent to fix their own mistakes), instead of spending a month worth of salary on a week of serious, professional training and having a productive employee almost immediately.
    – nvoigt
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 15:13

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