“Doing the Math”: How to Estimate and Manage Results / CNSV Annual meeting

Tuesday, Dec 15, 2009 - 7:00 pm          

Note: the talk will be preceded by the CNSV Annual meeting and election of 2010 officers.

Estimating the effort required for a project is one of the most difficult tasks for a consultant. It is also one of the most important because such estimates are used in estimating budgets and managing a client’s expectations. This talk will present best practices for estimation that apply to consulting engagements that involve some degree of organizational, workflow, or IT changes, and where there is vested interest in making the change quickly and ensuring it is on track.

The technique involves identification of both the key initiatives required to achieve a desired result as well as the organizational and technical complexity of the change, and then the use of heuristics to estimate the time to achieve 50% of a targeted goal (called its “Half Life”). After deriving the Half Life, you can track both the expected change over time as well as the organizational progress against the goal.

By using these simple tools, rapid change can occur on a predictable path that can be characterized by frequent metrics on a weekly or semi-monthly basis. Real-world application of these tools will be described in a set of case studies of some of the most successful technology companies in Silicon Valley. These case studies and easy-to-apply methods will be presented with graphic tools to help you understand how to better manage client expectations and improve your own results.

About the speaker, John Carter, TCGen, Inc.

John Carter has been a CEO, founder, and a widely respected advisor to technology firms over his thirty-year career. As Principal of TCGen, Inc., he has advised M&A strategies for many technology firms, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Cirrus Logic (CRUS).

Prior to TCGen, John consulted to high technology companies including Apple, Cisco, HP, IBM and 3M, and was Chief Engineer of BOSE Corporation. He earned his SM in Electrical Engineering from MIT and a BS in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College.

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