How to estimate or decide timeline for any project — Technical

Ritesh Singh
2 min readJan 5, 2024

Defining a project or task timeline is crucial for any software or web application development. Often, we may underestimate or overestimate, leading to undue pressure, missed deadlines, or unrealistic expectations. Over the years, I’ve made several mistakes in this area, but I’ve learned some steps that have greatly helped me define more accurate timelines. I hope they prove beneficial to you as well.

Read the Requirements Carefully.
Reading requirements is critical for any project/task, most of the times we just hear, the requirements, that i need to add chat feature, in a particular application, and we rush towards defining timeline, without asking questions or reading requirements properly.
So it’s very important to read/write the requirements carefully.

Write down complexities.
Make a bullet points for the complexities that you think can occur during the development, for example, in a chat feature Security is a critical concern in chat applications, especially when handling sensitive information. Implementing end-to-end encryption, authentication, authorization, and data protection measures to safeguard user data and privacy adds complexity to the application.

List out the third party services needed.
List out list of third party services that are needed to get your job done, just go though third party services documents once, just rough overview, this will really help you in estimating.

Split into mini features and decide the time for those.
Split a large chunk into small parts and decide timeline for those features, for example it you are building a chat application, split that feature into
following parts —
1. database design
2. Define API endpoints.
3. Define protocols that you will be using (e.g., WebSocket, HTTP/2), message formats (e.g., JSON, XML), and communication protocols (e.g., MQTT, XMPP)

Add time for unknown factors.
Add somtime for unkown factors and complexities, ideally it should be 15% of the decided timeline.

Now sum up all the time and keep a small buffer for youself.

This will result in less bugs, as you will get enough time to develop , test and deploy, and will also increse your credibility and will result in less stress on yourself or your team.

Hope it helps!!

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