TL 9000 Clause 7.3.1.C.6 Estimation: Defined and How To Document

We were recently asked an excellent question about 7.3.1.C.6 Estimation.  Here is a definition of that clause and support on how to document that the requirement is being met:

Estimation is usually led by a program or project management function before a project can begin to evaluate how much development or delivery of a service will cost and what risks are involved, along with staffing, schedules, cost, quality, reliability, and productivity estimates.  The responsible manager obtains input from other functional organizations and so the evidence for conformity can come from many places.

Therefore, many companies will use a program or project management plan template to create specific project plans in order to record variables including estimation requirements.  Using the template, the responsible program manger will complete a specific project plan containing the appropriate factors including those required by 7.3.1.C.6 Estimation.  The manager will require functional departments to provide specific estimates for the plan along with the sources of data for recording performance against that plan.  The plan is updated with the estimates and once they are all recorded, the plan is submitted for approval.  Then it is reviewed at various stages using the data.

Again, because the estimate sources and data are normally diverse, having them recorded in a central place like a project plan is a necessity.  To the question, the completed project plan becomes the main body of evidence for conformity along with the data from the various sources called out in the plan.  This method is not the only method in use so when auditing, you may need to ask where the project estimates and data are recorded and follow that audit trail.

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