The diagram above shows a typical scenario for a new project where this example is building a new web application. The amount of work to build the application is estimated by each of the teams that will do the work.
The actual work to build the application is then tracked at the function level i.e. Forms, Sign on, Payments etc…
Then once the project is complete a comparison is made between the actual effort to build the application versus what was estimated. The comparison will look like the following picture and you can see which areas were greater or lesser than estimated.
Now where there is a difference, especially an overspend, then you want to drill down further to see how each discipline compares in terms of their Estimate versus actual e.g. did it take more effort to code the Forms compared to how much was estimated. From here the project team can identify the reasons for the difference, such as change of requirements for example, and also pick up any lessons learnt for the next time they need to estimate.
However, because the actual effort spent was tracked at the Functional level then you can’t separate out the actual effort spent into each of the contributing areas. This regularly happens and project teams are missing out on improving their delivery process.