Who offers software Project estimation?

In a software project who provides an estimation to the client how long it will take to complete a project and how much it will cost the client?

Is it Project Manager, Architect, Tech Lead?

Who is Participating?
I've written ("Software Sanity: Accurate Estimates and Other Myths" in WTN News, 2008) and spoken ("Room to Breathe: The BA's role in project commitments." WI BADD 2012) a lot about this vital but neglected topic.

Expectations regarding scope, schedule, and budget begin to take shape as soon as there's a gleam in the eye. So the first person on the scene from the delivery organization must proactively start, or surface, the estimation question. That's often a Business Analyst.

Depending on the governance model in place, a PM might not even be assigned until there's an approved, funded project. But if there's an approved, funded project, it means someone already made a business decision about benefits and costs, both tied to some notion of scope. If nothing more than wishful thinking went into that, there's already trouble. What's the probability that scope, schedule, and budget can be achieved? That's estimation.

When doing project intake, I start estimating right after (sometimes during!) the first meeting.
The project manager oversees the cost estimating process, though
often with the assistance of project staff.

As for as the Client is concerned they will expect the Project Manager to be single point of contact for all these information and ultimately responsible for these as well.
Jaime OlivaresSoftware ArchitectCommented:
A PM cannot do a complete cost estimation without the help of a more-technical professional (either architect, lead developer, or similar). The cost of a development project mostly depends on the hours required to complete it, and the level of each developer required for each task, which determines cost per hour. The required development tools also participate in the cost estimation. All this information shall be provided by the tech expert.
Regarding the time estimation, that will depend almost exclusively on the tech lead, but can vary by hiring a smaller or bigger team (PM decision).
On the top of that, a PM can add costs of infrastructure, admin expenses, training, pizzas, etc.
Ricky66Author Commented:
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