Does anyone have a tried and tested way of recording development time when building course content?

I am being asked to identify the time that it took to produce work, though this was not a priority when the project was intially undertaken. I carrried out a review but this was only an estimation and I am sure in the commercial world their must be methods that are used to maintain this. I would appreciate your thoughts. 

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In my experience the first two issues in determining the length of time it takes are:-
1. Is this new content or replicating existing content?
2. The complexity of the subject - even complex subjects which involve replication can be tricky!!

And, of course, the length of the learning intervention.

Hope that provides a starting point!
Thanks Alan, I suppose within my organisation it has not always been required to identify either cost or time before but was steered by deadline. In these times of ever increasing scrutiny I would imagine that issues such as the complexities of production and content must somehow be factored into some form of pricing model to allow people to bid for new business. I appreciate companies no doubt have their own formulas but if someone could point to them I would be grateful.
Alan,
I borrow my estimation methods from Agile software development and I usually start by using Cathy Moore's action mapping approach to break down the problem. I then use each activity as a small chunk of work that we need to estimate and then use Mike Cohn's relative estimation technique to size the work. I then use the team's guess to come up with a release plan and after adding contingency I have a time I can commit to.

If you'd like, I'm happy to talk you through my approach.

Sumeet
Thanks Sumeet
I will have a look at the book and get back to you. Thanks for the steer.

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