Introducing Project Time Management - Estimating Activity Durations

11 important questions on Introducing Project Time Management - Estimating Activity Durations

Which 4 activities are required for completing the project schedule and the estimated project duration?

  • Task identification
  • Sequencing of activities
  • Resource definition
  • Estimation of activity duration

Who does the activity duration estimating?

The people completing the work (so not the project manager).

What are the inputs for the duration estimate creation process?

  • Schedule management plan
  • Activity List
  • Activity Attributes
  • Activity Resource Requirements
  • Resource calendars
  • The project statement (constraints and assumptions)
  • Risk register
  • Resource breakdown structure
  • Enterprise Environmental Factors
  • Organizational Process Assets, mainly coming from historical information such as historic project files, commercial estimating databases, project team members memory
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What are ideal conditions for analogous estimating to be a thrustwhorthy source for estimates?

  • The activities are identical to the historical project
  • The resources are the same as the one who completed the historical project.

What is more reliable, analogous estimating or predictions from project team members?

Analogous estimating, it uses historical information, and is a form of expert judgment.

What is the role of quantitative estimates?

They use mathematical formules to predict how long an activity will take based on the quantities of work to be completed.

When would one use the three-point estimate technique for estimating?

If the work has never been done there are lots of unknowns, and thus risk. Then it makes sense to use the three-point estimating technique.

What's the difference between the PERT and the three point estimate?

  • the Program evaluation and review technique (PERT) uses the following formula for the average = optimistic + 4 x most likely + pessimistic / 6. And thus puts more weight on the most likely estimate in the average.
  • The  three point average uses an average of the three

What is the purpose of the Delphi Technique in creating estimates?

Less biased, more honest estimates will be delivered as input to create a final consensus among project team members on the final duration estimate.

What are the reasons for Parkinson's Law "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion" ?

  • Hidden time not being aware off
  • Procrastination of project members
  • Demands from multiple projects
  • On schedule delivery - sandbag the results

How should a project manager deal with Parkinson's Law?

  • Incorporate expert judgment and historical information in the estimates
  • Stress a need for accurate estimates
  • Add in reserve time

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