A project is a temporary organization that is required to create a unique and predetermined outcome at a predetermined time by means of predetermined resources. Project management is the use of information and techniques to accomplish a given project effectively and efficiently. Project management helps to minimize failure, manage time schedules, and keep expenses and resources close to the budget.
It requires you to analyze previous projects to approximate the length of the activity. It depends on selecting a completed project or sections of it, similar to the new project, and using the definite time from the finished project to estimate duration of the new project.
This is one of the most frequently used methods for estimating the duration of activities in projects. Experts, project leaders, and project consultants who have performed similar projects in the previously can provide you with expert judgment.
This method makes use of three estimates: 1) most likely 2) optimistic and 2) pessimistic to estimate activity duration. Additionally, you can use it to improve the accuracy of the activity-duration estimate. An optimistic estimate refers to the shortest time; pessimistic to the longest time, while "most likely" is the normal time taken. This method uses past data to arrive at these estimates.
Parametric estimating uses the statistical correlation that exists between a set of historical data and a series of delineated list of other variables. Use this information for the purposes of calculating an estimate for activity duration. One important feature of parametric estimating: it provides higher levels of accuracy (providing your original data for estimating was also accurate).
The Delphi Technique
Inquire from several independent experts to estimate the duration of an activity in a project and then evaluate the results to provide an objective estimate. The method is based on the assumption that the independent experts are unknown to each other and thus their individual biases will cancel out resulting in an accurate estimate (Ref 4).
Wideband Delphi Technique
Collect information from a set of experts separately, share these results, and inquire from the experts their opinion again based on now knowing the opinions of others. Discuss assumptions made by individual experts where there are large disparities. As the group progresses through rounds, sharing their knowledge and assumptions, duration estimations among the experts become increasingly alike and this results in a consensus (Ref 5).
- Old Dominion University; Department of Computer Science: What is a project?
- Robert Gordon Universi Computing: Activity Estimating Techniques
- The University of Edinburgh; Projects: Estimation Guidelines and Templates
- Project Management Knowledge; The Ultimate Resource for Project Managers: Delphi Technique
- Lean Software Engineering
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
Kindergarten Estimation Activities
Ask kindergartners to count a handful of marbles and they probably can easily complete the task. Ask kindergartners to estimate the number...
Project Management Cost Estimating Techniques
Project Management Cost Estimating Techniques. Understanding how to develop an accurate project cost estimate makes the difference between being consistently over budget...
How to Improve Inventory Accuracy
Inventory control is one of the most important operations in a retail business. Making sure you have enough inventory on-hand and that...
Project Manager Procurement Activities
Project Manager Procurement Activities. A project manager is responsible for making sure all of the objectives are addressed and completed in a...
How to Calculate Project Duration
Calculating business project duration is an important aspect of developing a project management plan. The goal of any business project is to...
How to Estimate a Construction Time Period
Whether you're involved in a home remodeling project or a large commercial job, construction scheduling is an important tool for keeping the...
Activities in Software Project Management
Activities in Software Project Management. Software project management involves a project manager coordinating skills, techniques, data and resources in a way that...
How to Calculate the Duration of a PERT Chart
The Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) uses a method called three points estimating to determine the approximate duration of activities in...
PMI Pert Calculation
In project management, it is important to provide an estimate of the project duration. There are several methods for doing this. One...
How to Learn Six Sigma for Free
Learning Six Sigma (quality management techniques used to reduce product defects) tools for free involves using resources available from the American Society...