Estimating Resources and Durations

  • Explore techniques for estimating the resources required for project activities.
  • Learn how to estimate activity durations using expert judgment, historical data, and other estimation methods.

Estimating Resources and Durations

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Estimating Resources:
Estimating resources involves determining the types and quantities of resources required to complete project activities. This includes human resources (e.g., team members, specialists), materials, equipment, and any other resources necessary for project execution.

Here are some techniques commonly used for estimating resources:

1. Expert Judgment:
Seek input from subject matter experts or experienced professionals who have knowledge and expertise in the specific domain. They can provide insights into the types and quantities of resources typically required for similar projects.

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2. Analogous Estimating:
Use historical data from similar projects as a reference to estimate the resources required. This technique relies on the assumption that past projects with comparable characteristics can provide valuable insights into resource requirements for the current project.

3. Bottom-up Estimating:
Break down project activities into smaller, more manageable components and estimate the resource requirements for each component. Then, aggregate the estimates to determine the overall resource needs for the project.

Estimating Durations:
Estimating activity durations involves determining the amount of time required to complete each project activity. Accurate duration estimation is crucial for creating realistic project schedules.

Here are some common methods for estimating activity durations:

1. Expert Judgment:
Seek input from subject matter experts or individuals who have experience in similar projects to estimate the durations of activities. Experts can provide insights based on their knowledge and expertise, considering factors such as complexity, dependencies, and potential risks.

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2. Historical Data Analysis:
Analyze historical data from previous projects to identify patterns and trends in activity durations. This information can serve as a basis for estimating durations in the current project.

3. Three-Point Estimation:
Use a three-point estimation technique that takes into account optimistic, pessimistic, and most likely scenarios to estimate activity durations. This method considers uncertainties and risks associated with each activity.

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4. Parametric Estimating:
Use mathematical models and historical data to estimate activity durations based on variables such as size, complexity, or productivity rates. This method relies on statistical analysis and can be particularly useful for repetitive or well-defined activities.

By applying these techniques for resource estimation and activity duration estimation, project managers can effectively allocate resources, create realistic project schedules, and monitor progress against planned durations throughout the project lifecycle.

Devendra Kumar

Project Management Apprentice at Google

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