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Estimating Task Duration

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Imagine that you are a project manager. How would you begin to estimate the time that a project would take to complete? Given a small or simple project, this task may not seem too daunting; however, for a large, complex project, such as the construction of a high-rise building, the task of estimating time for project completion is a difficult one.

Briefly describe the six methods for estimating task duration. Discuss how each method affects the accuracy of task duration estimates. Provide practical examples to help illustrate the differences between the methods. How do you determine which method should be applied to a particular facet of a project?

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Estimation of Time for Project

Let's take the example of web re-design. To estimate the time, deliverables that are associated with the project need to be identified to prepare a list of what is going to be done in the project. In the web re-design project, various tasks would be listed such as initial meet with client, provide information to them, review existing site, develop a list of site including changes, get approval, design site mockup, code pages, create new navigation, content reorganization in new pages, cross browser testing, validate codes, check links, etc (Wysocki, 2011). After this, these tasks are broken into simple tasks separated by component, so that time that would be spent for each task can be estimated effectively. Next step is related with the estimation of time for completing each task in project including the time that is spent by the subcontractors in web re-design project. After this, total time is estimated along with including 10-20% in addition for facing any complicated or unexpected situation (Papadopoulos, Kalogeiton & Arampatzis, 2010).

There are various methods ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines estimating task duration. The six methods for estimating task duration are provided.

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Project management: Recreation and Wellness Intranet Project

Tony Prince is the project manager for the Recreation and Wellness Intranet Project. Team members include you, a programmer/analyst and aspiring project manager; Patrick, a network specialist; Nancy, a business analyst; and Bonnie, another programmer/analyst. Other people are supporting the project from other departments, including Yusaff from human resources and Cassandra from finance. Assume that these are the only people who can be assigned and charged to work on project activities. Recall that your schedule and cost goals are to complete the project in six months for under $200,000.


1. Review the WBS and Gantt chart attached. Propose three to five additional activities that would help you estimate resources and durations. Describe these new activities.

2. Identify at least eight milestones for the Recreation and Wellness Intranet Project. Write a short description of each milestone using the SMART criteria. Discuss how determining these milestones might add activities or tasks to the Gantt chart. Remember that milestones normally have no duration, so you must have tasks that will lead to completing the milestone.

3. Using the Gantt chart attached and the new activities and milestones you proposed in Tasks 1 and 2 above, create a new Gantt chart using Project 2010. Estimate the task durations and enter dependencies as appropriate. Remember that your schedule goal for the project is six months. Print the Gantt chart and network diagram, each on one page.

4. Summarize how you would assign people to each activity from Tasks 1, 2, and 3. Include a table or matrix listing how many hours each person would work on each task. These resource assignments should make sense given the duration estimates made in Task 3 above. Remember that duration estimates are not the same as effort estimates because they include elapsed time.

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