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Home » Solutions » Time Management solution » Time estimation
Time estimation  

Time estimation



 
 

Time is one of the most critical project resources. Proper and accurate time estimation allows achieving greater efficiency of project activities by optimizing allocation of working hours in the context of available financial and human resources. Time estimates in project management serve as data for techniques used to organize and structure all other project resources (incl. people and money). Use of methods allows reducing large projects to a series of smaller projects that are easier to manage and control.

Time estimation is also an important skill of project managers who need to get job estimates for the following two main reasons:

  • Job estimates allow determining how to set deadlines for project activities; hence they impact on overall reliability assessment of project planning and delivery.
  • They often serve as a foundation for pricing of contracts; hence they impact on profitability of project activities in commercial terms.

If you are in charge of a project manager’s responsibilities, you need to make accurate estimates for activities to be undertaken within the course of your project. Time estimation for the project will be "the number one" activity you should undertake in order to earn better project management achievements.

 

At the planning stage of your project, when you create a detailed list of all the tasks that your team is going to complete to achieve project goals, you can begin to estimate how long each of the tasks will take. You need to set task deadlines, so that your team will know what amount of working hours is allocated. Then you need to communicate with purchasing department (or other division involved in managing project procurement activities) to assist in determining pricing of procurement contracts. You can use time estimation software to perform calculations that help you encourage liaison with purchasing department and estimate working hours required for completing each task of your project. Such software allows you to use worksheets that may include a number of performance measures and indicators. For greater usability and efficiency, you can easily design, quickly edit and safely share your worksheets with help of templates .
Shared calendar program

For example, you can use such time estimation software as VIP Task Manager. The software allows creating a centralized database which keeps all information on your projects. All your time estimation templates and worksheets as well as tasks and schedules will be stored in your central project management database.

VIP Task Manager gives you several tools that let better estimate working hours and organize your team:

  • Task Tree view – this tool allows you to design and share templates and worksheets. You can add user-defined fields to your templates and worksheets by using Custom Fields option.
  • Resource List view – this tool allows you to add new accounts to your database in which every user is a member of your project team. You can assign roles and permissions to each team member. For example, you can create "Time Estimator" role and assign it to those team members who are responsible for job planning and estimating. Access to the database will be defined by roles and permissions of each user.
  • Scheduler view – it is designed to help you schedule tasks and create timelines and work calendars.

VIP Task Manager lets you treat the accuracy of time estimates because this software allows applying systematic time estimation techniques and approaches in order to consider such factors as task deadlines and pricing of procurement contracts. You can use Permissions panel of the software to share any information on your project with members of your team. This panel allows you to define user access levels to every part of your templates and worksheets.

     

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