Time Estimation: The Wrong Way – Video

Dick Billows, PMP

Dick Billows, PMP
Dick’s Books on Amazon

Time Estimation is part of every project manager’s daily life. Project managers have to make time estimates at the very beginning of every project, during the initiation phase. That’s because the sponsor needs to know when the project will be done. The sponsor wants to be sure the PM will meet his due date expectation. The project manager will make additional estimates during the planning phase. But probably the most important estimate is the estimate of duration and work for the team members’ assignments.  That time estimation has to be accurate. And there is a tremendous advantage if the team members participate in the time estimation process. Then they have a commitment to finishing their work within that time. When the team members participate in making the estimate and think that the estimate is fair, the project manager gets a much higher level of commitment from them. That’s why there is such an emphasis on”Bottom up”  time estimation.

The question, “When are you going to be done?” is used so often in project management that it ought to have an acronym.  The accuracy of the time estimates is a major determinant of a project manager’s credibility with upper management, stakeholders and the project team.  Main Estimating Page

The video shows how most project managers do Time Estimation and that is the wrong way. The project manager in the video uses a technique for time estimation that 60% of project managers use, but it is awful.  It creates time estimates that no one believes, so no one is committed to them. After you watch the project manager work with the team, you’ll go behind-the-scenes and hear what the team members say about their time estimation session. You’ll also hear from the project sponsor about the completion date he set. Then I will give you my assessment of what happened, the impact on the team members, the level of commitment they have to their dates and how the project manager should have done things. I hope you enjoy it.

You can learn to use several time estimation techniques in our online project management courses. You’ll work privately and individually with a expert project manager. You control the schedule and pace and have as many phone calls and live video conferences as you wish.  Take a look at the course in your specialty.

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