Inputs For Estimate Activity Durations For Projects
In my previous articles, I have talked about some of the basics that you need to know about estimating activity durations for projects. In this article, I want to look at inputs for estimating activity duration for projects. Follow me as we will be looking at these tools one after the other in this article.
#1 Project Management Plan
One of the inputs of estimate activity durations for the project is the project management plan. The project management plan consists of a set of documents that can be used to manage a different aspect of projects. The main document needed here is the schedule management plan which is a document that defines the method that will be used as well as the level of accuracy that are required in order to estimate the total duration for the project.
Related to this is the scope baseline which set the minimum requirement for the project. The scope baseline might also include the WBS dictionary, which contains technical details that can influence the effort and duration estimates for the project.
#2 Project Documents
When you are also gathering inputs for project documents, you will need project documents that are created during the planning stage of the project. here are some of the documents that are needed in order to plan your project duration.
- Activity attributes: Activity attributes may describe defined predecessor or successor relationships, as well as defined lead and lag and logical relationships between the activities that may impact duration estimates.
- Activity list: The activity list contains all schedule activities required on the project, which are to be estimated. Dependencies and other constraints for these activities can influence the duration estimates.
- Assumption log: Assumptions and constraints recorded in the assumption log may give rise to individual project risks that may impact the project schedule.
- Lesson learned register: Lesson learned earlier in the project with regards to effort and duration estimating can be applied to later phases in the project to improve the accuracy and precision of effort and duration estimates.
- Milestone list: The milestone list may have scheduled dates for specific milestones that may impact the duration estimates.
- Project team assignments: The project is staffed when the appropriate people have been assigned to the team.
- Resource breakdown structure: The resource breakdown structure provides a hierarchical structure of the identified resources by resource category and resource type for the project.
- Resource calendars: The resource calendars influence the duration of scheduled activities due to the activity of specific resource, type of resources, and resources with specific attributes. Resource calendars specify when and how long identified project resources will be available during the project.
- Resource requirements: The estimated activity resource requirements will have an effect on the duration of the activity since the level to which the resources assigned to the activity meet the requirements with significantly influence the duration of most activities. For example, if additional or lower-skilled resources are assigned to an activity, there may be reduced efficiency or productivity due to increased communication, training, and coordination needs leading to a longer duration estimate.
#3 Enterprise Environmental Factors
The Enterprise Environmental Factors that can influence the Estimate activity durations for projects include duration estimates databases and other reference data, productivity metrics, published commercial information as well as the location of team members.
#4 Organisation Process Assets
The organizational process assets that can influence the Estimate Activity durations process include but are not limited to historical duration information, estimating policies, scheduling methodologies as well as lesson learned repository for the project.
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