When planning to begin an exciting new project, project managers are often asked, “how long will you take to complete the project?”
Time is a finite resource since our life-span is short. Even if we try to, we cannot escape the limitations of time. This is why estimating time is among the essential aspects of managing projects.
Sometimes, project managers are not asked about the estimation but a deadline is forced down their throat. The client or their manager just directs them to complete activities by a specific prescribed date.
Generally, when a deadline is imposed, most project managers try to finish the job within the specified time frame.
They do everything in their power to meet the deadline but this too should not be done without estimating. The estimation should be still done even when somebody has set a deadline for you. You should back-calculate and try to fit in your tasks within the available time. This is a difficult job but not an impossible one.
Let us try to answer one basic question about estimation – can duration estimation be done without making assumptions? (more…)