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PMOO11 : State and describe process of estimating resource & duration for the activity.

Posted on: February 28, 2012

PMOO11  State and describe process of estimating resource & duration for the activity.

Answer:- As we are already aware that for every step we take has a time frame and every move needs some resource and both these parameters need to be considered before each action. Thus even though the activity is identified and sequenced, we get only partial schedule, to get further clarity on the schedule it is very important to understand the resource requirement and time required to complete each activity. The importance of the two parameters can be understood from the fact, that project management has two separate processes for find the two requirements. The two processes are :

· Determining resource requirement for each activity

· Calculating the time required for each activity

Determining resource requirement for each activity

There are various resources used on a project. Some of which are people, machinery, money. And for each activity, to be accomplished we have a particular resource requirement. The reason for calculating this requirement is, that there is a cost factor attached to each resource and to execute the project successfully, it is very important that we are aware of the cost component.

The information or input to this process may be similar or different form the previous processes. The basic inputs to this process are:

· List of activity: 

 · Activity Characteristics:

· Resource Calendar: this document gives us an idea of the resource availability for the project activities. It also gives information about the resource skillset.

· Enterprise Environmental Factor:

 · Organization Asset: 

To use this information and determine the resources for each activity, we require the methodologies and tools listed below:

· Expert Judgment: 

· Alternative analysis: There may be two or more ways to doing a particular task. Through this scrutiny, we try finding an alternative mode of accomplishing a task. And this may require a different set of skills, which can help incase of unavailability of the resource for the first set of activity and may save cost as well.

· Pre-stated estimating information: This includes production or resource rates pre-stated by the organization.

· Bottom-up Estimating: Incase the activity is complicated enough for determining the resource requirement; it can be further decomposed into the detail of the work to be performed. And resource requirement for the detailed work is determined. This way of calculating resource requirement for an activity by deriving the resource requirement for its sub-parts is called bottom-up estimating.

· Project Management Software: several soft wares for project management are available which assist in planning and managing resource requirements for the various tasks in a project.

The outcomes of this process are:

· Activity Resource Requirement: This document lists the types and quantity of resource required for project activities. It also list the skillset required and quality of material required and other characteristics of the resources.

· Resource Breakdown Structure: It is the hierarchical structure of the resources required for the project activities, further categorizing it on the basis of their types. It help project manager in maximum utilization of the resources and make sure no resources are wasted.

· Project document updated: 

 Calculating the time required for each activity

Once we have the calculated the resource requirement based on their availability, we can get idea about the time it would take to complete the activity. In this process we use outcomes from previous processes and organizational documents to calculate the time taken for each activity. The major inputs required for this process are:

· List of activities: 

 · Activity Characteristics: 

 · Activity Resource requirement: 

 · Resource Calendar: 

 · Scope Statement: 

· Enterprise environmental factors:

· Organizational Asset: 

The tools and techniques used for calculating the time duration of each activity ion a project are:

· Expert Judgment: 

· Analogous estimating: this estimating technique uses information from previous similar projects to calculate the duration. This methodology is cost effective and time saving but the result may not be very accurate.

· Parametric estimating: this technique uses historical data, i.e. information from similar previous projects and relationships between variables. This technique is more accurate then the analogous estimating.

· PERT (Program evaluation and Review Technique) Estimate: also known as three-point estimate, is more accurate then the estimating techniques mentioned before. This estimate is calculated using the following formula:

Expected activity Duration (tE) = (tO + 4tM + tP)/6

Activity standard deviation tD = (tP – tO)/6

Activity Variance = tV = (tP– tO)2/6

The range of duration can be calculated :

tE +or – tD


tO  Optimistic or activity duration in best scenario.

tM  Most likely or activity duration resource availability and dependencies are as assumed

tP  Pessimistic or activity duration in worst scenario.

· Reserve Analysis: contingency reserves or buffer may also be included in the schedule accounting for uncertain schedule.


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