Estimating Costs & Time

In this series of posts, I share what I’m learning as I make my way through Project Management Simplified, a course with management consultant, Chris Croft.

Step 3 of Croft’s The Twelve Steps to Manage a Project Successfully is to estimate times and costs for each task.

Croft discusses the dangers of estimating based on the average time it takes to do a task or the average amount something will cost. (The average is represented by the line down the center of the featured image for this post.) If you do that, you will have a 50% failure rate. Instead he recommends estimating based on 150% if the average time or cost. (This amount is represented roughly by the light blue bar on the right side of the featured image graph.)  If you do that, Croft believes that will bring your failure rate down to 10% and may help buffer against unforeseen tasks and work slowdowns.

How do you estimate time for your projects? Share your thoughts in the comments below.