Month: October 2016

Introducing Project Planning Pro 2.0

Project Planning Pro 2.0 Version

Project Planning Pro 2.0

Managing your tasks on iPhone is now easier with Project Planning Pro. Until now it has been one of the best Project Management App on iPad and with this new update the same is now available on iPhone.

What’s New in Project Planning Pro 2.0

Dropbox Sync: Collaborating with your friends and colleagues is now easy! Work on same project plans through iPhone and iPad simultaneously and see changes instantly. Click below to see how it works

 

Universal App: If you have made an in-app purchase on iPad just restore it on iPhone with Apple id. Use Project Planning Pro on iPhone & iPad for cost of one!

iMessage: Send Today’s Tasks to your Resources or anyone through iMessage with iOS10.

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Today’s Widget: Need a quick look on Today’s Task? Add Project Planning Pro Widget in you Notification Center with iOS10.

Multiple Copy, Paste & Delete: Now Copy, Paste and Delete multiple tasks at a time and manage your tasks with ease.

Reorder Project List: Having trouble finding your Project Plan in never ending list? This might help you!

Live Chat Support: Stuck at something and need our help? We are just a ping away! Feel free to say Hi! We are a talkative bunch of people.

Get this app on iPhone & iPad for Free! 

How to Estimate Project Cost?

If you are a project manager, you would be more competent in the planning and managing aspects of a project. However, it is equally important that you are able to estimate costs so as to successfully close projects within a specified budget. The stakeholders and investors in your project have certain expectations of making profits. A project manager’s task would be to determine ways to get the maximum returns on investments. If you estimate project costs accurately, you will be in a better position to manage within the budget.

The following are the main benefits of estimating project cost:

  • It helps to gauge the feasibility of the project while comparing the anticipated benefits versus the anticipated costs.
  • It helps to analyze whether sufficient funds are available to run the project.
  • It serves as a benchmark to ensure that financial resources are utilized in the best possible manner.

Must Read: How to Give Time Estimation in a Project?

Project Budget will include direct costs as well as indirect costs. Direct costs can take the form of salaries of team members, travel expenses, machinery and equipments for the project, raw materials and sub-contracts supporting the project. Indirect costs involve employee benefits, rent, furniture and fixtures and administrative costs.

The 4 major techniques of project cost estimation are mentioned below:-

Analogous Estimation:-

This method is used to estimate project costs when you have very little detail about the project. Therefore, this technique may not give a reliable and accurate estimate. It is also called as Top-Down Estimation. In the Analogous Estimation, the project cost is estimated by comparing it with similar projects previously completed within the organization. You will have to select a project which is the most similar to your project and use sound judgment to determine the cost estimate of your current project. This technique is the least time-consuming and does not cost much to arrive at an estimate.

Parametric Estimation:-

The only difference between Analogous Estimation and Parametric Estimation is that Parametric Estimation uses historical, statistical data to calculate cost estimates. This method involves taking different variables from similar projects in the past and applying them to your current project. Note that the measurement should be scalable in order to be accurate. For example, if in a previous construction project, the cost of concrete per cubic meter was $100, then to calculate the cost of concrete for the current project you need to multiply it with the total construction area in cubic meters. In the same way, requirements of man-power and materials can be calculated and thereby the inherent costs.

Three-Point Estimation:-

This technique aims at reducing the biases and uncertainties involved while making estimating assumptions. So, instead of having just one estimate, three estimates are determined and then aggregated to arrive at the Three-Point Estimation.

The three different estimates are determined as follows:

  1. Most Likely Cost (Cm):Considers a normal scenario where everything goes as per the plan.
  2. Pessimistic Cost (Cp):Considers the worst scenario and assumes that everything goes wrong.
  3. Optimistic Cost (Co):Considers the best scenario and assumes that everything goes better than what was planned.

The PERT Estimate Formula is: Ce = (C+ 4C+ Cp)/6 where Ce = Estimated Cost

Cost estimates derived using this formula are more accurate than the previous two techniques since the biases, uncertainties and risks are done away with.

Bottom-Up Estimation:-

This technique is the most accurate, costly and time-consuming method of cost estimation. Here, the cost of every single activity is estimated and then added up to arrive at the total project cost. For this purpose, the project manager has to first list out all the activities, tasks and other requirements in great detail before beginning the cost estimation. However, this technique can be used only when every detail about the project is available.

Conclusion:

We have seen the various ways in which cost can be estimated. But, a project manager has to use his sound judgement to determine the most suitable technique depending on the availability of historical and statistical data as well as the time to calculate the most accurate cost estimate.

Related Topics:

How to give Time Estimation in a Project?

How to give Time Estimation in a Project?

How to give Time Estimation in a Project?

Accurate Time Estimation is a very important aspect of Project Management. For a project to be called a success, it has to be completed on time and within the budget. Therefore, it is imperative that the project manager is able to estimate time accurately so as to know how long a project will take to complete. This will help enhance project planning, ensure timely delivery of milestones and to determine the pricing of contracts.

Must Read: 8 Ways to Improve Productivity for Startups

Many times, the amount of time required to complete a project is underestimated; especially when the project manager is not acquainted with the work required to be done. He may miss out taking into account unforeseen events or urgent high-priority tasks. In order to be able to accurately estimate project timelines, you can follow the below steps.

Understand the project requirements:-

Begin with understanding the project requirements by engaging the key stakeholders. The goal of the project can be- to develop a new product or software, create new service model of an organization, upgrading existing systems, etc. Thoroughly knowing the project requirements will help to identify the amount of work that needs to be done on the project.

Decide the order of all tasks/deliverables:-

Now list all the activities that have to be completed in great detail. Note them down in a chronological order. It is not necessary that you mention the timeline for each task. However, it would be prudent to make a note of important deadlines.

Decide who you need to involve:-

It is important that a project manager seeks the active participation of the key stakeholders who are commissioning the project. Also, you may take the help of subject-matter experts and people who have done such tasks earlier. This will ensure that they contribute in estimating timelines due to their prior experience.

Get The Best Project Management Software

Estimate time required:-

When you begin to estimate the time, do not do it for the project as a whole. Instead, set a timeline for completion of each task on your list of deliverables. There are certain factors which may cause delays in completing tasks. Ensure that you allow enough time for the following:-

  • General project management administration and meetings.
  • Liaison with suppliers and contractors for resources, including delays in deliveries by suppliers.
  • Accidents and Emergencies.
  • Breakdowns in equipment.
  • Holidays or illness of key project members.
  • Quality control rejections.
  • Other high-priority tasks depending on urgency.

Various Methods for Estimating Time:

Bottom-Up Estimation:-

Bottom-up estimation involves estimating time for the project as a whole. In this approach, larger tasks are broken down into smaller, detailed tasks and then the time needed to complete each task is estimated. To get an idea about how long you will take to complete the project, you may add up the estimated time needed for each task.

Top-Down Estimation:-

In this approach, you develop an overview of the estimated time by using previous project experience as a guide. You may compare the bottom-up estimates and top-down estimates to have a better understanding of the required time. There could be a huge difference between the two estimates; however, you can use both to arrive at more accurate time estimation.

Comparative Estimation:-

In this approach, you compare your project with other similar projects to estimate time to be taken for completing the project.

Parametric Estimation:-

In this approach, you estimate the time required to complete one task and multiply it with the number of similar tasks or deliverables. This method is useful when all the tasks listed are of the same type/ repetitive work.

Three-Point Estimation:-

In this approach, you develop three different time estimates- one for the best case, second for the worst case and the third for the most likely case. This method equips you to set more reasonable time estimates based on a more realistic estimate of outcomes.

Conclusion:

As an efficient project manager, you should be able to estimate deadlines accurately. Failing which, you may lose a lot of credibility and money. If you under-estimate time requirements, you will continuously miss various deadlines causing delays at every stage of the project. Moreover, you would end up putting the project team under unnecessary stress.

Related Articles: 

  1. Project Risk Management: The Four Stages of Project Risk Removal
  2. Leadership Techniques for Project Managers
  3. Seven Early Signs of Project Failure
  4. Complete Collection of Project Management Statistics 2016

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