Have you ever been on a project where the deadline was way too tight?
Chances are that tempers were frayed, sponsors were unhappy, and team members were working ridiculous hours.
Chances are, too, that this happened because someone underestimated the amount of work needed to complete the project.
People often underestimate the amount of time needed to implement projects, particularly when they're not familiar with the work that needs to be done.
For instance, they may not take into account unexpected events or urgent high priority work; and they may fail to allow for the full complexity of the job. Clearly, this is likely to have serious negative consequences further down the line.
This is why it's important to estimate time accurately, if your project is to be successful. In this article, we look at a process for making good time estimates, and we explore some of the estimating methods that you can use.
Accurate time estimation is a crucial skill in project management. Without it, you won't know how long your project will take, and you won't be able to get commitment from the people who need to sign it off.
Even more importantly for your career, sponsors often judge whether a project has succeeded or failed depending on whether it has been delivered on time and on budget. To have a chance of being successful as a project manager, you need to be able to negotiate sensible budgets and achievable deadlines.
Use these steps to make accurate time estimates:
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