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Operations Management For Dummies by Edward Anderson, PhD, Mary Ann Anderson, MSE, Geoffrey Parker, PhD

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Chapter 15

Estimating and Scheduling Projects

In This Chapter

arrow Projecting time and cost from the bottom up

arrow Reducing the uncertainty of your estimates

arrow Accelerating a project or reducing its scope

When projects are late, over budget, or both, the problems are often a result of faulty estimates for the work involved and the related costs at the beginning of the effort. A vital part of project management improvement is finding a way to gather accurate estimates.

Estimating how long a project or task will take seems to be particularly difficult. Many students find that the initial timing estimates used for their projects (such as starting up new businesses) are gross underestimates. Some of this is because people have not systematically thought through all the activities needed to complete their project and have missed a number of them. Some of it arises from project managers being overly optimistic in their estimates.

A major, but subtle, problem with estimations is that you can delay some activities in a project without delaying the entire project. But this doesn’t apply to all activities. Telling the difference between the two types of activities is extremely difficult without the ...

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