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task (in this instance, more people), then the duration of the task is decreased. Some activities, however, have a fixed duration and are not affected by the amount of labor assigned to the task. For example, installing a piece of software on a computer will take the same amount of time if one computer administrator is completing the work or if two computer administrators are doing it.

• Resource capabilities The abilities of the project team members must be taken into account. Consider a task in an architectural firm. Reason says that if a senior architect is assigned to the task, he will be able to complete it faster than if a junior architect were assigned to the same job. Material resources can also influence activity time. Consider predrilled cabinets versus cabinets that require the carpenter to drill each cabinet as it's installed. The predrilled cabinets allow the job to be completed faster.

• Organizational process assets Okay, the big one here is historical information. Historical information is always an excellent source of information on activity duration estimates. It can come from several sources, such as the following:

• Historical information can come from project files on other projects within the organization.

• Commercial duration estimating databases can offer information on how long industry-specific activities should take. These databases should take into consideration the materials, the experience of the resources, and define the assumptions the predicted work duration is based upon.

• Project team members may recollect information regarding the expected duration of activities. While these inputs are valuable, they are generally less valuable than documented sources, such as other project files or the commercial databases.

• The project management plan Specifically, the project manager and the project team must evaluate the risk register. We'll discuss risk in detail in Chapter 11. Risks, good or bad, can influence the estimated duration of activities. The risks on each activity should be identified, analyzed, and then predicted as to their probability and impact. If risk mitigation tasks are added to the schedule, the mitigation activities will need their duration estimated and then sequenced into the schedule in the proper order. The project activity cost estimates, if they exist yet, should also be referenced during activity duration estimates to determine the most cost-effective amount of labor or resources to apply to any given activity.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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