Projects usually require a well-developed plan of how long various project activities will take to complete. This requirement thus calls for project managers to undertake a comprehensive examination of the length of time various project parts will consume. Afterwards, a project manager can estimate the total time period that all project activities will take. In effect, activity duration estimates are vital and basic components of project planning and management because they facilitate effective monitoring and evaluation (Greene, 2009).
In project management, activity duration estimate is the anticipated duration of time that a given project activity is expected to take.
This figure is arrived at after a project manager has quantified the length of time utilized in all project activities. Such a figure in turn determines the structure of the preliminary project schedule. To arrive at the activity duration estimate figures of a project, a project manager sources for information regarding the total number of individual work units required for the entire project.
After obtaining information regarding the individual time periods that every work unit will take, the manager adds up such time periods to arrive at a single time figure. This is the activity duration estimate for the particular project activity. It is not possible to have a zero activity duration estimate. This is because, if at all a project is, or has, happened, certain duration of time must have gone into this. It is therefore ironical and utterly improbable that a project can have a nil activity duration estimate.
In conclusion, the assessment of a project activity’s duration estimate is a very critical component of project planning and management.
This is because such an estimate aids in aspects such as monitoring and evaluation as it will inform managers whether or not a project is on, behind, or ahead of schedule.
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