- Published: October 31, 2021
- Updated: October 31, 2021
- University / College: University of Alberta
- Language: English
- Downloads: 18
Estimation of time to complete a particular task can be a tricky matter, especially if the person performing the task is new to the job. If a worker has prior experience of completing a similar task then he/she might be able to make an accurate estimate but if a worker does not have the relevant experience then his/her estimate might be doubtful. Project managers on their own cannot make a time estimate without consulting the people who would be performing the task. Similarly, every task would take its own time to complete; therefore, generalizing time frames is not aviable or a wise option for the project manager.
Single time estimates are not a reliable way for project managers to judge the time it would take for people to complete the task at hand. Consequently three time estimate comes in useful in such a situation to increase the reliability and accuracy of pre-judging the required time and making decisions accordingly. Furthermore, the three time estimate approach even allows project managers to have a multi-faceted approach in dealing with a project. They would have three viewpoints of a single activity; the optimistic, the pessimistic, and one in between the two.
These three viewpoints mentioned allow the project managers to have contingency plans for each of the three scenarios. Neither the project manager nor any experienced worker can predetermine the ideal situation. The needs of the project will vary as time passes by and most of the occurrences cannot be understood before they occur. Hence, if a project manager has contingent plans to deal with the situation at hand the project may be carried forward without any major hiccups; however, if these plans are not made before hand then the project may come to a complete stop with the occurrence of any unexpected event. As the manager will have extreme estimates it would make his work easier to deal with any middle ground situation. The greatest advantage of using three time estimates is that it will set boundaries for the project manager who would be aware of the best case and worst case scenarios.
On the other hand, the three time estimates does not come without its disadvantages. The most prominent drawback is the time required to devise this strategy. Coming up with a three times estimate would require more resources in terms of effort and time for the project manager in determining the boundary for an activity. Furthermore, the project manager can still never be sure whether the activity will go along as planned or if it will deviate from the set agenda. Since, the three times estimate is also an assumption there is a risk for it not being accurate or might not be of much help in project completion.
No method can be labeled as the best method which could be applied in project completion. It is the project manager’s responsibility to determine which method would be best suited given the scenario and circumstances in hand. The three time estimate may be a better option since it minimizes the chances of the project coming to a complete halt but it can still not guarantee the smooth completion of a project. Project success cannot be assured by anything else except from the project manager’s ability to apply the correct concepts and methods at the required times.