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Download e-book Quality Tools for Managing Construction Projects (Systems Innovation Book Series)

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Bottom-up estimating means breaking down complex activities into pieces and working out the resource assignments for each piece. It is a process of estimating individual activity resource need or cost and then adding these up together to come up with a total estimate. Bottom-up estimating is a very accurate means of estimating, provided the estimates at the schedule activity level are accurate. However, it takes a considerable amount of time to perform bottom-up estimating because every activity must be assessed and estimated accurately to be included in the bottom-up calculation.

The smaller and more detailed the activity, the greater the accuracy and cost of this technique. This is where you look at each activity in the activity list, consider its scope and resources, and estimate how long it will take to perform.


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Estimating the duration of an activity means starting with the information you have about that activity and the resources that are assigned to it, and then working with the project team to come up with an estimate. Expert judgment will come from your project team members who are familiar with the work that has to be done. Analogous estimating is when you look at similar activities from previous projects and how long they took.

This only works if the activities and resources are similar. Parametric estimating means plugging data about your project into a formula, spreadsheet, database, or computer program that comes up with an estimate. The software or formula that you use for parametric estimating is based on a database of actual durations from past projects. The final estimate is the weighted average of the three.

Reserve analysis means adding extra time to the schedule called a contingency reserve or a buffer to account for extra risk. The activity duration estimates are an estimate of how long each activity in the activity list will take. This is a quantitative measure usually expressed in hours, weeks, days, or months. Another thing to keep in mind when estimating the duration of activities is determining the effort involved. Duration is the amount of the time that an activity takes, while effort is the total number of person-hours that are expended.

If it takes two people six hours to carve the ice sculpture for the centrepiece of a wedding, the duration is six hours. You have to really think through all of the aspects of a task in order to estimate it.

Project management

As you learn more about the specific activities remember to update the activity attributes. If we go back to our case study of the wedding, we can see that while Sally has a handle on how long things are going to take, she still has some work to do before she has the whole project under control. But, what about the caterer? And what about the band they want? Will the timing with their schedule work out?

How do you figure out a schedule that makes everything fit together? And the same goes for your activity list and duration estimates! The project schedule should be approved and signed off by stakeholders and functional managers.

ISO 9001:2015 and other quality management standards

This ensures they have read the schedule, understand the dates and resource commitments, and will cooperate. The schedule cannot be finalized until you receive approval and commitment for the resource assignments outlined in it.

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Once the schedule is approved, it will become your baseline for the remainder of the project. Project progress and task completion will be monitored and tracked against the project schedule to determine if the project is on course as planned. The schedule can be displayed in a variety of ways, some of which are variations of what you have already seen. Project schedule network diagrams will work as schedule diagrams when you add the start and finish dates to each activity.

These diagrams usually show the activity dependencies and critical path. The critical path method is an important tool for keeping your projects on track. Every network diagram has something that is called the critical path. It usually starts with the first activity in the network and usually ends with the last one. Susan : Oh no!

I still have to tell the printer what to print on the invitations and what paper to use. Steve thought Aunt Jane being a vegetarian was just a little problem. But it turns out to be a lot bigger than either Steve or Susan realized at first. The reason that the critical path is critical is that every single activity on the path must finish on time in order for the project to come in on time.

A delay in any one of the critical path activities will cause the entire project to be delayed Figure Knowing where your critical path is can give you a lot of freedom. If you know an activity is not on the critical path, then you know a delay in that activity may not necessarily delay the project.

This can really help you handle emergency situations. Even better, it means that if you need to bring your project in earlier than was originally planned, you know that adding resources to the critical path will be much more effective than adding them elsewhere. Step 2. Find all the paths in the diagram. A path is any string of activities that goes from the start of the project to the end. Step 3. Find the duration of each path by adding up the durations of each of the activities on the path.

What is Project Quality Management? Process, Tools and Techniques - AIMS Lecture

Step 4. The schedule can also be displayed using a Gantt chart Figure Such resources may include financial resources, inventory, human skills, production resources, or information technology IT.

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Resource management is a key element to activity resource estimating and project human resource management. As is the case with the larger discipline of project management, there are resource management software tools available that automate and assist the process of resource allocation to projects. The most important resource to a project is its people—the project team. Projects require specific expertise at specific moments in the schedule, depending on the milestones being delivered or the given phase of the project.

An organization can host several strategic projects concurrently over the course of a budget year, which means that its employees can be working on more than one project at a time. Moreover, projects often require talent and resources that can only be acquired via contract work and third party vendors. Procuring and coordinating these human resources, in tandem with managing the time aspect of the project, is critical to overall success. One of the many responsibilities of a project manager is to enhance the ability of each project team member to contribute to the project, while also fostering individual growth and accomplishment.

At the same time, each individual must be encouraged to share ideas and work with others toward a common goal. Managing the project team includes appraisal of employee performance and project performance. The performance reports provide the basis for managerial decisions on how to manage the project team. One resource management technique is resource leveling. It aims at smoothing the stock of resources on hand, reducing both excess inventories and shortages.

However that is very unlikely, when weighted by important metrics and subject to constraints; for example: meeting a minimum quality level, but otherwise minimizing cost. Resource leveling is used to examine unbalanced use of resources usually people or equipment over time and for resolving over-allocations or conflicts. When performing project planning activities, the manager will attempt to schedule certain tasks simultaneously.

Quality Management in Construction Projects (Systems Innovation Book Series)

When more resources such as machines or people are needed than are available, or perhaps a specific person is needed in both tasks, the tasks will have to be rescheduled sequentially to manage the constraint. Resource leveling during project planning is the process of resolving these conflicts. It can also be used to balance the workload of primary resources over the course of the project, usually at the expense of one of the traditional triple constraints time, cost, scope.

When using specially designed project software, leveling typically means resolving conflicts or over-allocations in the project plan by allowing the software to calculate delays and update tasks automatically. Project management software leveling requires delaying tasks until resources are available.

In more complex environments, resources could be allocated across multiple, concurrent projects thus requiring the process of resource leveling to be performed at company level. In either definition, leveling could result in a later project finish date if the tasks affected are in the critical path. Working with other people involves dealing with them both logically and emotionally.

A successful working relationship between individuals begins with appreciating the importance of emotions and how they relate to personality types, leadership styles, negotiations, and setting goals. Emotions are both a mental and physiological response to environmental and internal stimuli. Leaders need to understand and value their emotions to appropriately respond to the client, project team, and project environment. Emotions are important to generating energy around a concept, building commitment to goals, and developing high-performing teams.

It is an important factor in establishing credibility and an open dialogue with project stakeholders. Personality types refer to the differences among people in such matters as what motivates them, how they process information, how they handle conflict, etc. Understanding your personality type as a project manager will assist you in evaluating your tendencies and strengths in different situations. It is a tool that can be used in project management training to develop awareness of preferences for processing information and relationships with other people.

Based on the theories of psychologist Carl Jung, the Myers-Briggs uses a questionnaire to gather information on the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.

Perception represents the way people become aware of people and their environment.