Improving Project Estimating eLearning Course

Lessons and Learning Objectives

Course Description

Are time and cost estimates for your projects rarely accurate? Do you have trouble identifying WHY your estimates never hold up? Do you need real-world techniques for estimating time and cost on your projects? If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, this self-directed e-Learning course can help you find real-world solutions to your project estimating problems!

This course will outline best practices, processes, and tools project managers can use to make sure they generate quality estimates for every project. Students will be guided through identifying common issues that prevent PMs from generating good estimates, and will also learn HOW to estimate, as well as exactly WHAT needs to be estimated. The course will review best practices for estimating time and resources, and outline different types of costs that need to be included in a project estimate.

Course Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Accurately estimate time and cost on all projects
  • Identify everything that needs to be considered during estimating, including commonly missed items
  • Develop solutions for specific estimating problems
  • Set up repeatable estimating processes and practices for all projects

Course Outline

  • Lesson 1: Overview of Estimating
    • What is good estimating?
    • Your estimating tricks
    • Your estimating problems
    • The 6 most common estimating problems
    • What needs to be estimated? (Resources, duration, costs, profit)
    • Your project costs
  • Lesson 2: Preparing to Estimate
    • The project management process
    • When is estimating done?
    • What is needed to estimate?
      • Project charter
      • Project scope statement
      • Work breakdown structure
      • Network diagram
      • Involve the team
      • Risk management
  • Lesson 3: Fundamental Estimating Techniques
    • Top-down estimating
    • Bottom-up estimating
    • How to estimate in a range
    • Analogous estimating
    • Parametric estimating
    • Relative sizing
    • Three-point estimating
  • Lesson 4: Estimating Processes and Best Practices
    • Understand the project priority
    • Use historical records
    • Ask probing questions
    • Prevent padding
    • Follow a standard process
    • Use an estimating form
    • Document the assumptions
    • Look for efficiencies
    • Do a sanity check
    • Manage changes
    • Educate and mentor stakeholders
  • Lesson 5: Advanced Estimating Techniques
    • Reserve analysis
    • Modeling and simulation
    • Re-estimating
    • Independent estimates
    • Delphi technique
    • Timeboxing
    • Planning poker
  • Lesson 6: Course Wrap-up
    • Estimating situations
    • Wrap-up quiz
    • Your Action Plan

Technical Requirements

  • Cross-platform compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 and higher, or any version of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge.
  • Requires a device (computer or tablet—6 inch screen minimum) connected to the Internet.
  • Broadband Internet recommended.
  • JavaScript and cookies must be enabled in your browser.
  • Pop-ups should be allowed.
  • This course will use data if viewed in a mobile environment.

TECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Please note that RMC is in the process of updating all eLearning courses from an Adobe Flash platform to an HTML5 platform. Courses that have not yet been converted will have a technical specification that differs from the one above. Click here for more information.

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