A project is only as good as the people working on it. If you cannot make a plan to have the right people at the right time, then your project will not succeed. But how do you arrive at that plan with the number of resources? And how do you ensure that the number of people is right, and the start and finish dates are correct?
It all starts with estimating the resources for the project. A solid estimation will lead to a solid plan, but if you find the team struggling during the project, it may be due to incorrect planning at the beginning on the resources needed for the project.
Starting with the End in Mind
It can be most helpful to start with the end in mind. The final goal of the project and the scope of work will help you determine the overall resources you need. As that scope is broken down into the work breakdown structure, you can begin to assign number of hours or number of people that need to work on each task.
You cannot begin to tackle all of the individual tasks though without a thorough understanding of what the end result of the project will be. While you go through the iterations and start to put pen to paper, always go back to the project scope statement to ensure you are covering all the bases appropriately. In a large scope of work especially, it can be easy to overlook tasks and resources that are needed.
Refining the Estimate Over Time
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