Project Management

Expert judgment

last edited by: Peter Wootton on Apr 22, 2024 6:39 AM login/register to edit this page

1 Application
2 Procedures
3 Instructions
4 Example
5 Issues

Expert Judgment is a technique in which judgment is provided based upon a specific set of criteria and/or expertise that has been acquired in a specific knowledge area, application area, or product area, a particular discipline, an industry, etc. Such expertise may be provided by any group or person with specialized education, knowledge, skill, experience, or training.refProject Management Institute. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, 2013/ref. This knowledge base can be provided by a member of the project team, or multiple members of the project team, or by a team leader or team leaders. However, typically expert judgment requires an expertise that is not present within the project team and, as such, it is common for an external group or person with a specific relevant skill set or knowledge base to be brought in for a consultation,

Such expertise can be provided by any group or individual with specialized knowledge or training and is available from many sources, including:

  • Units within the organization;
  • Consultants;
  • Stakeholders, including customers or sponsors;
  • Professional and technical associations;
  • Industry groups;
  • Subject matter experts (SME);
  • Project management office (PMO);
  • Suppliers.


Expert Judgment is use for situations which require recourse to expert judgment by completing, validating, interpreting and integrating existing data, assessing the impact of a change, predicting the occurrence of future events and the consequences of a decision, determining the present state of knowledge in one field, providing the elements needed for decision-making in the presence of several options.


  1. Select and confirm activity to be analyzed;
  2. Create a list of statements/questions;
  3. Select the experts;
  4. Have the experts give their ratings/answers/etc.;
  5. Make a report - send it out to everyone;
  6. Have the experts revise their answers;
  7. Make the second report.


Create a contact list & skill inventory for each stakeholder on the subject expertise and make sure you have adequate communication system in place to contact experts on time. Ensure you seek expert judgment at appropriate time.

The delphi technique is the most used tool in securing Expert Judgment. Under this method the group's estimates are returned to the individual experts for review and a second round of forecasts is received from the experts. With each round the degree of consensus improves. The use of the delphi technique helps to reduce biased decisions

Other tools can be used, as:

Interviews. This tool is best used when knowledgeable, experienced people are available at an affordable cost and specific information is needed. Interview can be on a one-to-one or a many-to-one basis wherein conducted by asking a series of questions that will increase your knowledge of the project or a particular project activity.

Brainstorming. It’s the kind of expert judgment tool is usually best use when input from multiple experts is needed or when experienced people aren't available. Brainstorming works by getting a group to focus on a problem and then coming up with as many solutions as possible. Once the session has resulted in a number of solutions, the results can be analyzed.

Historical data. Is best used when records are accurate and both projects are similar. Since a variety of documentations in project management matters most, so, it is very nice to have historical record data in every expert judgment to ensure that you are in line with what really it should be. Historical data uses the knowledge gained on a similar past project.


An example from a project conducted at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations:

  • Available fertilizer usage data on fertilizer types and provinces is provided to three or four experts. The experts are asked to make estimates for the following season or year. A final estimate by consensus is reached at a meeting of the experts.
  • It may be difficult to find experts familiar with agriculture in every part of the country. For this reason, two experts could be selected for each province. For example, the head of the department of agriculture and the leading fertilizer distributor in each province can be chosen. The estimates received from them are aggregated to form a range of estimates. A national team representing, for example, the Ministry of Agriculture, provincial Departments of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Institutions, manufacturers and/or marketing organisations and the Extension Service then discuss the range of estimates and arrive at a consensus.


  • Selection of Experts wide enough to encompass all facets of scientific thought on the topic;
  • Mindsets – unstated assumptions that the expert uses;
  • Structural Biases – from level of detail or choice of background scales for quantification;
  • Motivational Biases – expert has a stake in the study outcome;
  • Cognitive Biases;
  • Overconfidence – manifested in uncertainty estimation;
  • Anchoring – expert subconsciously bases his judgement on some previously given estimate;
  • Availability – when events that are easily (difficult) to recall are likely to be overestimated (underestimated).

last edited by: Peter Wootton on Apr 22, 2024 6:39 AM login/register to edit this page

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