Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources

This week we are discussing how to estimate costs and allocate resources for the project we are managing. We were asked to search the internet and find two resources that could help us estimate the cost, effort, and/or activity duration of an ID project. Below is a list of the resources I found and a brief description and evaluation of each of the resources.

Bright Hub PM: Bright Hub PM is a sister site of Bright Hub and is a website with the intended purpose of providing project management information written by project managers for project managers. This site is a wealth of information and I really enjoy the easy to use navigation. There are two components of this site that I find exceptional. The first component is the glossary of project management (PM) terms. I have never worked in a corporate world before and my knowledge of project management is still very little. What is nice about this site is that many of the PM terms are clickable and navigate you to a glossary for those terms. This is quite helpful when reading about the different procedures or tips especially if they are very jargon friendly. I find that many of those jargon words are clickable so that I can follow what the document is discussing. The second useful component of this site is the templates and forms section the site provides. This section allows me to download templates to help with the creation of important documents such as the Statement of Work. It also provides step by step walk-throughs on how to create important documents such as the Scope Statement. This site will help me in my current project and projects to come by offering information and useful tools to help me decided the best decision for my project. The templates will come in handy when I need to create a SOW or Scope Statement and also allow me to finish these documents faster allowing me more time to plan and prepare for the project.

The Project Management Guru:  This site is wonderful because of the sheer amount of different tools and techniques presented. This site is run by a project manager who has been in the game for 25 years. He uses this site to give out free information to others in need but also promotes his own consultation services as well. What I find helpful about this site is that it provides a range of different options for each major part of a project and explains how to use those different options correctly. I feel that this site for me would come in handy at the very beginning of the project when I am first deciding how I am going to track the project and what tools I will use. This site is nice because I can look at the data I have for the project and then review the site to find the best practices for my project. It allows me to customize the way I run each project to the needs of the project.

Mind Tools: The project management section of the Mind Tools website is great because it has plenty of information about different aspects of project management. The site is nicely laid out and you can follow an easy to use path to help you learn all the skills of a project manager. The beginning of the section even offers a quiz so you can see what skills you may need practice on and which ones you can just review quickly. This site is great because it provides me with a reference of knowledge and tips on how to complete different aspects of a project. The one downside about this resource is that not all the articles are provided for free. Some articles require you become a member of the website to view the entire document. While this is a drawback Is till found plenty of useful knowledge in the articles and tips provided.  

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7 thoughts on “Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources

  1. Sriya Krishnamoorthy says:

    Dear Daniel,

    Thank you for sharing so many resources for cost estimations in instructional design. Bright Hub PM is an awesome site that really takes you through the entire process of project management, including techniques and skills development. The review of project management software was particularly helpful as many sites seem to provide the techniques without recommending one approach over another. Thank you.

    Best,
    Sriya

    Reference
    Bright Hub, Inc. (2012). Project management software reviews, tips, & tutorials. Retrieved from http://www.brighthubpm.com/software-reviews-tips/.

    • Krista says:

      Daniel,

      I, too, really found Bright Hub to be an exceptional resource for many aspects of project management. The glossary feature is one that makes it nice in order to understand unfamiliar terms. I also like the fact that examples are provided as well as a breakdown of different resources for further understanding and research.

      Thanks for sharing such a great blog,

      Krista

  2. Daniel,
    You provided us with some great Project Management resources this week. I too wrote about Project Management Guru because even though there is a good amount of information shared on this website, he also provides onsite PM help and training management guidance for a fee.

    I found the PM section of Mind Map to be lacking a lot of content. I agree that having to subscribe to the site to get full article access is a pain. I do like however the article on Work Breakdown Structure charts because there as in in-depth step by step process on creating one.

    N.a. (2014). Work Breakdown Structures: Mapping out the work within a project. Retrieved from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_91.htm

  3. rosa.gallardo@waldenu.edu says:

    Daniel,
    I was impressed with all the information that project managers can find on the Bright Hub PM, from templates to software and project management processes. The most important, this resource provides a variety of tools that can be implemented according to the project budgets and requirements. Thank your for sharing with us this resource.
    If you are interested in another project methodology (Scrum) you may visit http://www.scrumdesk.com/effort-vs-time/ where you will find a tool named Planning poker. Smartsheet (https://www.smartsheet.com/gantt-chart-software) is another tool for preparing Gantt charts; it is amazing.
    -Rosa
    References
    ScrumDesk. (n.d.a). Effort vs. Time. [Blog] Retrieved http://www.scrumdesk.com/effort-vs-time/
    ScrumDesk. (n.d.b). Planning Poker. Retrieved from http://www.scrumdesk.com/planning-poker/
    Smartsheet. (n.d.). Create an Online Gantt Chart in Minutes. Retrieved from https://www.smartsheet.com/gantt-chart-software

  4. Hello Daniel,

    I spent some time exploring your resources. I found a tool I am going to use. One of your links lead me to Tom’s Planner. I like using collaborative applications. Tom’s Planner has a free membership for personal users. I am going to create an account and create a Gantt chart . Here is a link to a video that will demonstrate the features: https://vimeo.com/103843150

    Chris

  5. Daniel these are some great resources. I really like Bright Hub and the information it provides. The articles are very enlightening as well and I found myself clicking on many of them. More information is always helpful and you can really get it from that website. I am going to pass it along to some of the designers I work with and I am sure ti will give them some great help in planning for their next projects.
    Thank You
    Eric

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