It is important in preparing for the PMP exam to discuss the inputs, tools, methods and outputs of estimating activity resources and associated durations, including:
– Staffing policies and procedures: For example, how much time an operational manager can spend doing project work, etc
– Policies and procedures related to equipment/supply rental and purchasing. For example, an organization may use a particular vendor for their supplies and equipment
– Information on types of resources used in similar projects in the past. For example, a lesson learned that a particular resource was not adequate.
Tools & Resources for Estimating Activity Resources
At this point, the project manager should have a high-level list of the resources needed for the project and the related activities. The following tools and techniques are ways to validate the chosen resources and estimate their cost.
– Experts on the related resources could give insight that will help the project manager make a better estimation. For example, getting a licensed plumber to estimate how much material is needed for a construction job. The PMP exam may ask questions regarding expert judgment.
– Comparing different methods and characteristics to accomplishing a particular activity helps to determine the best method and resources to use. Items to consider are the type of machinery to use, the level of skill required and tools to use. For example, using a prefabricated fence may not be an option when installing on a plot of land with varying terrain characteristics. Perhaps it is better to build the fence piece by piece. However, this option requires more skilled labor and different tools.
Published Estimating Data
– Industry publications and reports could help to determine the cost of resources from a generic point of view. This is helpful when managing a project located at different regions as well as foreign locations. PMP preparation should include familiarization with this type of data.
– This method is used to estimate activities that present challenges related to product uniqueness or never-done-before projects. The technique involves decomposing the activity into more detail so that specific components may be estimated. Once this is done, the individual estimates are summed up from the bottom. The PMP exam may have questions related to bottom-up estimating.
Project management software
– Software could help facilitate estimating because of its capability to apply cost rates and other project data with ease. PMP preparation should include understanding types of software.