Project management is an integral part of any business, as it helps ensure that projects are run effectively and efficiently. With the right project manager (PM) in place, you can rest assured that everything will run smoothly!
Project managers typically have two main jobs — ensuring that their assigned project runs according to plan and tracking how much time each person involved with the project spends working on it. This includes yourself, the other team members, and the PM himself or herself!
The second part is what most people forget about, but it’s an important one. Tracking individual employee time can be tricky, which is why there are some time-saving tricks project managers use.
This article will go into more detail on these tips and how to calculate estimated time in project management.
Calculate the estimated time
A key part of project management is being able to estimate how long tasks will take. Knowing this can help you get the job done more efficiently, as well as keep track of what projects are running behind schedule.
There are many ways to calculate an average estimation for a task, but one of the most common methods is called the percentage method. This method compares the duration of the past similar tasks to come up with an average number, then apply that average to the current task to determine its length.
The percent difference between the two numbers determines which factor gets applied to the new task. For example, if the duration of the previous task was twice as long as the present day task, then we would use half of that (0.5) to find the average amount of time it took to complete the earlier task.
This process is repeated until all of the tasks have been evaluated.
Compare the two
There are two main ways to calculate project duration. The most common is by using either the critical path method or the sum of all activities method.
The crucial path approach calculates how long it takes for projects to run out of time, while the sum-of-all-activities methodology determines how much time there is left after everything else is done.
With both methods, you need to know three things: initial estimate, final deadline, and average velocity.
Initial estimates are what people think a task will take to complete. For example, if your job title is accountant, then having an office meeting with other accountants would be considered an initial estimated activity.
Deadlines are when someone wants something done. In this case, that could be the end of a phase of a project (for instance, the completion of an accounting period) or a formal ending such as when a new product is due to be launched.
Average velocity is the speed at which tasks take to do their work. This can vary widely depending on the individual worker, but we usually have a general idea. If you asked anyone working on a project how long it took them to do their part, they should be able to give you a good estimation.
By looking at these three pieces of data, you can determine whether a project is close to running out of time, how much time is left, and therefore what steps must be taken to get through the next stage.
Multiply the actual time by a factor that reflects the degree of difficulty
In project management, you will often need to know how much time an activity or task will take. This is particularly true when estimating completion dates for tasks, milestones, and projects.
Project managers use two different methods to calculate this timing information — average and specific. Average timing assumes that the task takes the same amount of time as it did on past attempts. Specific timing estimates are determined using facts about the task, its current status, and whether there have been any changes made to the task.
This article will discuss both types of calculations and some examples. After reading this article, you will be able to identify which method is appropriate for your situation and determine proper timing estimates for yourself.
Multiply the estimated time by a factor that reflects the degree of difficulty
Now, let’s look at how to calculate your project manager efficiency level! First, you will need to determine the ratio of total projects completed compared to total projects started. This can be done using either an online tool or via simple math.
Using our example here, we will use the number of projects completed as our denominator and the number of projects started as our numerator. We then divide the result by 2 to get our multiplier.
So, for our project management efficiency calculation, take the average of the last quarter’s projects completed and start adding up all of the projects you have planned for the next year. Then, multiply this value by 1.5 – 2 to find your projected project manager efficiency level.
Your projection should be higher than one since it includes future projections. Make sure to track your project manager efficiency levels over time to verify that they are rising consistently.
Combine both results and calculate the final estimated time
The second way to find your project management career balance is by calculating how much time you will spend doing each task and combining those numbers into one number, which is called your average.
The easiest way to do this is use an online tool like Teampdx or Glint to create an account. Both of these have a free trial so you can check out the functionality before buying a premium plan.
They also offer weekly bonuses for trying out their product, making it more affordable. Once you are ready, you can track every task that needs to be done across all projects. You will know when a new task comes up, you can add it onto the list and estimate how long it will take!
This article will talk about two different ways to determine your monthly project managerial workload.
We will look at a simple method first and then discuss some complex math needed to get the true averages. No matter what method you choose, make sure to include all of your duties in the equation.
As you gain experience as a project manager, your responsibilities may grow – adding additional tasks that need to be calculated.
Note taking is one of the most important things you can do as a project manager. Even if you have every tool at your disposal organized, streamlined, and input into an ever-present computer, nothing will help you if you don’t take good notes!
Good notes make for great references later so be sure to note down details such as steps, dates, conversations, and anything else that might prove helpful in the future.
You should also keep an eye out for potential warning signs or clues about how much time something will take. A reminder or note about a conversation you had with someone may indicate what projects they are currently working on, and how long it took them to complete their last task. This could give you a clue as to when theirs new work begins!
Project management apps like Evernote and Microsoft OneNote make taking and organizing notes very easy. You can create different notebooks to organize all of your notes by topic or area.
Reflect on your experience with time estimation
A lot of people have different approaches when it comes to estimating project duration. Some are more formal, using tools like proportionality formulas, or calculating according to the stages of projects that exist, making sure to include both internal and external activities.
Others use an algorithmic approach, creating estimates for each task within a process and then taking into account how long these tasks take to complete so as to create a final estimate.
There are even some who prefer not to assign any estimated durations at all, instead leaving this up to the judgment of the individual person doing the work.
All of these strategies have their benefits and drawbacks, but what matters most is whether you feel comfortable with the results that you get.
Calculate the impact of the project team
Another way to determine your personal efficiency level is by calculating how much time you spend as a project manager on projects. If you manage multiple projects at once, it may be difficult to pinpoint just what takes most amount of time.
The best way to tackle this is to create an average for each project. What we mean by that is to take all of the time spent on each project and total them up. Then divide those totals by the number of projects you have under your responsibility to get an overall measure of time per project.
This also assumes that there’s no overlap between projects where someone could work on more than one project at a time. For example, if you are working on A+B and C++ simultaneously, then your time per project would include only part of every hour you put into A and B plus half of every hour you devote to C++.