Estimating the duration of performing a task or activity is critical to your virtual project because it lets you understand how much time do you actually need to complete an activity. You need to be reasonable while setting a duration estimate because too short duration can end up taking more time.
If you are a virtual project manager, the tips below can help you estimate a reasonable duration you and your remote team require for performing an activity.
1. Clearly Define your Activities
Be clear about the activities that are to be performed. Make a proper flowchart to define the workflow in detail.
2. Identify the Activities to be Performed by Employees
To estimate how long will it take to complete a task, you must identify and be clear about the work which the employees will perform. For example, writing a proposal or inspecting a piece of equipment.
3. Determine the Tasks to be Performed by Machines
Identify the tasks which the nonhuman resources such as computers or software will perform. For exampling testing of a product done through software.
4. Availability of Resources
Different types of resources are required to perform a task such as a workforce, equipment, raw materials, and funds, etc. You should determine when and how many resources are available to you as it will help you estimate the time duration of the activities.
5. Determine the Capacity of your Resources
It is very important to know the capacity of your resources as it has a direct impact on the time it requires to complete a task. For example, a printer that can make 500 prints per hour will take longer to perform a task compared to the printer that can print 800 pages per hour.
6. Gather Information Based on Similar Tasks
Look at the past records of how much time similar activities took. Discuss with the employees who have performed similar tasks about whether your duration estimate is feasible or not. Also, take expert opinion about what they think about your timeline.
7. Discuss with your Remote Team
It is very important to involve your remote team in deciding how long will a task take to be completed because they are the people who will be actually performing the task. If they think the duration estimate is achievable only then you will be able to perform the activity on time.
If you are trying to estimate the duration of activities of a virtual project, make use of these tips to make a feasible timeline.
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