Project Resource Effort
What is Project Resource effort?
Resource effort is the quantified amount of effort that is allocated for each resource involved in a project. Estimating the resource effort required is not an exact science, but there are a number of steps that can be followed to make it as accurate as possible. Estimating resource effort enables staff on the project team to be selected appropriately.
It is almost impossible to estimate required man hours if the task is poorly defined. It needs to be measurable, and of a size (broken down into its component parts if needs be) that allows it to be estimated. All work that relates to a given activity, whether relating directly or indirectly, needs to be taken into account.
Strategies that managers use when estimating resource effort include:
- using historical data, where prior projects, prior project teams and prior timeframes are similar to the one in question
- seeking the specialist advice of experts familiar with the type of work being done
- using a Work Breakdown Structure to calculate total effort by adding up the effort required for all work components from the bottom to the top
- allowing contingency provisions for uncertainty or risk
- documenting all assumptions
- allowing a provision for abortive work, or work that has to be modified or redone due to changed requirements
- allowing a provision in the estimate for the actual project management of the project (15% of total resource effort hours for a project is regarded as a guide for the time of a project manager on that particular job)
It is important that estimates of resource effort incorporate the man hours of any specialist resources being used on the project (who may or may not have been built into the Work Breakdown Structure).
Estimates of resource effort, once complied, need to be evaluated objectively in the light of the total figure that is derived. It might seem oddly low for a project of that type or, conversely, very high. In either event, reviewing estimate components can sometimes identify areas of potential man hours saving (e.g. repetitive work) and estimate short falls.
For some further information on estimating resource effort, view: