BBA 4126 CSU Unit III Estimating Project Times Instructions In this assignment, you will continue working on the project plan that you began in Unit II. J

BBA 4126 CSU Unit III Estimating Project Times Instructions

In this assignment, you will continue working on the project plan that you began in Unit II. Just like in Unit II, you will be responding to prompts within a template. Click here to access the template.

Your completed document should be at least two pages in length. Once you have completed the template, save the document and upload it to the assignment area of Blackboard.


Larson, E. W., & Gray, C. F. (2018). Project management: The managerial process (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education. Unit III Project Topic
Please complete the information below based on the project you have chosen for your project plan.
Project Network Diagram:
Description of the critical path in your project:
Description of how your project might be affected by delays in the critical path and how you could
get the project back on schedule if such delays happen:
Description of project time and cost estimates and how your WBS impacts those estimates:
Estimating Project Times and Costs and
Developing a Project Plan
Course Learning Outcomes for Unit III
Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
3. Discuss guidelines for creating a work breakdown structure (WBS).
3.1 Describe how creating a WBS can impact time and cost estimates.
4. Develop a process for determining the critical path method (CPM).
4.1 Assemble a project network diagram.
4.2 Describe the critical path of a project.
4.3 Describe how delays in the critical path can affect a project and the options that can be used to
get it back on schedule.
Learning Outcomes
Learning Activity
Unit Lesson
Chapter 5
Unit III Project Topic
Chapter 6
Unit III Project Topic
Unit Lesson
Chapter 6
Unit III Project Topic
Unit Lesson
Chapter 6
Unit III Project Topic
Reading Assignment
Chapter 5: Estimating Project Times and Costs, pp. 129–152
Chapter 6: Developing a Project Plan, pp. 163–189
Unit Lesson
Planning the Project
In the video segment for this unit, we will learn about the importance of planning a framework to complete the
To access the following resource, click the link below.
Knights, R. (Director). (2017). Plan the project (Segment 4 of 8) [Video file]. Retrieved from
Click here to view the transcript for the video above.
Estimating Project Times and Costs
Many times, in an effort to get a project started as soon as possible, project managers will sometimes skip the
all-important process of estimating the length of time a project will take to complete and how much it will cost
BBA 4126, Project Planning
to complete. It is important to take the time to do this so that one does not encounter
and ugly
UNIT x some
surprises down the road!
It is important to estimate time and cost of a project for several reasons, some of which are listed below.

With these estimates in hand, project managers are empowered to make better decisions about who
should work on specific tasks within the project and can plan ahead of time for issues that may arise
during the project.
The project manager can inform stakeholders about how long the project will take and its cost before
beginning. This way, a determination can be made about whether the project is truly cost effective for
the organization and whether the project should be continued.
The project manager will be able to see at a glance how well the project is progressing by comparing
the actual time it is taking to the estimated time.
The project manager can have an idea about how much money he or she should have on hand to
handle cash flow needs (Larson & Gray, 2018).
Guidelines for estimating time and cost are listed below.

Have people who are familiar with what a task entails to make the estimate on how long it will take. It
is always best to utilize an individual who actually does the job rather than someone who has a
preconceived notion regarding it.
Utilize more than one person to make estimates. Different people notice different things about tasks
that must be taken into account. This way, a project manager can be certain that all of his or her
bases are covered.
Estimates should be based on normal conditions and the normal number of resources in place.
Use consistent units of time throughout. If you start with hours, maintain the use of hours to avoid
confusion down the road.
Treat each task as independent in order ensure that each task has enough time to be completed.
Do not make allowances for unforeseen events. There should be an extra fund in place for such
Create a risk assessment plan so that stakeholders will not be surprised if something takes a little
longer or costs a bit more than it should (Larson & Gray, 2018).
Developing a Project Plan
Project planning begins with the development of a project network (Larson & Gray, 2018). This tool is used to
help a project manager plan, schedule, and monitor the progress of his or her project and is developed from
information that was collected and used to create the project’s work breakdown structure (WBS) (Larson &
Gray, 2018). Project managers for large-scale projects have a higher reliance on the accuracy of the WBS
than those of small-scale projects (Larson & Gray, 2018). Many of the projects used every day involve a WBS
that was created from multiple WBSs overlapping. The interstate highway system, major airports, cell phones,
and the Internet all involved phased projects that required overlapping WBSs. A change in one WBS affects
the entire project both in time and cost. Although they may not have created actual WBSs at the time, the
most famous historical projects were phased projects involving overlapping WBSs, such as construction of
the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, the transcontinental railroad, the New York subway system and Grand
Central Station, and the pyramids in Egypt. Military maneuvers and wars, such as WWI and WWII, Vietnam,
and the Civil War, are large-scale projects requiring a WBS to identify who is responsible for what. Knowing
who is responsible for what activity within a project is critical to the project’s success.
Following the concept of who is responsible for what is the idea of identifying when the identified action(s)
need to occur to determine the most time- and cost-efficient order of operations. The process of identifying
the various paths to get a project from start to finish and determining which activities are dependent on a
previous one is called network diagramming (Larson & Gray, 2018). By noting the activity order based on
dependency restriction, a project manager can identify the longest time from start to finish. This is the critical
path. The critical path of a project has no wiggle room or float. Any variance on the critical path will affect both
time and cost. Activities that take longer than planned will cause delays in that start of subsequent activities,
and activities that finish sooner than planned can require an adjustment of all subsequent activities to begin
earlier. Changes to the schedule incur a cost, whether from contractual obligations, loss of early completion
incentives, wasted staff time, increased supply costs, or any number of other reasons.
BBA 4126, Project Planning
When projects get behind schedule, the network diagram should be reviewed UNIT
to determine
if fast-tracking,
crashing, or both are viable options to get the project back on schedule (Larson
& Gray, 2018). Some
projects, such as the building of the New York subway system, can be fast-tracked so that various trades are
working on different areas of the project site concurrently, but other projects, such as war, have limited
options for fast-tracking because the main components of the project are personnel and equipment. One does
not work without the other. Similarly, some projects can be crashed to get correct schedule delays. Projects
like the Hoover Dam had additional resources added to speed the completion, while projects like the building
of the transcontinental railroad would have had limited benefit from additional resources because supplies
could only be moved to job sites so fast.
Outsourcing can also be used to reduce project slippage, improve utilization of critical resources, and avoid
resource bottlenecks (Larson & Gray, 2018). For example, project delays can be avoided by contracting key
activities when resources are not available internally. Likewise, hiring consultants to help with on an
information technology (IT) project, for example, allows critical IT people to work on specific problems, while
the outsiders work on standard programs. Not only does the project get done on time, but also the company
avoids hiring extra IT personnel to meet a short-term need.
Indirect (overhead) costs are costs that cannot be attributed to a specific activity or work package (Larson &
Gray, 2018). Examples of indirect costs are supervision, consultants, debt interest charges, machinery
common to several activities, accounting and information processing, public relations, or penalties or
incentives for early or late completion. In practice, it is amazing how many project compression decisions are
made without serious consideration of indirect costs.
A Closer Look
The project manager should complete the project on time and within budget. However, even when these two
goals are met, project success is not guaranteed. The final project deliverable must meet customer
satisfaction. If the customer is not happy, being on time and within budget is of little value.
Let’s assume the project manager is working on a project to build a new community swimming pool for the
City of San Antonio (CoSA). An early step is to collect the requirements from the stakeholders. The project
manager will meet with key CoSA stakeholders to learn what is important to them.

Who is going to use the swimming pool? What is the anticipated capacity? What are the safety
issues? What are the important features?
Once the requirements are collected, the project manager and project team will define the scope,
which means the work that will be included in the project. Just as important, the scope includes any
work that falls outside of the project. For example, perhaps a diving board is a safety concern and will
not be included in the scope.
After the scope is defined, the WBS is created. A project cannot exist without a WBS. In essence, the
WBS is broken down to the work-package level, which allows the project manager the ability to
assign the right resources at the right time.
The WBS is an essential input to the project schedule. The project manager must be committed to the
schedule even more than the budget. In other words, the schedule drives the budget.
Managing projects is tough. For this reason, it is vital to follow a framework. The project manager must
assemble a committed and organized team to ensure the project is on time, within budget, and to the
customer’s satisfaction.
Larson, E. W., & Gray, C. F. (2018). Project management: The managerial process (7th ed.). New York, NY:
McGraw-Hill Education.
BBA 4126, Project Planning

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