Different Perspectives


Estimating the amount of work necessary to complete portions of a project can be a major challenge.  After factoring the personnel skills and resources available to the project team, other online tools can help the project manager narrow their estimates.

A traditional aid that has been used by many industries, and can be considered an icon in professional development is the “Dummies” series of books.  Project Management for Dummies authored by our very own Stanley Portny has a good section on Estimating Required Work Effort.  Since the book is written “for dummies” the text is easy to read and understand.  Plus, icons spread throughout the book draw the reader’s attention highlighting important tpics.


The next job aid I discovered is another view of the same topic outlined in the “For Dummies” book.  Duration Estimate templates are created by Project Management Docs and they can be used to estimate specific areas of a project with greater accuracy.  I think this set of tools is an example of seeing information from a different perspective.  If you are having a hard time understanding how to estimate a project’s duration, then the worksheets provided on this site may be of assistance.



4 thoughts on “Different Perspectives

  1. stewartwilliamh


    I’ve forgotten about the Dummie Series of books as I no longer live in an English-speaking country, but they definitely help cut through a lot of dense material with explanations that just about everyone should understand. I didn’t realize they had project management editions, but, I shouldn’t be surprised. Thanks for sharing.

  2. genahloger

    Nice idea Don! I have a few of the Dummies series books and they are quite useful. Do you know if they include any resources for labor costs? I know that is something that can fluctuate often, but I had a difficult time finding a basic resource other than Don Clark’s. (http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/costs.html) Thanks for reminding me of this helpful series and of the many many topics they cover. I wonder if they have an ID for Dummies book? ☺

  3. LorenSpinks

    Hi Don,
    I didn’t even think about the “For Dummies” series. I am surprised Portny is the author. I might just read that one. I looked to see if they had one for ID, but I guess our profession is still vague enough and goes by enough names that it doesn’t yet warrant its own “For Dummies” book. For Genah, I too had trouble finding another site to compare with Don Clark’s. This one was slightly helpful. Not on the same scale, but it was a resource that at least compared prices. http://www.instructionaldesignconsultant.com/how-much-should-i-pay-for-instructional-design-services.html

  4. ewestmore

    Thanks Don, I appreciate the reference to the Dummies series. I think that these books are a great resource, but I’ve always tended to refer to them for specific task related processes, like learning a software tool. It’s good to see that the series includes some additional skills. It is surprising to see that Portny is a contributing author.


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