Saturday, October 8, 2011

Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources

This week I was assigned the task of finding some sites that would offer help in Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources for an instructional design project. "Various tools and strategies can help project managers improve the accuracy of budget estimates," (Portny, 2008), and I found a few that have already started to help me.  I can honestly say that this project management thing is not (yet) my strong suit. So I was eager to find some sites that could actually help me gain a better understanding while actually becoming a resource I could have for future endeavors. 

The first site I found, Project Management Tips, was a great starting point because it gave me some real understanding. With its brief synopsis of project management and very informative links (located at the bottom) I was able to see a full picture of the processes and figure out where my project time and money would go. The site offered simple and helpful statements  like: "In order to run the project you first need to know how long things take, how much they will cost, and what kind of resources will be required. The only way you can get this data is by doing good estimates. Without good estimates you really have no way of knowing where you are at any point in the project, and you have no way of predicting how much the project will cost or how long it is going to take to do it" 

Another great site was the Life By Design blog post, Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources in Instructional Design. This blog offers links to sites that will do the math for calculating project costs. It also has some formulas for calculating additional project expenses and figuring out how much time different projects, or portions of a project, will take. Deborah, the author, gives step by step understanding of the different links on the page. The blog is a great resource for all things in project management and instructional design. She also blogs about scope creep, communication and other topics I have been exposed to in this course. 

If you can ignore the very busy ads, and other visuals on my final choice, Big Dog and Little Dog Site, you will see that this site is laced with all types of formulas and equations for finding out costs, time estimations and a plethora of other details for managing instructional design projects. The site has sections on budgeting, training costs, estimating development hours, and a host of other topics. 

I am not saying that these are the best sites out there for an instructional design professional. But as the self proclaimed novice that I am, these 3 sites offer me a deeper understanding of the profession. "Whatever the chosen method, being able to accurately estimate costs is a critical project manager responsibility" (Portny, 2008). Good luck!!!

Portny, S.E., Mantel, S.J. Meredith, J.R., Shafer, S.M., Sutton, M.M., &Kramer, B.E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley &Sons, Inc. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Danielle,
    The statement "in order to run the project you first need to know how long things take, how much they will cost, and what kind of resources will be required” also resonated with me when I viewed the article. Among other things it gives us a rationale for creating project estimates. I also found your second and third resources helpful. Thanks for three great resources. Actually, I intend to use that quote as a part of the rationale for my resource allocation plan. Good Luck to you as well!