Week 5 Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources

Jim teases Spock about giving an estimate

The task “for this assignment, was to conduct a web search (listservs, message boards, blogs) and locate at least two resources that would be useful in estimating the costs, effort, and/or activity durations associated with ID projects” (Walden, 2014).

The first resource I found is located at: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/costs.html. Big Dog and Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition by Don Clark (2014) states: “Budgeting training is often a difficult chore as plans are often based on training an “average person.” But, as we soon learn, although there are many models and statistics of an average person to be found in various literatures, there are actually no average people to be found! We are all unique in some form or manner. This makes any activity that must place a variable on people highly uncertain and inaccurate at times.

Although the budget may not be correct the first time, especially if the training is new or complicated, it still should be performed at this time to give the training staff a goal to aim for. The budget or the program can be adjusted when more information has been obtained. After all, this is what the ISD model is all about, performing evaluations throughout the various phases and then using the feedback to adjust the program for the desired results”.

He goes on to quote, ” After performing the initial budget, it might seem that the training program will be quite expensive, but as Gary Wilber, CEO of Drug Emporium, Inc. said, “The expense isn’t what it costs to train employees. Its what it costs not to train them. You realize that as you grow.” –

I like how the site is laid out, is explained, and has links to outside resources. I think the neatest tool it has is the Excel Spreadsheet Cost Estimator. All you have to do is plug in your numbers and it calculates for you.

The second resource I found is located at: http://www.planningpoker.com/. It is an estimating tool and it is FREE. According to the site, “Planning Poker works because it lets the people who are actually going to be completing the work do the estimating. Estimates derived from Planning Poker are more accurate because of the emphasis on lively discussion and the fact that estimators are called upon by their peers to justify their estimates — factors proven to increase accuracy. Finally, Planning Poker provides a true average of individual estimates, which has been shows to lead to better results.” I think this is a great way to make sure that they people who need to do the estimating can come together in the same “space” at the same time and actually get things worked out. It does have a limit. It says it is “usually best if this number does not exceed ten people.” Work groups can be divided up if there are more than ten people on a team. I would think that this would also help people feel more inclined to open up about what they really need for their part of the project.

I think both of these site have good information and tools to use. It depends on what I might need, but I think I will be referring back to both of these sites in the near future.

Enter data here . . .

One thought on “Week 5 Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources

  1. LC says:

    Hi Katrina,
    The planning poker is really interesting! It could be a great way to engage people to decide on budgets in a fun and different way. As Portny, et al. (2008) explain, “in a world of limited resources, everyone is constantly deciding how to get the most return for his or her investment” (p. 124). So getting people engaged in the process can provide very positive results, if well managed.

    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.

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