Thursday, April 2, 2015

EDUC 6145 - Week 5 - Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources

Cover Art
This is a book that has been published online, and it includes resources such as step-by-step instructions, videos, and charts to help a project manager get started on a project. For this week’s topic, I found that chapters 8 and 9 are the most relevant because they focus on time management and budgets, respectively. The online book is set up the same way our textbook is, with an objective at the beginning of each chapter and key takeaways at the end. There is also the option of listening to someone read the chapters aloud through an audio player at the top of each page.

This is a UK-based website that “helps managers at all levels improve their performance.” Under the Methods & Tools tab I found an article written by Duncan Haughey that focuses on estimating project costs. It includes a list of assumptions to make about a project, a list of common mistakes, and a three-point estimation formula. On the sidebar there are links to other helpful articles, such as 12 Tips for Accurate Project Estimating and Creating a Project Budget: What You Need to Know. There are also links embedded in the article for a PM to use for extra help.


This site is not necessarily meant for project managers, but there are some helpful tools that could easily be used by a PM or an instructional designer. The homepage offers links to downloadable software – some of which have free trials. The software that would be most helpful to a PM or an ID is the time tracking, the cash flow forecasting, and the bar chart schedule. Some of the software is based on the site, so information is easily plugged in. This is definitely something I would use if in a position of having to create a schedule and plan a budget for a project; I could plug in the information I have and receive a chart that I could show other team members. It’s a great tool to stay organized. 


  1. Hi Gayle. these are some really interesting tools you came across. I checked out the Project Smart site and I agree, the software on the site that lets you plug information in is a great time saver. found a little video on how to create a Gantt chart in Excel. It was quite impressive and a cool little trick that I just might use sometime. It would be worthwhile for those times when you want to visually show a timeline of tasks and overlap.

  2. Hi Gayle,

    One of the issues I struggled with is finding a template in open source that was able to work with for my ghantt chart. There are plenty of good resources but I had some trouble with finding something that I could easily format for my own uses. I found the ProjectSmart resource to be pretty useful and I was able to work with some of the templates to workout my ideas for the project. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Yes, Gayle, I second Kevin's comments. These resources are excellent! And there is no
    doubt that they will make our project much easier.