PM Intermediate Course 2, Estimating: How to create an accurate estimate. Understanding the correct way to do an estimate helps you bid the job properly and manage it profitably once you get it. This self-paced course requires no textbook or instructor.
This course gives you an understanding of how to develop accurate estimates.
Wouldn't life be grand if you could work to a realistic budget--and know this, going in? This
course will help you develop the expertise to do that.
Approximate study time: 7 hours
Use a core project management tool to your greatest advantage. Take the guesswork out of estimating. Don't get a profit-killing cost surprise, ever again.
Upon completion of this course, you will:
Understand the philosophy of estimating.
Know the three levels of estimating.
Be able to work with the four types of estimating constraints.
Understand how to create estimates at the task level.
Understand what the Bill of Materials does and how it affects your estimate.
Be able to perform the costing process.
An accurate estimate is the basis for a winning bid you can afford to present to the customer or client. It's also the basis for budgeting and managing the project.
You need to know this material if you want to manage successful projects.
This looks really interesting but I can't figure out what you are sending or how you are sending it.
These are downloadable files. In other words, you get download instructions as soon as the buying part is done and you get the files right away.
What is it that I'm going to get and how? Is it a file that I’ll download? Is it mailed?
As soon as your purchase is complete, you will receive download instructions both on screen and via e-mail. You download self-extracting zip file that contains the course material. Depending on the course, the individual files will be in the rich text format or in the e-book format. Most materials are in the easier-to-handle rich text format.
Are we talking about a lot of pages for me to read?
Here's something that pleasantly surprises most people about these.
If you look at a typical $99 professional book, most of it is filler. These courses don't have the filler. Ditto for $995 seminars covering the same information. Our courses get right to the meat, saving you the effort of wading through pages of nonsense. We don't mass up the high overhead of generating the filler, and we pass the savings on to our customers.
Do your courses on project management prepare me for the various certification routes of the Project Management Institute?
No. The material does not focus on exam preparation. It focuses on improving your real-world skills. However, what you learn will not impede certification.
Are you one of the approved (by PMI) course providers?
No. We are not affiliated with the Project Management Institute, although we may consider going that direction. Our goal is not to make you spend a lot
of money learning how to answer test questions. Our goal is to teach you how to do your job better.
How long does each of your courses take?
It depends on the student. These courses are essentially white papers with exercises to help you relate the information to what you are doing now. You can read the material in each course in under an hour. But, how long it takes to digest it and apply it is up to you.
Do I have to buy books in addition to your course material? Will those books have to be bought from you?
To both questions, no. You don't have to buy anything else. Each course stands on its own.
What if your course material is not clear? Are your course writers available for clarification? Since it is not possible to read all material at one shot, and collect all questions at the same time, will the course writers be available as needed or on a one time basis?
a. It will be clear.
c. Your success is important. If you have a question that is germane to the material, and not a probe for free consulting services, we will help you understand the material. We have kept the prices low, because not everyone can afford $995 for a two-day seminar that amounts to little more than a book promo. This is not a book promo.
What if I have other questions?
We'll answer to whatever extent is reasonable. It may be possible that you will ask questions that require developing a new course--some aspect of successful project management we didn't cover and that is not part of the normal project management training regimen. In that case, you would get the new course for free.
Do you have other courses?
Yes, and we are developing more. You can always write to us with specific needs, and we will adjust our product development accordingly. Also, it's a good idea to check Mindconnection on a regular basis, just to see what is new.
Who writes these courses?
That depends on the subject. For example, Dr. Jay Prince wrote the behavior courses based on his experience as a licensed therapist.
All of the courses are well-researched and devoid of pseudoscience. Most are written by a subject matter expert. All are reviewed by a professional editor for clarity and succinctness.
Do your courses qualify for employer reimbursement?
Possibly not, because they are not accredited. Then again, our cost is very low. So, you must ask yourself if that small amount is worth investing into the skills you need to keep yourself employed and employable.
The goal here is not to pile up paper credits. The goal is to get the information you would ordinarily get only from a lifetime of working in project management--if even then. We save you "classroom time" in the "school of hard knocks." You will recover your investment (and then some), simply because you will be that much better at what you do.
How much time can I reasonably expect to save, once I use the principles in your time management course?
That depends on how you presently approach your work. The typical student can expect to increase productivity by 50%. If you look at the way most people do their work, and then work your way through the course, you'll see why this is so. The author of that course works three full-time jobs and is Chair for one non-profit and acting Chair for another. Yet, he manages to excel in all of these roles while still maintaining outstanding health and enjoyment of life.
What are your real goals, in regard to project management education?
If you want PMI certification, then you should spend the $2200 or so that takes.
If you want to improve your skill set for better performance, our courses are the answer.
Essentially, our project management courses cover the same material as the PMI certification courses, but we haven't added the expense.
To do estimating right, you must understand some core principles. The business landscape is littered with the "bodies" of people who didnít understand these principles. They did many things right, but the final result of their labor did not promote the business goals of their organization--and their
We do estimating so we have a close approximation of the costs (time, resources, and money) of doing a project before we decide we want to do it, before we bid on it, and before we begin the work.
Estimates take into consideration several variables. If you use software for project management, estimating, or bidding, you donít need to memorize these variables. But, you still need to understand what they are, how to quantify them, and how they affect your project cost and completion schedule.
As we mentioned in the first Basic course, and alluded to above, estimates are not exactóthey are approximations. They are your best prediction of how long a project will take, what resources it will require, and how much it will cost.
Importantly, a good estimate allows you to see how much youíll be chewing off so you can compare that to how much you can figuratively swallow. Businesses that fail to do this choke to death on projects they should not have taken.
An estimate allows you to do further planning, allows you to submit a bid, and gives you something to serve as a yardstick as you do the project. Yet, an estimate is never a precise plan or prediction of what it will take to do the project.
Keep in mind that the longer the timeframe of the estimate and the more it encompasses (materials, subcontractors, regulations, resources, etc.), the larger your margin of error will be. If you are doing an estimate to replace a light switch, you can be quite accurate. If you are doing an estimate to build an aircraft carrier, well, good luck.
If you are looking at a
project, is it one you can handle? A good estimate will tell you, before you get hooked into a downward spiral of project failure. You canít do every possible job that comes along. Estimates help you see which jobs you can do. They also help you see which jobs stand a reasonable chance of being awarded.
Estimating is not bidding. The estimate is your tool for determining how much the job will cost. The bid is how much you want the job to pay. The estimate focuses on your cost, the bid focuses on your selling price. The estimate is your cost; the bid is your customerís cost. The difference between the two is your planned profit margin. If there is no difference, you wonít make a profit.
Unfortunately, estimating is one of the least understood and most misapplied tools in the typical project manager's arsenal. The cost over-runs and career nosedives can sometimes be spectacular. But if you understand estimating, which you will upon completion of this course, you can not only avoid going down in flames but you can polish both your reputation and your resume with every project you do.
No more guesswork, no more misinformation, no more needless expense.
This really made the subject of estimating clear to me. I redid some estimates my boss had prepared, and showed him why I made the changes. Our jobs now bring in more profits with less stress.
Clear and understandable, 9.4.2010
Reviewer: April Gunderson (Seattle, WA)
The material in this course is easy to comprehend. I now feel confident when creating estimates. I had originally hoped to have something that provided templates and 1-2-3 instructions. This course did not do that, but it did teach me the concepts. We had an estimator working here, using estimating software. He gave notice, and was training me for the job--which is why I bought this course (the software was confusing).
Thanks to this course, I now see our previous estimator really did not understand what he was doing. Our company left a lot of money on the table for some jobs, and lost money on others. I'm now going back through earlier estimates to quantify this for my boss and justify a raise.