A major problem in project planning is determining how long tasks will take and what it will cost to do them (Heagney, 2016). Failure to estimate project times and details can lead to ultimate project failure as well as missed target costs. As such, the tool known as work breakdown structure (WBS) wascreated to help break tasks into smaller segments. The WBS tool does not show the sequence that tasks need to be performed. That particular sequencing is determined when a schedule is developed. The WBS typically has three to six levels and ceases to break tasks beyond the point that an estimate of the desired accuracy can be established. This is why the WBS is often times created before the schedule is worked out but without trying to identify the sequence of activities. From this point time estimates, cost and resources can be established. The more accurate the estimates are, the more efficient the goal completion can be.

Approximations become targets which is why the task can easily lead to project failure if done incorrectly. There are several tactics that can be used to effectively create an estimate. For starters, the data made available from previous tasks can provide useful insight. Determining the level of detail needed for the estimate and assigning the task to an individual that will be responsible for the completion is helpful as well. It should be helpful to remember when appointing the task to an individual that human productivity could impact the goal completion. It is for this reason that the three-point estimate technique is used. This technique helps identify the level of uncertainty in an estimate using three sets of assumptions: the optimistic estimate, the pessimistic estimate, and the most likely estimate. 

Project management goes beyond scheduling. One of the most common tools used for scheduling is Gantt chart, a notational system for showing progress with bar charts (Heagney, 2016). Regardless of the preferred management system or style, as an entrepreneur it is imperative to ensure that projects are completed efficiently and in a timely manner.  Using these steps can assist in working towards the overarching goal of having a venture that is successful and has a strong future ahead. 


Heagney, J. (2016). Fundamentals of project management. New York: American Management Association (AMACOM).

Magretta, J. (2012). Understanding Michael Porter: the essential guide to competition and strategy. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Review Press.

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