6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 6.4 Estimate Activity Durations: Outputs

This post will cover the outputs of the process 6.4 Estimate Activity Durations.

6.4.3 Estimate Activity Durations:  Outputs Duration Estimates

These are the assessments of the likely number of time periods needed to complete the activities in the activities list.   I say “likely number”, because the estimates may be refined so that they are not single-point estimates, but ranges of possible results.   These ranges may be expressed in terms such as 1 week plus or minus 2 days, for example, or in terms of a confidence interval, that is, an 85% probability of taking only one week.  Basis of Estimates

When going to single-point estimates to the more refined three-point estimates, you make assumptions to take the most likely estimates and come up with the pessimistic and optimistic versions of those estimates.   These assumptions may come from the assumption log given as an input to this process, or they may be developed during the process itself.    In addition to the assumptions made to form the estimates (which are listed in the assumption log–see “Project Documents Updates” section below), additional supporting details for the duration estimates may include the following:

  • Documentation of any known constraints that may influence the estimates
  • Indications of the range of possible estimates, stated in terms such as plus or minus a certain percentage, or in terms of a confidence level of the estimates (i.e., the percentage probability that the actual duration will not exceed the estimate)
  • List of individual project risks influencing the estimates Project Documents Updates

  • Activity attributes–this gives details regarding the activities in the activities list.  Based on the results of this process, the activity duration estimates are added to the list of activity attributes for each activity.
  • Assumption log–any assumptions developed during the course of this estimate process are added to the assumption log
  • Lessons learned register–any techniques that were shown to be efficient and effective in developing the activity duration estimates are added to the lessons learned register.

All of these outputs are added to the growing list of inputs to the next process, the final planning process for schedule management, process 6.5 Develop Schedule.   This process will be discussed in the next post.






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