zandax online course logo
zandax website search
zandax phone callback
Info, Blogs, Contact & Login

How to Estimate Time for a Project?

From the ZandaX Project Management Blog

Articles to help to manage projects on time and on budget

Home  >  ZandaX Blogs  >  Management Blog  >  Project Management Articles  > 
How to Estimate Time for a Project?

How to Estimate Time for a Project?

A post from our Project Management blog

Article author: Jordan James
      Written by Jordan James
Working on a project with a tight deadline is a stressful process for everyone involved. Expect frayed tempers, an unhappy boss, and team members grudgingly working long hours. And all this because someone underestimated the time required for completing the project.

No Time

Accurately estimating the time required for a project is a key ingredient for effective project management, and is a win-win for everyone. Unfortunately, however, many project managers underestimate the time required for completing their project because they are not familiar with the task at hand and fail to familiarise themselves with the intricacies and complexities of the project.

To help you avoid making these mistakes, below are our top tips on how to estimate time for a project.

1) Start with the end in mind

The first thing you need to do is to think about and understand the outcome that is expected of the project. Then identify all the tasks that need to be accomplished in order to complete it, and make sure there will be no unknowns left to tackle at the last minute. This way, you'll be able to create a blueprint to work from that accounts for both the expected and the unexpected.

2) Create a list

Now that you know all the tasks that need to be done to complete your project, list all these activities in a chronological order. You can use an Excel spreadsheet for this (MakeUseOf has some great templates), or if you want to keep it simple, you could even jot them down on a piece of paper.

You don't have to estimate the exact time required for each task at this stage, but make a note of any important deadlines, if applicable.

3) Involve your team members

Two is always better than one, especially when it comes to planning, so make sure to involve your team members who will work on the project. This has two benefits. Firstly, they may help you find any potential plug holes in the plan. In addition, when you give them responsibility, they will take ownership of everything they do, which will be of great benefit in the next stage.

Not convinced? Here's a great article from Project Smart on the importance of working together with your team.

4) Come up with an estimate

Now that you have a breakdown of all the tasks that need to be completed to deliver the project, it's time for you to begin estimating how long each of these tasks will take. However, always remember to estimate time required for each task, not the entire project.

Think about the time you'll need for meetings, administration, liaison with third parties, reporting, testing, quality assurance and all the other activities that are crucial to the success of the project.

Make sure to allow some time for unexpected contingencies such as equipment failure, sickness, accidents, personal emergencies, supply constraints, and any anything else that might be relevant to your project.

Project Checklist

Always think about any potential complexities that may crop up in each part of the project. For example, there might be some delays due to rejections during quality control stage. Or, if the first task of your project is getting permission from government authorities, consider the average time required for approval, and allow some extra time for possible delays as well.

5) Prepare a schedule

Once you have estimated the time required for each task, prepare a project schedule. Create separate lists for scheduling activities, assigning resources to the project and to finalise deadlines.

6) Create a checklist for every task

Creating a checklist for each task and each stage of your project will help you track your progress, see what has been accomplished so far and which tasks are still left to do. This checklist will complement your time estimate and help you to ensure you don't fall far behind these estimates.

Can you think of any other tips or tricks on how to estimate time for a project that we've missed? Let us know in the comments!

Back to the Project Management blog

Click the button for more Project Management articles.

The ZandaX Leadership & Management blog

Click a panel for great articles on leadership & management

Write For Us

We pride ourselves on our busy, high-quality and helpful blog, and we're always looking for guest contributors to increase the variety and diversity of what we present.

Click to see how you can write for us with an original and well-written guest post.

ZandaX Blog Contents

Want to see them all? Click to view a full list of articles in our blogs.

Online courses to boost your skills
Click a button to see more about each course
Personal Development
Microsoft Software
Leadership & Management
Sales & Presentations
Service & Support
ZandaX online training course logo
ZandaX – Change Your Life ... Today
All content © ZandaX 2023
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
Close menu element
See how you score on a range of skills that are critical to your well-being and performance
Communication Skill test
Communication Skills
How Can You Communicate Better?
Would you like to see what kind of communicator you are? And how you can improve the effectiveness of your communications?
Likeability test
How Much Do People Like You?
Do you sometimes wonder just how likeable you are? And wouldn't you like to see how you can (genuinely) become more likeable?

Time Management test
Time Management
How Can You Make More Use Of Your Time?
Are you frustrated by how easily time slips away? Do you get frustrated when things don't get done just because you run out of time?
Assertiveness test
Are you Passive, Aggressive or Assertive?
Would you like to know where you fall on the behavior spectrum? Does your response to events sometimes surprise you?

Close menu element
Information & Resources
ZandaX information
Read more about us, our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service
See how we want to help you, and how we make everything easy for everyone
Callback request
ZandaX Blogs
Articles to increase your knowledge and understanding in key areas of your life and career.
Read our blogs on Personal Development, Business Skills and Leadership & Management

Time Management test
Log In
Log in to your online dashboard
View your courses, review what you want and download your workbooks and certificates
Assertiveness test
Contact Us
An easy online form to get in touch
With options for More Information, Customer Service and Feedback

Close menu element
Develop Your Skills, Knowledge and Understanding with ZandaX
Click any subject in the listings for more information and a full list of courses

Personal Development
Personal Development training
Your soft skills affect everything you do, at work, at home and with friends ... they are truly life changing!
Online training courses
Hot Off the Press...
We're always adding to and upgrading our courses, so here are a few of our latest releases:
For a full listing of courses, please visit our Quick Course Finder to find exactly what you want.
Site Cookies
We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.

You can change your cookie settings in your browser. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

I'm fine with this