I'd consider trying to get myself removed from this spam's mailing list, but they continue to send me these great "gems" that I like to post here, in my work blog. The latest helpful spam, trying to sell me a project management tool:
Too often, projects seem to need "just a little more time" to complete. The most important question for any project is "How much is really done and how much is really left to do?"
But how can you confidently estimate how much time each
project still needs? By following these steps:
1. Break the project down into tasks that must be
completed. Then break these tasks down into smaller tasks
until no task will take more than a day or two to complete.
It is much easier to estimate the duration of a small
task than a big one. The biggest cause of failure in
estimating how long a project will take is not properly
identifying ALL of the tasks that are involved. A task
like "Updating the website" is too broad to estimate
accurately. Breaking it up into tasks for each of 20
pages that have to be updated will lead to a much more
2. Decide which tasks must be completed before others
can be started.
This will affect how many people you can profitably have
working on the project. If each step has to be done before
another can start, adding more people won't help. On the
other hand, if each task is independent of the others,
then adding people to work side-by-side will speed
3. Assign people to work on each task.
Don't assign more work that can reasonably get done in
the time to any one person. Allow for other work the
person may also have. If a person can only work half-time
on a task, you will need to double the number of days it
will take to complete it.
A number of us in OIA occasionally act in a "project manager" role, even if it is only for a "mini" project. Yet the practices to effectively manage a project or set of tasks are the same whether the project is large or small or "mini". The next time you manage a task, follow the above advice and you'll find yourself much likely to hit your target on time, and within budget.