Danette McGilvray's Answer: The goal of the task estimation process is to determine the tasks needed to complete the project, estimate effort, and create a draft schedule for completion. Note: The task list is also known as a project plan, a work breakdown structure, or a workplan. When developing the initial task list and timeline with a project team, it is helpful to use a facilitator. The facilitator expedites the process so the project manager and team members are free to focus on determining the actual tasks and effort needed. Depending on the size and scope of the project, you may have more than one project team creating their own project plan for their specific deliverables. The overall project manager then brings together the plans into a master plan. The approach below works whether you have one team or several teams.

Caution: Do not expect this plan to be set in stone. The plan will continue to change as the project progresses; new information is available; scope, resources, and priorities change; deliverables are (or are not) completed on time, etc. The process of estimating and modifying your plan should be repeated many times throughout the project. Even the initial plan could take several iterations before you have gathered enough information to create a useable plan.

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