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Practical Project Initiation: A Handbook with Tools by Karl E Wiegers

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Critical Chain Project Management

As I noted earlier, the option of adding a "safety increment" to every task is not a good approach because there’s a risk that Parkinson’s Law will prevail. In addition, you would have to increase the estimates by a surprisingly large amount to substantially increase the chance of meeting your schedule.

An estimate is really a probability distribution. That is, there is some probability of completing a task, or an entire project, at a given time or cost. As Figure 10-2 illustrates, the probability distribution for an estimate is not symmetrical: A long tail extends to the right along the time axis (DeMarco and Lister 2003; Goldratt 1997). That’s because many factors and events could potentially delay the task completion, ...

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