A crucial aspect of project planning involves the process of estimating the time the different activities will take. This process termed as activity duration is the best sense of estimating how much time is needed to practically perform the activities of a network diagram. In reality, the estimate is not based on the time you require or want an activity to take or how others estimate. It is based on how long you actually think the activity will take. Being unrealistic or too optimistic can make an activity to occupy too much time. Consequently, this will have two negative impacts. Firstly, due to unrealistic estimation to meet schedules, the individual fails to search for applicable alternative strategies that have an ability to increase the probability of accomplishing the tasks in the required time. Secondly, if an individual believes that the activity duration estimate is unrealistic, they loose the motivation to achieve the estimated time. Consequently, an activity estimate demands that a person accurately estimates activity duration by describing the various aspects and subsequently determine the consequences of each of the activity lengths.
In the process of estimating the duration of an activity, individuals should rely on the opinions from experts, their previous experiences as well as other valuable data. The individual should clarify the components that are crucial in estimating activity duration as follows. Firstly, it is crucial to determine the tasks that are conducted in an activity. These tasks include both the mental and physical activities such as assembling the pieces of an equipment and report writing. Secondly, it is crucial to determine the tasks of an activity that will be performed by nonhuman resources. This include tasks that machines and computers perform e.g. Printing a report or testing software. Thirdly, an individual should consider the physical procedures such as chemical or physical reactions e.g. drying paint, laboratory chemical reactions and curing concrete. Fourthly, it is crucial to determine the time delays e.g. the time needed to make a reservation for a meeting room two or three weeks before holding a conference. In reality it is impossible for an activity to have a zero estimated duration. For an activity to take place, time must elapse. Zero duration ultimately means that no activity took place.
The earliest time for reviewing comments and finalizing questionnaire is set for day 33 as the earliest time because of several things. Firstly, after administering questionnaires, it is crucial to give the respondents adequate time to respond to the questionnaires. Many respondents spend a lot of time before responding and consequently handing back the questionnaires. It is crucial to ensure that the respondents adequately understand the questions before making any comments. If the researcher hurriedly rushes to review the comments, they risk the chances of objectivity on the part of the respondents. Secondly, it is necessary to finish other steps of the research before reviewing the comments and finalizing the questionnaire. There should be a thorough analysis of the literature as well as the research methodology before moving into data review. When a thorough analysis of the background literature and method is done, the research is consequently made in an informed and objective manner. Thirdly it is important to ensure that the researcher has corrected all the questionnaires before reviewing comments and making any data analysis to compose findings and conclusion.
On the other hand, the earliest finish dates is set for date 38 so that the researcher is given time to thoroughly review all the comments and finalize the questionnaire. Adequate time is needed because the respondents may not have answered the questionnaires as needed and hence the researcher may need more time to make more clarifications on the responses given. An informed decision depends on adequate analysis of the questionnaire.
The latest start time for mailing questionnaires and getting responses is set for day 40 for several reasons. Firstly, it prevents any time delays that will be spent waiting for responses. Many mails will reach their destination after a day, two, three or even a week. Consequently, mailing the questionnaires early enables them to reach their destination in time. The respondents receive the questionnaires early and they make the necessary comments in the required time. Day 105 is set as the latest time for mailing questionnaires and getting responses to avoid any delays that may arises out of late return of the questionnaires. The questionnaires are a key basis of the research. No findings or conclusion can be made if the questionnaires are received late. Consequently, delays in delivering the questionnaires or getting responses means there will be a delay in the time of finishing the research.