I stumbled apon the article, Estimating Realistic Project Deadlines, via Particletree. This is something that many of us had to do once before. Estimate the time to complete a project. It is very difficult as you probably know and I usually have to give it a big guess on how long it will take. But for my next project, I am going to give this equation a try and see how well it matches up:


  • Te = Realistic time estimate
  • To = Most optimistic time estimate (the Sunny Side estimate with no setbacks)
  • Tp = Most pessimistic time estimate (with every obstacle happening)
  • Tm = Most probable time estimate (this makes you think realistically; some setbacks happen, others don’t)

Let’s say we have a project of developing a departmental newsletter. The variables break down as follows:

  • Tm = 14 days
  • To = 10 days
  • Tp = 30 days

The calculation would be:

Te = (10+(4X14)+30)/6

The best estimated duration for the project would be 16 days.

Continue reading the article, Estimating Realistic Project Deadlines, from Open Loops.

2 Comments on “Estimating Realistic Project Deadlines”

  1. Logo Designers says:

    Now this is an awesome formula. Something I can definitely use instead of pulling a date out of thin air ( I know thats bad) I like this b/c its 3 dates and gives your client a range……

  2. Internet Website Design says:

    I read about this formula in a book by Lynne Snead called “To Do, Doing, Done”. Great book with lots of sound advice.