Resources for Estimating Cost, Effort, and Activity Durations Associated with ID Projects

For this week’s blog post, I was tasked with finding resources to help in estimating cost, effort, and/or activity duration’s associated with instructional design projects. Below are three great resources to help estimate those identified above and also some resources that help explain some of the main considerations when estimating cost, effort and duration of the ID project.

The first resource I bring to attention is probably a familiar website (Project Management Guru) that provides advice and support to specific project management (PM) questions. PM Guru was created by Ray Sheen to give insight to the world of PM through blogs, articles dealing with current trends in the field, and even consultation (which he promotes often on his site). Ray Sheen ties his prior military experience with his private sector experience in order to validate his wealth of knowledge. What I like best about this site is many PM tools and techniques from initiation of a project to the closeout of the project to even risk management. Ray also conducts seminars throughout South Carolina and Maryland and even in Shang Hai, China where he can provide consultation and training program support.

The second resource I would like to discuss is Clarizen. Today’s multimedia and social media markets have grown so fast to popularity unmatched, that it is no worry that a PM tool like Clarizen has been created. Clarizen “harnesses the effectiveness of social media to organize your team in the workplace. From within the application, you can form groups, plan projects, create assignments and even invite stakeholder participation” (Stevens, 2014). A great thing about Clarizen is that the company using it does not have to employ an IT team as Clarizen stores all information on the cloud. “All of the most important PM tools are included with Clarizen, such as the ability to manage requests, issues and bugs, budgets, schedules, reports, resources, documents, time tracking, and expenses. It also includes dozens of customizable reports and free email-only accounts for clients. Team members can monitor projects and submit time and expenses remotely from an iPhone or Android device” (Stevens, 2014). The only downfall that I can see about Clarizen is that as members conduct the work tasked to them to do, there is no feature within Clarizen to view what work is or has been conducted.


4 thoughts on “Resources for Estimating Cost, Effort, and Activity Durations Associated with ID Projects

  1. Sriya Krishnamoorthy

    Dear Mike,

    Thank you for sharing these resources. There are a multitude of blogs, wikis, and organizations that help instructional designers estimate project costs; however, those that are backed by research and experience are favored. After reviewing the Project Management Guru website, I am impressed with all of the tools and techniques presented. At the end of the day, skills are necessary. Thank you.


    Sheen, R. (2012). Project management tools and techniques. Retrieved from


    Thank you for sharing the descriptions of your resources. Even though, you have not provided the links, I was able to Google them. Both resources are excellent tools for project managers. Project Management Guru focuses on concepts and consultation, and the Clarizen on project management tools. Currently, project managers need to have handy tools to work in collaboration with members of the project, communicate with the people involved in projects, train on the tools that Clarisen offers, and search for topics in the Clarizen databases. These services speed up the execution of projects.

  3. Mr. Zirkle


    I love Clarizen. This project is amazing because of the social networking aspect. I can’t stand using Word and Excel because of the fact they are not collaborative, you can’t work on a document synchronously with other team members. You can’t chat and message with in the applications. Google Docs and Google Sheets are free solutions, but they do not have advanced functionality. Thanks again.

  4. N. Jones

    I really enjoyed reading your blog and looking at the websites you listed. These tools, and others, enable project managers to summarize and organize the various events, activities, and span times of project tasks (Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, & Sutton, 2008). Luckily there are many resources that exist to help you with estimating a project cost and resources and the ID community is happy to share information on how to they handle a project’s schedule, budget, or tasks.


    Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s