Thursday, November 28, 2013

Helpful PM Website for Cost Estimating and Resource Allocation

“Project management is a science and discipline that accounts for the planning, scheduling, and controlling of variables, parameters, and activities that must be performed in order to achieved a project’s objectives in a timely and financially-responsible manner” (Allen & Hardin, 2008, p. 76). For the novice project manager, estimating costs and allocating resources may appear to be a daunting endeavor given lack of knowledge and experience in these tasks. As a novice in these tasks myself I can attest to the trepidation that the words cost estimation, budget, and Gantt Chart initially struck in me as I approached my schedule and resource allocation plan for our course project. Happily however there are a plethora of additional resources and tools available on the web that a novice project manager such as myself can rely on for support and guidance in successfully approaching the cost estimating, project budgets, schedules, and resource allocation plans. The following are a few sites that I found to be particularly helpful in providing additional guidance.

Bright Hub PM
Bright Hub PM is a website offering a multitude of articles addressing a wide array of topics related to project management. The website features the ability to search for articles by topic making it a quick and easy resource for gaining additional knowledge on topics that cover resource allocation and project budgets. The articles are written by experienced project managers and offer tips useful to both the novice project manager approaching their first attempt at estimating a budget and the experienced project manager seeking additional insights on how to effectively improve their skills in cost estimation and allocating resources for a project. The website also features templates and forms which are helpful for providing a starting point and guidance on planning for resource allocation and a project budget.

Microsoft Project Support
Microsoft offers a support section of their website that goes beyond simply providing technical support to users of Microsoft Office software programs. The Microsoft Project Support section of the site allows users to search for various articles that address topics related to project management. This particular site is useful to those utilizing Microsoft Project either for the first time or for those who have used it before. The articles provide general guidance and tips on effectively estimating project costs and allocating resources, but more importantly for those using Microsoft Project there are articles with tips that relate to the use of the software program allowing the users to gain a better understanding of how benefit from the different functionality options of this project management software program in order to successful create a project schedule, budget, and resource plan.

Project Smart
Project Smart is website with helpful articles addressing project management topics for both novice and experienced project managers. The site also features a methods and tools section that includes step-by-step guidance to effectively plan and manage a project as well as helpful information on what tools and techniques are useful project management and how to use said tools. There is a glossary section which helps define terminology used in project management which is particularly useful for the novice project manager who may be unfamiliar with terms associated with project budgets and schedules. The site also offers a forum that can be utilized for discussing topics or questions with other project managers.

Allen, S., & Hardin, P. C. (2008). Developing instructional technology products using effective project management practices. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 19(2), 72–97.


  1. Amber, I used Bright Hub for our last class, yet I didn't even think about using it for project management! Thanks for the tip; I will be sure to peruse the resources available. And isn't it great that Microsoft offers so much support? What would we do without them! I've even found some templates that I could use from Microsoft. What a great resource! Your final link, Project Smart, was completely new to me, and I'm almost overwhelmed by all it has to offer! The links at the bottom are helpful and make Project Smart a kind of one-stop shop for project managers. I have bookmarked that site for future use because I'm sure it will come in handy. Great finds and thanks for sharing!

  2. Amber,

    I like how you included pictures of the websites. It makes reading about them a bit more understandable. I have not heard of Bight Hub PM or Project Smart .... thank you for the info. I will have to look into them a bit more for ideas. I have used & am familiar with Microsoft Project. I seem to use Microsoft more than any of the others out there.


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  4. Amber,
    Thank you so much for your insight on the different resources available for cost estimation and resource allocation. We use Microsoft Project for many of the projects at my place of employment. I have found it to be a great resource throughout the years; however, I will use the resources you have added as an additional source. Thank you so much.