Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources

Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources

The same tried and true resources tend to come up when looking for tools and resources that are most useful in estimating costs and allocating resources. The first resource is one that is recommended, and used over, and over. At the risk, or more likely certainty, of being redundant, Kapp and Defelice (2009) come out on top. Click Here. In this resource, low and high hours are included, and compared in 2003, and 2009. The hours are much higher for 2009. As a teacher, I can attest to the same phenomena. The number of hours it took me to create an hour of instructor lead training in 2003 is much lower than the number of hours it takes me to create the same training in 2015, and I have much more experience than I did then. The expectations have changed drastically, as has the success criteria. It is also important to note that there are “three main issues impacting the time to develop instruction and they primarily stem from the client, scope of work, technology, and review time” (Kapp & Defelice, 2009).

Another resource is Litten’s (2015) “PMP Certification Video Primer: Estimate Activity Durations” (Litten, 2015). Click Here to View Link. In this article, 7 required inputs are listed in order to estimate activity durations. Litten states that “every activity has three attributes; its duration, the work effort and the resources” (Litten, 2015), and furthermore, that the secret is to “estimate the work effort first, then the resources and finally be able to estimate activity durations” (Litten, 2015).

activity_resources estimation

Image from Dave Litten©, (2015). Retrieved from

A third helpful resource is, Click Here, from Chapman, B. (2010). This Slideshare not only provides rapid, average and advanced/complex e-learning development ratios, but provides a wealth of information for estimating costs and allocating resources.



Chapman, B., (2010). How long does it take to create learning? [Research Study]. Published by Chapman Alliance LLC. Retrieved from:

Kaplan, K., Defelice, R., (2009). Time to develop one hour of training. Retrieved from:

Litten, D. (2015). PMP certification video primer: Estimate activity durations. Retrieved from:



3 thoughts on “Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources

  1. Hi Deb,

    I am amazed when I compare the time it took in 2003 compared to 2009. I wonder if the timing would be different still in 2015? Technology is such a great tool, but it does take time to acquire and master it. I think that one reason the timing might take longer is that a lot of companies want you to use certain applications but most are not willing to truly train on it. As an example, designers at my company are now using Articulate Storyline 2, which will be a great product, but here is the interesting fact. No one is being professionally trained on how to use it. They are having to rely on tutorials on how to use the application. While is a great resource, nothing says usability like a hands on training course for the application. I learned Powerpoint completely on my own over several months of trial and error. I can say with most certainty that there are ways to do things in powerpoint which probably take less time than the way I am going them, but because I was never properly taught, I probably am doing some things the hard way. The same for our ID’s. While Storyline might be intuitive, I am sure that there are tricks and shortcuts in the application that make it much more usable and easier. It is ironic, that ID’s are designing training for everyone else, but when it comes to teach them, the company wont pay the money to get them properly trained on software that would benefit them to get their job done.

    Think back to our ID class when we were trying to work on Flash animation. What a nightmare. How many hours did we spend on that?? I wonder then if part of the increased is hours is because ID’s are asked to create with tools that they might not fully understand?

  2. Very good resources Deb. For those of us who do not have experience in ID this gives us an idea of where to draw the baseline for different processes. I have Articulate 1 and the video from These videos give you the basics to get started then I purchased one of the ebooks and follow along with them. This gives me a good basis with the program. You can get a student discount from Articulate for 50% off, about 799.00.

  3. Hi Deb,
    I used the Kapp and Defelice resources the past two weeks in putting the Resource Allocations together for our project assignment. I would have had a more difficult time without it. Talking about creating videos and the length of time it takes has to get shorter as the one becomes more familiar with it. I know I have experimented with animation sites and even with almost everything (props, characters, backgrounds) available on the site, getting the storyboard organized and knowing when to pan, zoom, script writing, voice recording, and what to focus on takes a lot of time for just a 3 minute video.

    One thing I notice when we are watching our course videos is that everyone is always wearing the same clothes, so that means they are recording it all in one day, or the clothes are what the director wants them to wear. Then that leads me to wonder about how much of what is in the videos with conversations between instructors and students is scripted in advance, and how many times they have to retake the shots. All that adds to the costs.

    I still think that budgeting would be one of the most difficult parts of the ID process.

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s