Military leaders are taught to conduct time estimates to support their planning and decision-making. I often use this when I’m working with clients to identify key milestones and develop project plans. I call it “reverse time estimation.” Here are the steps to follow:

1.List all tasks and activities that must be accomplished to achieve the mission or objective.
2.Estimate the duration of each activity or task.
3.Identify the dependencies between activities and tasks.
4.Identify all those that can be done concurrently.
5.Identify all those that can and should be delegated.
6.Identify all milestones and deadlines, including the start and end points.
7.Start from the end and work to the present, taking in consideration concurrent and delegated tasks, imposed milestones, and dependencies.
8.That is the basis for your work schedule and drives the planning and coordination of resources.

Richard Martin is a consultant, speaker, and executive coach. He brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to exploit change, maximize opportunity, and minimize risk.

© 2014 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.

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