Project planning software like MSProject helps project leaders to estimate the duration of their total project, given the duration of tasks. In real life, however, estimating task duration is not easy.
A task may take 4 hours, if everything goes well, but can also take 8 or 10 hours if we are unlucky. When the task is on the critical path, this may have quite an impact on the total project duration.
CrystalSoup offers a simulation method to estimate the variance of project duration, given the task duration variances. In short, you can
- define tasks and their estimated duration on three levels (min, average, max)
- define dependencies between tasks (currently only finish-to-start)
- simulate multiple executions of this project, each with different settings, controlled by probabilities that are user defined.
- generate a report with the findings, so that you can use these to convince management that you really need this project buffer.
- export the statistics to excel, for when you need to prepare graphical presentations other than that provided by CrystalSoup.