Saturday, August 1, 2015

Developing a Project Budget Based on Task Lists

I am in the process of developing a budget for an instructional design project and part of the exploration process involves investigating and sharing information with fellow classmates relating to web-based tutorials on creating a project. Specifically, I would like to share the following websites as valuable references for fledgling instructional design Project Managers:
The first reference (Reeve 2014) is more descriptive than prescriptive, but it does nonetheless cut through the minutia of project management texts which (at least to me) seem a bit overwhelming. As Instruction Designers, we are acutely aware of the dangers of creating instruction conducive to cognitive overload, and our current text (Portny et al. 2008) delivers overload in spades.
Fortunately (Reeve 2014) provides a reality check for situations that don’t require a full-blown project plan. Simply put, he suggests that projects can logically be broken down in one of three ways, viz; one task per job, one task per deliverable, and one task per day, week, or month. This breakdown meets the common sense standard and might prove useful in applications where there is a short timeline or a small number of team members. Have a Look:
Reeve, J. (2014, September 22). Three Ways to Break Down a Project into Manageable Tasks. Retrieved August 1, 2015.    
The second link is commercial in nature. However, the site offers several Excel based project management dash boards which serve to reduce the clutter associated with project management. Although I did not invent the light bulb, I find it useful on a daily basis. By the same token, there is no need to reinvent the project management wheel when so many effective templates are available for free or minimal cost. The dash boards contained in this site are graphically appealing and easy to navigate and input data. Give it a try:
Project Management Excel Dashboards - Free Templates. (n.d.). Retrieved August 2, 2015, from


  1. I've used MS Project for a long time. One can get completely carried away with tasks. Of course, the more tasks you add to a project, the more tedious it becomes trying to get MS Project to work smoothly. I like the simplified methods suggested by your resources.

  2. Rob,
    I have been hearing a lot about MS project. I thought at first that it would come into play in my activities in this class, but I do not have a copy of it. I looked into buying a license for it, but I do not think the merits of the program outweigh the cost of it. Did you use it for your budget, and if not what did you use?


  3. Rob, your reference from Reeve, provided very practical advice. I too found the cost and resource allocation challenging. I can see how breaking the tasks into smaller parts can help the project manager allocate resources and estimate costs.