What does research suggest as a best practice for how much time should be spent in initiating and planning activities for projects? Do you think that estimate is realistic? Why or why not?

Project management is a critical component of any business or organization. It requires careful planning, coordination, and execution to ensure project success. One of the most critical elements of project management is initiating and planning activities. This involves determining the scope of the project, defining the objectives, and developing a plan to achieve those objectives. However, determining how much time should be spent on initiating and planning activities can be a challenge (Atkinson, 2017). Research offers valuable insights into best practices for initiating and planning activities. But is the recommended amount of time realistic? In this blog post, we will explore what research suggests as a best practice for how much time should be spent initiating and planning activities for projects. We will also examine whether the estimate is realistic and the factors that may impact that estimate.

According to Babu & Suresh (2018), allocating 15-20% of project time to initiating and planning activities can significantly benefit project outcomes. Initiating a project and conducting thorough planning are critical to project success as they establish the foundation and roadmap for the rest of the project. While it may seem like a large chunk of time, investing heavily in preparation can ultimately save time and money in the long run. Carefully planning the project goals, requirements, timelines, and resources can prevent resource conflicts, delays, and miscommunications that can arise later in the project. However, this estimated percentage can vary based on the complexity and size of the project (Babu & Suresh, 2018). Therefore, it is essential to assess the unique needs of a project before determining the appropriate allocation of initiating and planning time. Despite the potential increase in project duration, investing enough time in initiating and planning activities is critical to delivering a successful project outcome, meeting objectives, and exceeding stakeholder expectations.

According to Atkinson (2017), spending adequate time in initiating and planning activities for projects is a best practice that can positively impact project outcomes. This best practice is based on the idea that proper planning can help prevent problems and delays later in the project. The time spent in the initiating and planning phase contributes significantly to understanding the scope of the project, establishing goals, identifying risks, and determining the resources required to achieve the desired outcomes. This approach enables project managers and their teams to identify and address issues proactively, reduce the likelihood of project delays or failures, and enhance the overall quality of the project deliverables (Atkinson, 2017). While estimates for the duration of the initiating and planning phase can vary depending on the project scope and complexity, allocating sufficient time for planning activities can be a critical factor in project success. Therefore, considering the benefits of this best practice, it is realistic to devote adequate time to the initiating and planning activities for projects.
            Research Brown et al., (2007) that taking sufficient time in initiating and planning activities for projects is a best practice that could minimize the likelihood of missing opportunities and making mistakes. Rushing through the initiation and planning phase can lead to insufficient planning, which often leads to insufficient resources and poorly defined objectives, which ultimately leads to project failures. Similarly, inadequate preparation reduces the process, which causes individuals to miss key opportunities and deadlines. Based on this, it is advisable to take the necessary time to develop project initiation and planning phases thoroughly. While some people may feel that the estimate for the needed time is unrealistic, investing more time in the initial stages of the project sets up a solid foundation for successful completion (Brown et al., 2007). It is better to invest the time needed to make sure that the project is correctly started, planned, and executed efficiently rather than making a mistake or missing an opportunity due to a lack of proper planning.

Why do you think it’s difficult to understand some of the basic cost terms in this chapter?  Why aren’t many technical people interested in cost-related subjects? 

It is difficult to understand some of the basic cost terms in this chapter due to the complexity of the concept. Many of the terms and concepts are abstract and difficult to grasp. Additionally, cost-related subjects are often not seen as important by technical people, as they may feel their knowledge of the technical aspects of their work is more important than learning cost terms. Cost terms may be seen as too theoretical and not relevant to their current work. Furthermore, some technical people lack the business acumen required to understand cost-related topics.

On the other side, understanding cost terms is crucial for any business, as it allows for effective financial management and decision-making. However, it can be difficult to grasp these concepts, especially for those without a background in accounting or finance. The abstract and complex nature of cost-related subjects can be overwhelming, making it challenging to apply them in real-world situations (Drury, 2018). Technical professionals may also view these terms as secondary to their technical skills, leading to a lack of interest or motivation to learn them.

It is essential to recognize that cost-related topics are not only theoretical but also have practical implications for technical professionals. Understanding cost terms can help them identify cost-saving opportunities, evaluate project feasibility, and communicate effectively with financial departments. Moreover, having a basic understanding of cost concepts can enable technical professionals to make informed decisions that align with the company’s financial objectives.

Therefore, it is imperative to provide training and resources that can help technical professionals develop business acumen and understand cost-related topics. By doing so, companies can promote a collaborative culture that values both technical and financial expertise, leading to better outcomes for the business. In conclusion, the complexity of cost terms and the lack of business acumen may be some of the reasons why many technical people are not interested in cost-related subjects.


Drury, C. G. (2008). Management and Cost Accounting. In Springer eBooks. Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-6828-9

Atkinson, R. (1999). Project management: cost, time and quality, two best guesses and a phenomenon, its time to accept other success criteria. International Journal of Project Management, 17(6), 337–342. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0263-7863(98)00069-6

Babu, A. J. G., & Suresh, N. (2018). Project management with time, cost, and quality considerations. European Journal of Operational Research, 88(2), 320–327. https://doi.org/10.1016/0377-2217(94)00202-9

Brown, A., Adams, J. D., & Amjad, A. A. (2007). The relationship between human capital and time performance in project management: A path analysis. International Journal of Project Management, 25(1), 77–89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijproman.2006.07.011

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