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Breakfast Roundtable | Dr. Ken Smith | Tools of the Trade: Estimating Realistic Activity Durations


PMI Honolulu Breakfast Roundtable

Topic: Tools of the Trade - Estimating Realistic Activity Durations


Speaker: Dr. Ken Smith

Date: Sept 22, 2021 @ 7:00 - 8:00am

Topic Description:

Scheduling projects is a difficult process, as evidenced by the fact that many projects overrun their target deadlines.  However, a contributing factor -- the ‘Classic’ PERT/CPM 3-time probability-based time estimating technique [advocated by PMI] which is often used to estimate activity durations when there is uncertainty about their time durations -- is fatally flawed

This presentation reviews various activity estimating techniques, identifies common weaknesses in the process, and presents an improved technique for on-the-job application.

Learning objectives for this event include:

  • Improved project scheduling.

Speaker Bio:   

Ken Smith is a semi-retired project management consultant and trainer. Formerly a senior foreign service officer -- management & evaluation specialist, project manager, and in-house facilitator/trainer -- with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), assisting host country governments in many countries plan, monitor and evaluate projects in various technical sectors.  Intermittently, he was also a team leader &/or team member to conduct project, program & and country-level portfolio analyses and evaluations. 

Concurrently, Ken had an active dual career as Air Force ready-reservist in Asia (Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines) as well as the Washington D.C. area.  He retired as a ‘bird’ colonel.  After USAID retirement, Ken was a consultant for the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank Group, various UN Agencies and USAID, a course designer & facilitator for the Mekong Institute in Thailand, Ateneo de Manila in the Philippines as well as the PMI®-Philippines Chapter.

Ken earned his Doctorate from George Mason University (GMU), Virginia, in Public Administration (Monitoring & Evaluation); a Master of Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Diploma in Systematic Policy Analysis from MIT’s Center for Advanced Engineering Study (CAES); and BA & MA degrees from the University of Connecticut in Government & International Relations.

Ken is the author of Project Management PRAXIS: A Treasure Trove of Practical Innovations to Classic Tools and Techniques for Planning, Monitoring & Evaluating Projects, Programs and Portfolios for “Quick and Easy” application by Project Management Practitioners.  (Available from Amazon.)

Event Information:  Zoom information will be provided with your registration confirmation.

PMI Talent Triangle: This free webinar qualifies for 1 TECHNICAL PDU to be reported by PMIHNL for chapter members (no self-reporting needed).

Course Identifier:  

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About Breakfast Roundtable Events:

PMI Honolulu Hawaii Chapter conducts a bi-monthly gathering of people interested in project management to listen to a topic and participate in discussion in a more intimate session. Come meet with other professionals in project management as well as other fields to talk about topics which drive you. Bring your experiences and questions to the table and take the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals.  Start your day with project management!

If you have a topic you'd like to discuss or you're interested in facilitating the discussion, email programs@pmihnl.org.

Register to this event
Register to this event


Type of category: Breakfast Roundtable

Type of activity: Technical

Date: September 22nd, 2021

Hour: 7:00AM to 8:00AM

Number of PDUs: 1


Members: Free

Non members: $10.00

Students: Free


Virtual Meeting via Zoom