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How to Estimate Resource Availability

A critical part of determining accurate sewer bypass project costs is estimating resource availability. That’s for everything from labor, equipment, material, supplies, services, and space. But whoever said the devil is in the details might have been talking about estimating resource availability. You frequently have many bids due too close together, making accurately determining resources and their costs a frenzied challenge.

With any project, lots of moving parts must be carefully coordinated for the best outcome. Fail to do that and you end up with low productivity, idle equipment, wasted material, jumbled timelines, and congestion in the project location. And that leads to cost overruns, slipping schedules, and sometimes project failures.

The most thorough and accurate way to estimate resource availability and costs is also the most time-consuming. With bottom-up estimating, you start with a work breakdown, dividing the project into ever smaller bits—from phases to activities to tasks—until you can fully identify resources needed for each one. Where you need the same resource to perform different tasks at the same time, you have a conflict that needs to be addressed for the job to progress smoothly.

For example, you might not have enough skilled workers to perform two tasks assigned to the same day. Should you engage additional workers? That might get the job done quicker—or it might mean your job site is so crowded that less gets done. Space is a resource too. So, consider your alternatives carefully.

To help, we’ve created a tip sheet with a simple procedure to estimate resource availability and some hints for getting it right and doing it faster.

Download the Sewer Bypass Resource Availability Tip Sheet to learn some best practices for estimating resource availability on your next project. 


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