Influence of motivation factors on tasks duration estimation process – is Goldratt always correct?

Lazarski, A., „Influence of motivation factors on tasks duration estimation process – is Goldratt always correct?”

Unpublished paper for newsletter: ‘Project Management Institute – Munich Chapter’, 04/10, pp. 8-13, 2010

Influence of motivation factors on tasks duration estimation process – is Goldratt always correct?

One of the major factors in successful Project Management is to achieve the project delivery date. In the concept of Critical Chain, Dr. M.Goldratt assimilated the time buffers method to ensure the project due date can be achieved on time (Leach, 2000:118). Buffers represent the inflation or exaggeration of the tasks duration estimation, and are identified and derived from the tasks themselves and are allocated at the end of the schedule paths in order to protect the delivery date. According to the Goldratt, one of the mechanisms supporting inflation is that “the time estimates are based on a pessimistic experience” (Goldratt, 1997: 50). This pessimistic experience could be of course part of the hidden motivation system. For instance, could it be that someone by overestimating would like to secure himself against the effects of missing the deadline and being punished/ “motivated” by her/his supervisor?  Likewise, could it be caused by the subsequent task duration reduction – so called “global cut”?  The problem with looking for the answer to those questions is that, in terms of the Goldratt concept, “papers that seek to study the good and the bad together-exactly what we need! -are rare.” (Trietsch, 2005: 28).

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