(Note: This subject is often included in the PMP exam questi…

(Note: This subject is often included in the PMP exam questions.) You are the project manager for the Sweep Time software project. You have decided to use the beta distribution, or 3-point estimation, technique for this project. For the “phase 1 test” activity in days, the following estimates are available: O=5, P=10, M=6.



Using Beta Distribution for Estimation in the Sweep Time Software Project


In project management, accurate estimation of activity durations is crucial for successful project planning and execution. The beta distribution, also known as the 3-point estimation technique, is a commonly used statistical tool for estimating activity durations. This technique takes into account the optimistic (O), pessimistic (P), and most likely (M) estimates to calculate an average duration for each activity. In the Sweep Time software project, the project manager has decided to use the beta distribution technique for estimating the duration of the “phase 1 test” activity.

Estimation for “Phase 1 Test” Activity:

For the “phase 1 test” activity, the following estimates are available: O=5, P=10, M=6. These numbers represent the minimum duration, maximum duration, and most likely duration, respectively. The beta distribution technique utilizes these estimates to calculate the average duration for the activity.

The formula for calculating the average duration using the beta distribution technique is as follows:

Average Duration (D) = (O + 4M + P) / 6

Applying this formula to the given estimates, we can calculate the average duration for the “phase 1 test” activity:

D = (5 + 4(6) + 10) / 6
D = (5 + 24 + 10) / 6
D = 39 / 6
D ≈ 6.5

Therefore, the average duration for the “phase 1 test” activity in the Sweep Time software project is approximately 6.5 days.


The beta distribution technique provides a more realistic estimation of activity durations by considering the optimistic, pessimistic, and most likely estimates. By using this technique, the project manager can have a better understanding of the potential range of durations for each activity and make more informed decisions regarding project planning and scheduling.

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