California Department of Transportation

Project Development Workflow Tasks (PDWT)

Part 3 - Identify Project Need and Project Initiation Document

II. Project Initiation Document

E. Prepare and Approve PID (WBS 150.25) - Circulate, Review and Approve PID (WBS 150.25.20)

P79. Prepare Functional Unit(s) Workplan Estimate

A workplan is an estimate of the hours and schedule necessary to complete a work task. Support costs are derived from a completed workplan. Support costs for STIP projects must be listed in four “components”.

  • Completion of all permits and environmental studies. (PA&ED)
  • Preparation of plans, specifications and estimates. (PS&E)
  • The acquisition of rights-of-way. (R/W Support)
  • Construction management and engineering, including surveys and inspection. (Construction Support)

The project manager will request functional units to prepare a workplan estimate. In some Districts, the project manager will provide a copy of the draft PID and a WBS Resource Estimate Worksheet to the project engineer to supply to each support functional unit. In addition, some districts utilize “Functional Unit Fact Sheets” that provides the estimator with additional information helpful for the preparation of resource estimates. The project engineer must then complete an estimate of hours for each WBS work task he and any other design staff will perform to complete each of the four support cost components. Often times, the project engineer's supervisor or the Design Manager (Senior Engineer) assigned to the project, prepares the workplan estimate. Each support functional unit will do similar estimates for their work tasks. The project manager must then compile all of the functional unit workplan estimates into a single composite final work plan estimate.

The Department stresses the importance of preparing accurate resource estimates for two reasons. It provides the basis for resource allocations, and it identifies the support costs to be programmed. The department is evaluated on its ability to delivery within this estimate. Based on the alternative selected for estimating purposes, the project engineer develops a reasonable resource estimate based on current available information on expenditure and delivery trends, experience, potential risk factors, and engineering judgment. The “bottom-up” approach should be used in estimating resources. The resource estimate should be in hours, and should be at the lowest WBS level possible or at the level specified by the project manager. The estimate must include WBS activity durations, and identify the correct Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS) source unit.

Where appropriate, these resources can be rolled up to a higher level for submittal to the project manager to incorporate into the project workplan. The project manager will determine the minimum level of detail in the WBS to which each portion of a project will be scheduled beyond the mandatory Level 5. A single project workplan can consist of Level 5, Level 6, Level 7, and Level 8 activities, as needed for proper managing of the work. However, time charging must agree with the project workplan. If the workplan is planned at Level 7, the time reporting should ideally be at least to level 7. Conversely however, if the project schedule is at level 5, time charges may be entered at a lower level, which will automatically roll up in expenditure reports.

The WBS guide provides guidance on how to estimate resources using the PERT principle. It also contains a sample estimating worksheet but many districts have developed their own estimating worksheets.

The Project Estimating Tool (PET, aka “Workload Estimating Norms” or WEN) is also available on the Division of Project Management website. However, it is designed as tool for the project manager to estimate the total resources for the life of the project. It may be used for comparison purposes.

The Division of Engineering Services should provide their resource estimate as part of the Division Of Engineering Services Scoping Checklist for PSR-PDS. For other types of PIDS, the Request For DES Workload Estimate should provide the resource. Depending upon the District procedures, the project manager or the project engineer may request and obtain this information.

The functional unit workplans are submitted to the project manager and entered into the Project Management Resource and Schedule Software known as EXpert Project Management (XPM). Once this information is entered, the project engineer must confirm that the resources reported in XPM under the appropriate source units are correct.

Time Constraint:

Once the project manager has received the Functional Unit Project Fact Sheets, approximately four weeks should be allotted for: the project manager to prepare the resource estimate request, develop a schedule, compile each estimate from the Functional Managers, and have the data entered into XPM to develop compute the project support component cost estimates and share with the project engineer.


Project Estimating Tool

Guide to Project Delivery Standard Work Breakdown Structure 6.0

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This page last updated November 20, 2010