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9 Examples of Level Of Effort

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Level of effort is a project management term for ongoing work that doesn't produce a deliverable and isn't on the critical path. Level of effort activities can't be late and it is to a project manager's advantage to officially record such activities on a project schedule. A level of effort activity can have a cost variance. The following are illustrative examples of a level of effort activity.

Project Management

The work of a project manager, program manager and other people involved in directing and controlling a project that doesn't produce a deliverable.

Team Lead

A leadership or management role in a team such as a senior software developer who is expected to help junior members of the team.

Partner Management

Managing relationships with partners and suppliers.

Customer Relationships

Managing relationships with customers. For example, a lead customer who provides requirements and participates in testing and a pilot launch.


Communication overhead such as team meetings that consume hours a week.


Administrative tasks such as compliance paperwork.


Administering budgets and financial controls.


Maintenance such as a software developer who spends several hours a week on system administration tasks.

Internal Controls

Compliance to internal processes such as an architectural review of a software development project.


Estimates for level of effort activities are based on the passage of time as they are ongoing. They are typically estimated in hours per month or week.
Level of effort activities are considered complete as time passes. For example, if a project management activity spans 6 months, it is 50% complete after 3 months.
It is common for level of effort activities to span the entire schedule of the project with a start-to-start relationship with the first activity and a start-to-finish relationship with the last activity.
Overview: Level Of Effort
Ongoing work that doesn't produce a project deliverable and isn't on the critical path
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Related Concepts

Project Management

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Acceptance Criteria
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Burndown Chart
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Corrective Action
Cost Baseline
Cost Contingency
Cost Control
Cost Overrun
Cost Variance
Defect Density
Definition Of Done
Document Control
Earned Value
Estimate At Completion
Estimate To Complete
Feasibility Analysis
Fudge Factor
Full-Time Equivalent
Human Factors
Issue Management
Lead Time
Lessons Learned
Level Of Effort
Opportunity Study
Out Of Scope
Parametric Estimate
Phased Implementation
Planned Value
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Set Up To Fail
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Variance Analysis
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