Learn how to assign resources that affect your project schedule.
- [Voiceover] Suppose you've put the project tasks in sequence, and estimated their durations. You still won't know what your schedule really looks like until you know how many people you get to work on each task and when they're available. Let's take a look at how tasks change due to resource assignment. Duration is the length of time between when a task starts and when it ends. Work, also called effort, is the number of hours or days someone works on a task.
If you get more or fewer people than you planned for, your task durations will change. Let's see how that works. Suppose you estimated that the conference center equipment installation is going to take five people four days to complete. How much work is that? It's eight hours per day, per person, so that's 40 work hours per day for four days, or 160 work hours. What if you only get four people? How long will the task take then? Get your calculator or abacus out and follow along.
There's still 160 hours of work, but now the team of four can only work 32 hours each day. If you divide 160 hours by the number of hours per day, that's 32, you get a new duration of five days. The work stays the same, but the task duration varies. The same calculation applies if someone switches to half time work instead of full time. Because you divide the amount of work by half the number of hours each day, the task will take twice as long.
On the other hand, if you get more people, the duration of the task decreases. Say the IT vendor can give you eight people. There's still 160 hours of work, but now the team of eight works 64 hours each day. If you divide 160 hours by 64, your new duration is two and a half days. Then again, some tasks don't get shorter no matter how many people you assign. Meetings are the classic example.
A four hour meeting is four hours long, whether three people attend, or 10. When assigned resources are available also affects when work occurs. For example, your schedule might show the equipment installation starting on February 9th. However, the IT vendor is wrapping up another project, and the team won't be available until February 18th. Guess what? That's right, you have to delay that task in your schedule to reflect when the resources are available.
When you assign resources to tasks, you finally get a clear picture of when work occurs in your project. To see more about how resource assignments affect your project's schedule, see my course, Managing Project Schedules.
Bonnie Biafore has always been fascinated by how things work and how to make things work better. In this course, she explains the fundamentals of project management, from defining the problem, establishing project goals and objectives, and building a project plan to managing team resources, meeting deadlines, and closing the project. Along the way, she provides tips for reporting on project performance, keeping a project on track, and gaining customer acceptance.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- Defining the components of a project
- What it takes to be a project manager
- Using project management software like Microsoft Project
- Managing project scope, budget, and schedule
- Managing project resources, including people
- Managing project risk
- Initiating a project
- Identifying and managing stakeholders
- Identifying requirements and deliverables
- Developing a project plan
- Building a project schedule
- Assigning resources to tasks
- Understanding the critical path
- Running the project
- Managing teams
- Monitoring performance
- Closing a project
Skill Level Beginner
Project Management Foundations: Communicationwith Doug Rose1h 47m Appropriate for all
Project Management Foundations: Budgetswith Bob McGannon1h 11m Appropriate for all
1. Getting to Know Project Management
2. Exploring Project Management Knowledge Areas
3. First Things First
How to develop requirements4m 19s
4. Developing a Project Plan
5. Building a Project Schedule
6. While You Run the Project
7. Working with Teams
8. Monitoring and Controlling Progress and Performance
9. Closing a Project
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