Join Bonnie Biafore for an in-depth discussion in this video Lengthening, delaying, and splitting assignments, part of Project Management Foundations: Schedules.
There are three ways to even out the work assigned to someone: lengthening, delaying and splitting assignments. Lengthening the duration of assignments and letting them run simultaneously can be an easy fix when someone is overloaded, because assignments are scheduled at the same time. When you increase the duration of assignments, the person works fewer hours on each assignment each day. In this sample project, the instructional designer has two one-day tasks scheduled at the same time. Review current training methods and review training feedback.
Increasing the duration of these tasks to two days allows the instructional designer to work on both of them half-time. Delaying one or two of the person's assignments is another way to balance someone's workload. This approach is helpful if someone has several assignments scheduled at the same time. Delays also work well when assignments are short. Assignment delays level out a team member's workload. In addition, delays also help the person stay focused and productive.
That's because most people can only juggle up to three assignments before their productivity starts to wane. In the sample project, the training lead is assigned to identify the training needs for six departments. Each assignment, a day or two in length. Instead of assigning lead to work on all six tasks at once, you can delay them so they occur once after the other, or maybe two at a time. Splitting a longer assignment into pieces is the third technique for leveling workload. This is a good solution when you need to squeeze a short but important assignment in.
For example, the content developers are scheduled to write content for two weeks. Suppose there is a review scheduled in the middle of that assignment. You can add a split to the two-week task, so the content developers can spend the day on the review and then get back to the original assignment. Lengthening, delaying and splitting assignments all help even out people's work loads. By understanding the benefits of each one, you can use them alone or together to make your project schedule as effective and realistic as possible.
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.
- Identifying the work that needs to be done
- Adding milestones
- Delaying or overlapping tasks with lag and lead time
- Assigning resources
- Balancing workloads
- Adding buffers and baselines to the schedule
- Uncovering and correcting out schedule problems<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.