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Friday, June 27, 2008

Comments

Brian,

I strongly agree with planning project work less than 100%, how ever I prefer to assign resources with 100% per task for example for 4 days a week and schedule the rest of the time on admin projects (equals 20% non project time).

This simplifies the work=duration*units scheduling logic, since work equals duration with units=100%.

What do you think?

Best,
Renke

Jack,
First off if anyone in your org is an order of magnatude more productive than someone else then the someone else should get fired. :-)

What we are doing here is approximations and generalizations. What cracks me up about companies that want to account for the minute differences in productivity between specific individuals is that they rarely schedule their projects down ot a level where that would even make a difference. I have seen orgs that wanted to track every minute of every persons day yet their smallest task was 40 hours in duration.

My point is that whatever number below 100 you pick is going to be better than 100. We know that one is wrong. 75%, 80% or 70% are all likley wrong too but they are LESS wrong than 100% Their wrongness is also less harmful because 100% is making your schedule seem like it will be shorter than it really will be.

Brian,

I see your point, but I've also been in situations where a reduced max units causes much confusion and consternation (not to mention the cost issue Glen brings up). And I've lived through epic battles where one part of the organization thought your way was best and another part of the organization thought ignoring those minor things and setting allocation at 100% was best. Those battles went on for a number of years. Neither side really won. Track non=project work separately if you are really going to do something with that information - but if you are not, then realize there is an expense related to measuring the work and reporting it, and educating people about why they are only assigned at 85% and then arguing about why it is 85 instead of 80 or maybe it should be 90, but then there are floating holidays... and some people work from home... and some are more productive than others by an order of magnitude etc. etc. etc.

It is a religious issue which I'd be happy to argue about over a beer, just for the fun of it.

Glen,
Good points for sure but Im not talking about costing. Im talking about resource planning and the scheduling of tasks. Im talking about the hours actually spent doing work on project tasks not the full cost of having the resource available. It is exactly this reason that Project Server 2007 now has both "My Tasks" (for Statusing of task assignments) and "Timesheets" (for accounting for the broader picture of where the fully day is spent.)

My concern with this post is only around scheduling in a realistic way. 100% Max Units is building in a level of unrealistic expectation that can cause pretty serious scheduling issues.

Brian,
Before user take this route, they need to confirm how cost are accounted for on the project. Labor reporting guidelines vary from firm to firm and industry to industry.
Certaintly overallocations shoudl be avoid. But planning at the FTE level may require the details of how any individual day is planned be hidden inside a work package.
If the project is planning at the hour by hour level, let's hope it's a short project - or at a minimum is billing on a hourly basis.
This can be the case for construction labor - say pouring concrete. But even there day rates and weekly rates are the norm. Any overage is absorbed out of the providers margin.

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