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In Depth Information
One BIG word of warning here: Assigning additional people to tasks doesn’t
always cut work time down proportionately even though that’s how Project
calculates it. When you have more people, you have more meetings, memos,
duplicated effort, conflicts, and so on. If you add more resources to a task,
you might consider upping the amount of effort required to complete that
task to account for inevitable workgroup inefficiencies.
Estimating resource requirements
You usually know how many material resources it takes to complete a task: In
most cases, you can calculate the number of pounds, tons, yards, and so on
with a standard formula. But how do you know how much effort it will take
on the part of work resources to complete the tasks in your project?
As with many aspects of information you put into a Project plan, this
judgment rests to a great degree on your own experience with similar tasks and
resources. Still, remember these guidelines:
Skill counts. A less skilled or experienced resource is likely to take more
time to finish something.
History repeats itself. Look at previous projects and tasks. If you’ve
tracked people’s time, you can probably see how much effort was
required to complete various types of tasks on other projects and draw
parallels to your project.
Ask and you shall receive. Ask the resources themselves how long they
think it will take. Then add 10 percent to that time to cover yourself!
Committed versus proposed resources
If you’ve ever asked somebody to work on your project and gotten a
halfhearted, “Well, maybe, if I have time, if my manager says it’s okay, if it falls on
a Leap Year . . .” in response, you may well ask: So is that resource available
or not? It’s not always easy to tell. How can Project help? One feature that
was new in Project 2003 is the capability to designate a resource as either
proposed or committed. You can use the Booking Type field in the Resource
Information dialog box to make this setting.
What does this setting do? Well, if you’re not quite sure about a resource’s
commitment to your project, you call that resource proposed. Then you can
display the booking type column in a resource view (such as the Resource
Sheet), and keep track of resources you might have to firm up as you get
closer to finalizing your project plan.
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