Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Maybe you delayed the start of a task because a resource wasn’t
available. But could some other resource do the work? If so, switch resources
and let the task start sooner.
Project calculates the duration of some tasks (fixed work and fixed units
with effort-driven scheduling) according to the number of resources
available to do the work. If you add resources to those tasks, Project
shortens their duration.
If you assign a more skilled resource to some tasks, you might be able to
shorten the hours of work required to complete the task because the
skilled person will finish the work more quickly.
Could you hire an outside vendor to handle the work? If you have money
but no time or resources, that’s sometimes a viable option.
Chapter 9 covers the mechanics of making and changing resource assignments.
Cut to the chase: Deleting some tasks and slashing slack
When all else fails, it’s time to cut some very specific corners. Can you skip
some tasks, such as that final quality check, the one that occurs after the
other three you already built in? Or should you pull back on some of the
slack you’ve allowed yourself?
Never, I repeat, never get rid of all the slack in your schedule. Otherwise, it
will come back and haunt you like the Ghost of Christmas Past. Just tell your
boss I said so.
Could you get some other project manager to handle some of your tasks for
you with different sets of resources? If your buddy has a project that involves
writing specs for a new product, could you convince him to also write the
user’s manual, which was your responsibility in designing product
packaging? It’s worth a shot.
Getting It for Less
After you assign all your resources to tasks and set all your fixed costs, it’s
time for sticker shock. Project will tally all those costs and show you the
project’s budget. But what if those numbers just won’t work? Here are some tips
for trimming that bottom line:
Use cheaper resources. Do you have a high-priced engineer on a task
that could be performed by a junior engineer? Did you assign a
highpriced manager to supervise a task that could be handled by a
lowerpriced line supervisor?