4.1 Planning Human Resources

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An introduction to Project Management Principles and Practices, University of California, Irvine. There are two general categories of responsibilities you have as a project manager when you're working with human resource issues. Now Ted starts back down the hall and the phone rings again, and you go oh, yes, nice to talk to you again.

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Welcome back again. This is module 4. An introduction to Project Management Principles and Practices, University of California, Irvine. And again, I’m Rob Stone. We’re still in planning. We’re going to talk about human resources. We’ve put our project together now. We’ve defined what the project is. We’ve figured out how we’re going to do this project. Now we figure out who is going to do this. We have to put all the people on this project. There are two general categories of responsibilities you have as a project manager when you’re working with human resource issues. One, you have to figure out what your human resource needs are. Who needs to be on the project. Who do you need to have on your project team. By the time you have the project team put together, you need to have the collective knowledge to do this project. So you need all the experts to do different parts of the project. Everyone will bring something to the project, their own expertise. Not everyone’s going to be able to do the entire project. You need to get a team put together so that you can get this project done successfully. Then once you get the team put together, you have to manage and lead this team. You have to actually work effectively with these people from the beginning to the end of the project. And you have to try to get them to work effectively together as well. There are two terms that we’re going to be talking about. One of them is work. And one of them is duration. You’ll see work written as work. You’ll see it written as effort. You’ll see it written as work effort. Just depending on which te, which text you’re looking at. MS Project will talk about work. PMI will talk about effort. And a number of texts that you look at will talk about work effort. All three are exactly the same thing. All the same concept. Work. It’s the number of labor units required to get something done. How much work has to go in to get this done? Then we’re going to look at duration. Duration is one way to figure out how long it’s going to take to do this work. There are two different ways to look at how long it, it’ll take to do the work. One is duration, and one is elapsed time. First, we’re gonna loot at duration. How long are we gonna take to do this work? Let’s look at an example of work and duration, and how they relate to each other. Work can be equal to duration. Example one here, Option 1. Option 2, we can have duration be more than work. Or in example three, Option 3 here. We can have work be more than duration. What does that actually mean? It means that Ted has a task to do. It’s almost 8 o’clock on Monday morning. We’re waiting for some information from our customer so that Ted can get to work on a task that’s important on this project and needs to be done. We have to have this information before Ted can start on the task. It’s almost 8 o’clock Monday morning. The phone rings. Ted’s walking in the door. You answer your phone and say to your, say hello. Oh, yes. Great. Wonderful. I’ll let him know and we’ll get started on that right away. Catch Ted when Ted comes walking in the door and say Ted, the customer just called, they have just emailed the information to you. You can start working on that task that we’re waiting for the information for. Can you get started on that right away? Because they’re gonna be in here at noon on Wednesday and they need this thing done by then. We have to have it done by noon on Wednesday. That gives Ted eight hours on Monday to do this, eight hours on Tuesday to work on this, and four hours on Wednesday. There’s a 20 hours. Eight hours Monday, eight hours Tuesday, we’ve got sixteen hours worth of the work done. Do the other four hours on Wednesday morning. So, 20 hours duration available. And we have 20 hours of work to get done. They’re equal. Duration is the time that we have set aside to actually accomplish work. Now, Ted starts back down the hall and phone rings again. Pick it up and say, hello, yes what? Oh, yeah. I’ll let him know, not a problem. Thank you. Ted, hold on a second, the customer just called. They’re not gonna be here until 5 o’clock on Friday. You don’t need to have this thing done til 5 o’clock Friday. Ted says that’s great, I can start on it right away this morning and I’ll have it done by Friday. I’ve got other things to do. I can work some other work in around all of that. I will get the 20 hours worth of work done in 40 hours. There’s eight hours on Monday, eight hours Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Each of those days has eight hours. There’s 40 hours of duration time available for Ted to do his work. He only has 20 hours worth of work to do. So in that case, duration is longer than the amount of work. Now Ted starts back down the hall and the phone rings again, and you go oh, yes, nice to talk to you again. Oh yeah, that’s not a problem at all, I’ll let him know and we’ll get that worked out. Hang up, Ted you gotta get back here quick, we got a big problem now. All of a sudden, they’re gonna be in here tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock. What are we gonna do? Ted says, that’s not a problem. There’s only 20 hours worth of work to do on this. Jill just finished up a project and I said, hey I might need some help on this project that I’m working on, would you be available? And she said yes, I can help you with that. I’ll go, let Jill know right away that we both need to start working on this, this morning right away at 8 o’clock. Ted and Jill both work on this task for eight hours on Monday, sixteen hours worth of work gets done on Monday. We still have four hours worth of work to do. And between 8 and 10 o’clock on Tuesday, we only have two hours duration. But Ted and Jill are both gonna work two hours. So we get four hours of work done then between now 8 o’clock on Monday morning and 10 o’clock on Tuesday morning, we get the 20 hours worth of work done. In that case, the amount of work is longer than the duration available. These are the three ways that work and duration relate to each other. And this is how you start to figure out the duration on your project tasks. If you want a task to go faster, usually we can put some more people on there and it will go faster. It might not always go as fast as we want. Sometimes putting more people on there slows things down a little bit because people just get in each others way a little. But putting more people on a task, typically will get it done faster. When we’re looking at the duration of our projects. First what we need to do, is figure out how much work has to be done on a specific task and then we figure out, well how many people are we are going to put on that to get a certain duration. The other thing is elapsed time. Elapsed time is that calendar and the clock. The clock, this thing. Ring. That just goes around. That second hand just swings around there all the time. It never stops. The calendar. You tear a page off of that calendar and throw it away everyday. It doesn’t stop. So that’s real life time out there. What we’ve said is, instead of a week being seven days, oh no, it’s five days. Instead of a day being 24 hours, no, it’s eight hours. We’ve converted elapsed time into duration time and said this is the time we’ve set aside to do work. So it can be four ten-hour days or however you have it set up in your organization. What we said, these are the times available to do work. During that duration, we can get more or less work done on the, one of these little bars across here. You’ll see they’re pretty tall. That means that on Thursday and Friday, we had some people working. And so we got more than eight hours worth of work done on the task. On Wednesday that one week, we got less than eight hours of work done on that task. Weekend, we got nothing done on that task. When you talk to people about how long it’s gonna take to do the project, you need to find out what people are talking about and what terms they’re using. What do people wanna know when they say, when’s the project gonna be done? They’re only caring about elapsed time, they just wanna know the date on the calendar and the time on the clock. They don’t care about work and duration, the only way that they’re gonna see those show up and the way they’re gonna worry about those is cost and time on our SQCT target that we looked at. Earlier on, scope, quality, cost and time. Work and duration will show up in the cost and time piece.

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