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Assinging rates based on the task performed rather than the person performing the task. RRS feed

  • Question

  • Please bear with me as I am entirely new to project having previously used entirely different tools. I am relatively new to project management as a whole having taken a few general courses but none using MS Project before. 

    I am in a nontraditional situation where the project involves not individual resources or persons having a rate per hour but rather the specific tasks having a specific rate per hour and also a maximum number of hours that may be performed on each task (but oddly not a maximum number of individual team members). I.e. A single member of the project team may be paid a differing rate depending on what it is they are actually doing, rather than based on who they are. Everyone gets paid the same rate for the same job.

    My employer wants me to utilize project to determine if the project has sufficient persons assigned to it in order to complete the tasks involved within a specific timeframe and then conversely how long it will take if only a specific number of team members are assigned to the task. Based on these parameters I can do those calculations mathematically naturally but the employer, who knows nothing of Project Management whatsoever, is EMPHATIC that such is not what they want. They want Gantt charts, WBS, etc...

    I have been told they are absolutely certain that such is possible using Project 2010 but I am not for the life of me seeing how to go about it. I can create tasks in Gantt view, I can create Resources in resources view. But I cannot see how I can assign rates based on task performed rather than based on the persons performing them. Searching online for resources on this has come up absolutely blank. Though I could certainly do it with Harvest before.

    To simplify the project down, as I am sure if I can get basic advice I can extrapolate from there. Let us assume that in the initial allocation there are six team members: Bill, John, Tammy, George, Paul, and Pedro. Let us say that the tasks involved in the project are HTML design at $20 per hour for a maximum of 100 hours, Scripting at $50 per hour for a maximum of 200 hours, Interface Design at $60 per hour for a maximum of 30 hours. And planning meetings at a rate of $15 per hour for a maximum of 50 hours. 

    Team members may not work overtime, and may work a maximum of 40 hours a week. I must produce a WBS, Gantt Chart, etc. Constrained by these limits and determine how long the project would take in that situation. Then I must determine how many additional team members would be needed to complete each task in the project by a fixed end date. Further complicating matters not all team members would be working on all tasks as not all team members have skills in the requisite areas.

    This was somewhat sprung on me and I find myself completely and totally out of my element. I have been able to add the tasks in task view, and add the initial team members in resource view but when it comes to the rest I cannot see anyway how to do it.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    William

    P.S. I have tried convincing the employer that I do not think Project is actually the correct tool for this task, the employer is quite insistent.



    Friday, February 22, 2013 4:00 AM

Answers

  • Yes, this certainly is possible and Project would be a good use for this scenario.

    You are close with resources on the resource sheet - but what you are missing is the cost issue.  Each resource may have as many as 5 different rate tables.  So, I would set the following for the resources with all 4 skills

    Cost Rate table A = $20.00 for the HTML tasks

    Cost Rate Table B = $50.00 for scripting

    Cost Rate Table C = $60

    Cost rate table D = $15.00 for planning.

    To get to the cost rate tables, double click on the resource name in the Resource Sheet to show the Resource Information form and use the Costs tab.

    Create the tasks and then show the Task Usage view.  Add the Cost Rate table to the view.  Split your screen to show the Task form at the bottom and when you assign the resources, enter the amount of work estimated for the resource.  Project will calculate the duration to get the amount of work done by the resource assigned.  If the work can be accomplished in less time the more resources you assign, then set the tasks (in the task form) as effort driven.  Then, if you assign additional resources, project will recalculate the duration based upon the new number of resources assigned.

    If possible, get your self enrolled in a good 2-3 days hands on Project course. it will save you hours of frustration and will help you utilize the tool that your employer has selected.

    Friday, February 22, 2013 4:52 AM
    Moderator
  • Project can absolutely handle the work and time aspects, but unless there are only 5 different task rates, you can't do the costing out of the box. You will need to set the hourly rate for the Task in a cost field (say Cost1), then in a second cost field (say Cost2) enter the formula [Work]/60*[Cost1].

    Getting resource assignments correct and leveling resource workloads is a fairly advanced thing to do (in any scheduling tool) so I recommend you get some training. Certainly a full explanation is beyond the scope of a Forum post!!


    Rod Gill

    The one and only Project VBA Book

    Rod Gill Project Management

    Friday, February 22, 2013 5:02 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Yes, this certainly is possible and Project would be a good use for this scenario.

    You are close with resources on the resource sheet - but what you are missing is the cost issue.  Each resource may have as many as 5 different rate tables.  So, I would set the following for the resources with all 4 skills

    Cost Rate table A = $20.00 for the HTML tasks

    Cost Rate Table B = $50.00 for scripting

    Cost Rate Table C = $60

    Cost rate table D = $15.00 for planning.

    To get to the cost rate tables, double click on the resource name in the Resource Sheet to show the Resource Information form and use the Costs tab.

    Create the tasks and then show the Task Usage view.  Add the Cost Rate table to the view.  Split your screen to show the Task form at the bottom and when you assign the resources, enter the amount of work estimated for the resource.  Project will calculate the duration to get the amount of work done by the resource assigned.  If the work can be accomplished in less time the more resources you assign, then set the tasks (in the task form) as effort driven.  Then, if you assign additional resources, project will recalculate the duration based upon the new number of resources assigned.

    If possible, get your self enrolled in a good 2-3 days hands on Project course. it will save you hours of frustration and will help you utilize the tool that your employer has selected.

    Friday, February 22, 2013 4:52 AM
    Moderator
  • Project can absolutely handle the work and time aspects, but unless there are only 5 different task rates, you can't do the costing out of the box. You will need to set the hourly rate for the Task in a cost field (say Cost1), then in a second cost field (say Cost2) enter the formula [Work]/60*[Cost1].

    Getting resource assignments correct and leveling resource workloads is a fairly advanced thing to do (in any scheduling tool) so I recommend you get some training. Certainly a full explanation is beyond the scope of a Forum post!!


    Rod Gill

    The one and only Project VBA Book

    Rod Gill Project Management

    Friday, February 22, 2013 5:02 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you to you both. I was able based on your instructions to figure out how to set up my project successfully. While I very certainly should take a course in Project in the future, and very likely will as I am considering pursuit of an MSIT in Project Management, your instructions provided the clarity I was lacking. I did indeed ultimately need to utilize a Cost field setup as Rod indicated because the actual project had more than 5 task rates.

    For the project at the moment I was able to use Auto Scheduling and Auto Leveling to good effect by setting the task type as Fixed Work in each instance.

    I certainly appreciate your assistance.

    William

    Friday, February 22, 2013 7:15 AM
  • You're welcome, William and thank you for the feedback.
    Sunday, February 24, 2013 8:57 PM
    Moderator