Accounting for different skill levels? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Guys,

    How would you account for different abilities when assigning resources to a task?

    Say you had task 'Paint a Wall' which you knew would take 20 hours, an estimate based on an experienced painter and decorator. Ignoring other stuff say something like this:

    • 1x experienced  = 20 hours duration.
    • 2x experienced  = 10 hours duration
    • 4x experienced = 5 hours duration
    • 1x apprentice = 40 hours duration
    • 2x apprentice = 20 hours duration.

    And you wanted to put 1x experienced and 1x apprentice on a job. I make it the duration should be 13.3 hours - the experienced painter doing more work than the apprentice.

    How would you represent this in Project?


    Monday, June 8, 2015 4:02 PM

All replies

  • Rob-R,

    Similar to my response to your other post, sometimes you can get down to just too much information. One way to approach the skill level question is to simply create resource groups, in your example, call it "painters" with no distinction of skill level. However, if you plan to assign only an experienced resource or only an apprentice resource to a given task then you might want to show those resources as separate skill levels and assign them accordingly.


    Monday, June 8, 2015 4:10 PM
  • Basically in this example there's going to be a senior and junior dev working on it, and that's for all of the tasks within the project - quite which specific tasks on the WBS isn't known and (as per the other post) is outside the scope of a project plan really.

    I guess all I'm looking to capture is that the 20h task with 1x senior and 1x junior will be done in 13.3 hours as opposed to 20h duration wise - as this will show me how long these 2 week and 1 month projects might get done in. Plus I'm running this off a resource pool so I want it to be clear that these resources are reserved so to speak.

    I was going to drop the junior resource to 50%, I'm not sure if that's a sensible, or best practice way to achieve what I'm after though.

    Monday, June 8, 2015 4:18 PM
  • I'm not sure how you derived the 13.3 hours. If it's 20 hours of work for the sr. developer (2.5 days duration) and 40 hours of work for the jr. developer (5 days duration), I'm not sure where you got the split.  I don't think it's accurate to say the jr. developer is 50% allocated to the task. It is actually more work for the jr developer, not less.  I'd suggest asking for work estimates (not duration estimates).  Then reflect the resource's availability to the project.  My guess is the Sr. Developer is the one who has less availability - s/he is in higher demand.  If the Sr. Developer is going to do 15 hours of the work and the jr. developer 10 hours, assign them at those values and let Project calculate duration.
    Monday, June 8, 2015 8:41 PM
  • How I envisage this working in practice is that both would be working full time on the task until it is completed. So both would be working for an equal amount of time, however, the amount of work completed by the senior developer would be double that of the junior developer.

    I have work estimates, but the issues is that all of the estimates are based on experienced developers. At this stage I'm dealing with an estimate at the macro level - so a group of 30 tasks might be 2 weeks dev for 1 experienced dev.

    If I create a task, fixed work, add two resources, one developer at 100% and one developer at 50%. If I change the work to 20hours then the duration changes to 13.33 hours - so I guess that matches my post. With the senior dev at 90% (more realistic) that makes it 14.82 hours.

    Whilst this may not be conventional - as the junior dev is 100% available, I can't see another option? - It's not like there's a work rate or effort coefficient that I can find (there may well be one though!)

    Thanks for the replies.

    Tuesday, June 9, 2015 8:40 AM
  • Rob-R --

    Pardon me for bumping into this post.  When you assign the resources to the task, try this:

    1. Apply the Gantt Chart view.
    2. Right-click anywhere in the Gantt Chart pane and select the Show Split item on the shortcut menu.
    3. In the Task Form pane, select the names of the senior developer and junior developer resources.
    4. In the Task Form pane, enter a Units value of 100% for the senior developer and enter 40 hours of Work.
    5. In the Task Form pane, enter a Units value of 100% for the junior developer and 20 hours of Work.
    6. Click the OK button.

    Microsoft Project will calculate the Duration of the task based on the longest duration of each resource working on the task.  In this case, the Duration would be 5 days, based on the duration of the senior developer's task assignment.  I believe this would meet your planning needs without becoming overly complicated.  Just a thought.  Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Tuesday, June 9, 2015 1:40 PM
  • Feel free to bump into this post Dale, all opinions and thoughts are most welcome :)

    If I'm running this off a resource pool presumably the same could be achieved if I adjust the calendar for the resource to state that they can only work say 20 hours a week instead? - It sounds like that would do the same thing. A restriction I could lift when we deem them to be 'experienced' - or I could gradually increase over time.

    It seems like this would do the same thing?

    Tuesday, June 9, 2015 3:05 PM