We can’t overstate the role of communication in a project or its importance to a project manager. Thoughtful, well-planned communication is a significant factor in every successful project. (Well, at least all those we’ve received communications about!) Inadequate communication can cause even a well-designed project to falter or fail.
Most projects that are worth recording in Project 2000 have a project team-one or more people assigned to work on various project tasks. In addition to the project manager, who is responsible for team communication, team members may include the
• The organization’s permanent employees
• Temporary employees hired for the project
• Workgroups and their leaders
• Departments and department managers
• Contractors and vendors
Understanding Projed Communication What needs to be communicated? That depends, in part, on the culture of your organization. Minimally, the project manager needs to communicate direction, expectations, and information required for team members to complete their tasks. The project manager needs to provide management and other shareholders with status reports detailing the progress and health of the project. Team members need to provide the project manager with task status reports so the project manager has accurate information for the project status reports.
In many organizations, particularly these with a less hierarchical structure, team memo numbers are encouraged or required to communicate with each other, providing “upstream” feedback about tasks that were completed earlier and “downstream” feedback to team members involved in tasks that occur later in the project. Teams or work groups engaged in simultaneous tasks share information by email or on a project Web site:
The project manager may provide project status reports to shareholders as well as managers. Whether your organization has a top-down approach to project management or is more work group-focused, there’s one fundamental truth: the successful project manager
Locating the Over allocated Segments
When you have over allocations, there are several ways to identify the time Francine where the over allocation occurs, and the task or tasks that are causing the over allocation. The Over allocated Resources report lists each of the over allocated resources and the assignments that contribute to the over allocation, To print the Over allocated Resources report: 1. Choose View> Reports to open the Reports dialog box.
2. Click Custom to open the Custom Reports dialog box.
3. Choose Overallocated Resources, and click Print or Print Preview.
The report, shown in preview lists each overallocated resource and all their assignments. It does not identify which assignments result in an overallocatlon.
There is, unfortunately, no view that shows over allocated assignments, so you have to work on the problem from the point of view of the resource. The Resource Graph (View> Resource Graph), which displays assigned timephased hours for the selected
resource, shows when the overallocation occurs. The default Resource Graph for one of our over allocated resources, Abby Addams, is.
The Resource Graph shows peak hours in each time segment, with over allocated hours in red. To see the resource’s tasks, split the window and open the Resource Form (Window> Split) or Resource Name Form (View> More View resource Name Form), The Resource Form and Resource Graph are shown in Figure 11-.5. The Resource Form shows the max units for the resource, which may be the problem in this case. The Resource is assigned for lOOOAl, which causes an overallocation because the resource rnax units are 50%.
Viewing Potential Solutions for the Overallocation
This combination of the Resource Graph and Resource Form is the portal to a host of solutions to this overallocatlon. To view other graphic information, right-click in the
graph to open the shortcut menu:
Choose Overallocation to see the periodic overallocation in hours, and then check
out some of the other options on this menu. One way to resolve an overallocation is .
to move an assignment to a point in time when the resource is available. The Remaining
Availability option, shown in Figure 11.6, clearly shows that Abby has time available
prior to and immediately after her overallocation.
Another way to resolve an overallocation is to assign different or additional resources.
The overallocated resource is a member of the Trainers group: (Group information is
displayed in the Resource Name Forrn.) With the Remaining Availability displayed,
choose Group from the Filter drop-down list to open the Group.dialog box. Enter the
group in which you’re looking for an available resource:
Then, use the horizontal scroll bar under the resource name in the Resource Graph
to scroll though the resources in the Trainers group to find a trainer who is available
to assign to the task .
Viewing Overallocations by Time Period
The Resource Graph and Resource Form help you locate the overallocations and potential
solutions, but it’s a difficult place to adjust resource assignments. To see each resource
and their assignments in an editable view, display the Resource Usage view (View >-
Resource Usage). Choose Group from the Group drop-down list on the standard tool bar
to arrange resources in groups:
In this view, shown in Figure 11.7, it’s easy to see that neither of the other trainers
can pick up Abby’s tasks that cause the over allocation. Four training are scheduled at
the same time; with only three trainer resources, this results in an over allocation.
Choose Format > Details > Over allocation from the menu to add a row for over allocations,
as shown in Figure 11.8. If you have a minor over allocation problem, you
can enter new hours for a task in the appropriate cell in the time grid-changing two
hours on Monday and five hours on Tuesday to five hours on Monday and two hours
on Tuesday, for example. Editing the timephased values in the grid creates a custom
contour for the assignment (see Chapter 10, “Assigning and Scheduling Resources and
Costs”), which has implications if the assignment is moved later.
You can’t reschedule the start date or finish date of a task in this view: the indented
list under each resource is the assignment, not the task. If you double-click an assignment,
theAssignment Information dialog box opens:
Changing the Start Date in this dialog box changes the assignment, not the task start
date. The task will appear in the Gantt Chart as scheduled. To change the task to eliminate
the overallocation, switch to a task view, such as Task Sheet view or Gantt Chart.