Using a Human Resources Matrix

Planning your personnel needs begins with identifying whom you need and how much effort they have to invest. You can display this information in a Human Resources Matrix, as illustrated in Figure 6-2. The Human Resources Matrix displays the people assigned to each project activity and the work effort each person will contribute to each assignment.

Figure 6-2:

Displaying personnel needs in a Human Resources Matrix.

Activity

Personnel (Person-hours)

Work Breakdown Structure Code

Description

J. Jones

F. Smith

Analyst

2.1.1

Design questionnaire

32

0

24

2.1.2

Pilot questionnaire

0

40

60

2.2.1

Prepare instructions

40

24

10

Work effort or person effort is the actual time a person spends doing an activity. Express work effort in units of person-hours, person-days, person-weeks, and so forth. (You may still hear people express work effort as man-hours or man-days. Same concept — just outdated and politically incorrect!)

Work effort is related to, but different from, span time (duration). Work effort is a measure of resource use; span time is a measure of time passage (see Chapter 5 for more discussion of span time). Consider the work effort to complete the design questionnaire in the Human Resources Matrix in Figure 6-2. According to the matrix, J. Jones works on this activity for 32 person-hours and an unnamed analyst works on it for 24 person-hours.

This information alone, however, doesn't tell you the span time of the activity. If both people can work on the activity at the same time, if they're both assigned 100 percent to the project, and if no other aspects of the task take additional time, then the activity may be finished in four days. However, if either person is available for less than 100 percent time, if one or both people must work overtime, or if one person has to finish her work before the other can start, the span time won't be four days.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

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