Smoothing out Department Man Hours

The dotted curve in Figure 14-8 indicates projected manpower requirements for a given department as a result of a typical program manloading schedule. Department managers, however, attempt to smooth out the manpower curve as shown by the solid line in Figure 14-8. Smoothing out the manpower requirements is always beneficial to the department managers by eliminating the necessity for scheduling fractional man-hours per day. The program manager must understand that if departments are permitted to eliminate peaks, valleys, and small-step functions in manpower planning, small project and task man-hour (and cost) variances can occur, but should not, in general, affect the total program cost significantly.

One important question that needs to be asked by program management as well as by functional management is whether the department has sufficient personnel available to fulfill manpower requirements. Another important question that management must be concerned with is the rate at which the functional departments can staff the program. For example, project engineering requires approximately twenty-three

Figure 14-8. Typical manpower loading.
REFERENCE MONTH

- curve a: time-smoothed

---curve 8; modified time-smoothed

CURVE C; INCREASED MANPOWER! EVEL

Figure 14-9. Linearly increased manpower loading.

people during January 1984. The functional manager, however, may have only fifteen people available for immediate reassignment, with the remainder to be either transferred from other programs or hired from outside the company. The same situation occurs during activity termination. Will project engineering still require twenty-two people in August 1984, or can some of these people begin being phased to other programs, say, as early as June 1984? This question, specifically addressed to support and administrative tasks/projects, must be answered prior to contract negotiations. Figure 14-9 indicates the types of problems that can occur. Curve A shows the manpower requirements for a given department after time-smoothing. Curve B represents the modification to the time-phase curve to account for reasonable program manning and demanning rates. The difference between these two curves (i.e., the shaded area) therefore reflects the amount of money the contractor may have to forfeit owing to manning and demanning activities. This problem can be partially overcome by increasing the manpower levels after time-smoothing (see Curve C) such that the difference between curves B and C equals the amount of money that would be forfeited from curves A and B. Of course, program management would have to be able to justify this increase in average manpower requirements, especially if the adjustments are made in a period of higher salaries and overhead rates.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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