How to deal with % assignment on a task, effectiveness and absence?

How to deal with % assignment on a task, effectiveness and absence?

People are not 100% working effectively on a task due to: deal with % assignment on a task, effectiveness and absence1
  • Illness
  • Part-time days or vacation
  • Toilet visits/smoking/social talk
  • Problem solving
  • Wandering off
  • Project meetings
  • Obligations to other projects
  • Obligations to line organization
  • Etc.
The common belief (and chosen approach) is that planning for 80% effectiveness will account for all these situations. Simply putting in 80% as units to a task however, is NOT the CORRECT way to go for different reasons.

How to deal with absence and project time correctly?

The gurus in the field agree that the preferred way is as follows:
  1. Personal Time

    • Vacation, standard day off - Block days in resource calendar
    • Sickness, cannot be planned - When it happens, progress tracking will uncover the day(s) that was not worked. Maternity leave, or recovering from surgery can be planned in the resource calendar.
  2. Project time

    • Problem solving - Increase the amount of (remaining) work, since issue resolution is also part of the task.
    • Daydreaming, toilet visits, smoking, social talk - Increase the amount of (remaining) work, since for the work column it is more realistic to estimate the gross amount of work. It happens, we are all human right? However, this time will be charged to your project... Your job to keep this within boundaries.
    • Project meetings - Individual meetings can be planned with Outlook but if the time consumption of these meetings is significant, block a weekly average using the recurring task feature. Note that the series will form the summary task and the occurrences are the tasks to which you can assign resources.
  3. Company time

    • All-personnel meeting or Friday afternoon drink - Think whether you should plan 1h interruptions. Will this unavailability have such a significant impact to your milestone dates that it is worth to put in the admin?
    • Other projects - Don’t plan, it is not your scope. If you have a resource allocated to your project for 0.5 FTE, change the Max Units in the resource sheet to 50%, or edit the availability periods in the calendar.
    • Line activities - Don’t plan, same as above.

Unavailability in your project

Can you find yourself in these 3 ways of dealing with absence and project time or do you have any other thoughts? Share it in the comments below.
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