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Topics: PMI Standards, PMO, Resource Management
Travel as a Task or a Milestone?
Network:48



Hello Experts,

When you have a project where travel of some or all resources is a must to an xyz location how do you track this event? as a task or as a milestone or neither option?

What is the best practice to track this event, after all, is very critical for all the resources to arrive to the location where the work will take place.

As always Thanks for your comments!
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Network:1157



Cesar -

I would normally schedule such activities as lags to the activity that will follow once the team has finished travelling to their location.

That way, you aren't treating the travel as "work" being completed, and if there are costs associated with the travel, then I'd attach those to the activity which requires the team to travel.

Kiron
Network:48



Kiron,

Thanks for your response. Although travel time is paid, from the moment the employee leave their house to the time the employee arrives to the location. Hence is work calculated or should be calculated in hours...am I correct? yes you can certainly create a task a travel task and attach whatever you want to it, and technically you could also assign the resources that will be traveling to the task as well as the assign an approx time per resource or am I missing something here? Thanks
Network:1157



You could definitely treat the travel time & costs as a typical task, but I look at activities such as travel as the means to deliver value vs. value unto itself, hence my preferring to use a lag. If you use the % complete reporting out of your scheduling tool, setting it up as a task will mean you are getting a skewed view of work getting done.

Kiron
Network:48



Kiron,

Good point in regards to reporting IF treated as a task and monitored with %....Yeah It will cause issues with time reporting..Thanks for your time...
Network:1680



In my case, all related to travel is an activity into project schedule. To travel has time, cost associated at least then it is part of the schedule.
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1 reply by Cesar Fiestas
Nov 02, 2018 11:17 AM
Cesar Fiestas
...
Sergio,

I hope all is well, so you consider travel as a task or as a milestone?
Network:28



From a resource management perspective, it can also make sense to track travel as an activity. After all, while the resource is travelling (at least during working hours), he/she will not be available for other work. And if the travel time is booked against the project costs, then it is part of the overall project budget anyway.
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1 reply by Cesar Fiestas
Nov 02, 2018 11:18 AM
Cesar Fiestas
...
Ivo,

Good Point Sir, thanks for the input.
Network:48



Nov 02, 2018 5:26 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
In my case, all related to travel is an activity into project schedule. To travel has time, cost associated at least then it is part of the schedule.
Sergio,

I hope all is well, so you consider travel as a task or as a milestone?
...
1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Nov 02, 2018 2:29 PM
Sergio Luis Conte
...
Task
Network:48



Nov 02, 2018 5:38 AM
Replying to Ivo Essenberg
...
From a resource management perspective, it can also make sense to track travel as an activity. After all, while the resource is travelling (at least during working hours), he/she will not be available for other work. And if the travel time is booked against the project costs, then it is part of the overall project budget anyway.
Ivo,

Good Point Sir, thanks for the input.
Network:295



From my stand point of view, this will depend of the detail level that is requested by your organization. Because you can add a task even for booking flight and hotel, or leave everything implied on the main task the real travel purpose (Gather requirements, Install X or Y device, etc) and considere the duration from the travel start date to the travel finish date.
Network:54



It would depend on the circumstances. If travel is internal and something that needs to be monitored, I would include a duration because I would want to track both the start, the progress if it's a long duration, and the arrival. A supplier would certainly need to know when they need to ship a product to meet the contracted delivery date including customs and other things that would drive the overall task length.

If it's external, I would simply track it as a milestone. e.g. "Supplier Parts on Dock" milestone. I don't care when they ship them, and if it's by air freight or carried by sherpas if all I need to know is when the parts show up.

As a general rule, tasks, leads, and lags have a duration that we schedule because the duration may change and we need to know whether or not it is proceeding on plan. Milestones by comparison are events of zero duration and are used as key reference points in the schedule that drive when other activities need to occur.
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