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Topics: Resource Management
Logical Order for Resource Activities.
Estimate Resource
Acquire Resource
Assign Resource

Is above the right order of activities?
If not will appreciate a correction with reason.

Includes the possibility for activity to be conducted concurrently or in no particular order with the other.
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Dear Richard

1. Identify the Resources required to fulfill the project
2. Identify in Schedule when resources are available
3. Estimate time length for use of resources and associated cost of resources
4. Verify budgeted cost for resource
5. Tender for resource
6. When available assign resource to project

You could breakdown the process even further depending own your own PMO structure and process and if you have dedicated persons who manage resource allocation. Project management is about seeking as much clarification and detail as possible in order to make the best available decision as possible. Also your process needs to bear in mind interaction with internal and external parties.

Daire
Thanks Daire.

I will take
• Estimate as your Identify
• Acquire as your Tender
• Assign obviously similar you used assign

At this moment not particularly keen on other activities that will come between. So above seems to be a more logical order.

My concern is PMBOK under “plan resources” assigns resources before they are even estimated under “estimate resources”. I am wondering why and how this is possible. How do you assign what you haven’t yet estimated.
Richard, to your last concern:

1. as a basic understanding, PMBoK only shows logical relationships between processes, thru outputs becoming inputs. There is no other logical sequence.

2. the plan resources process does not assign resources, but the acquire resources process does, see the outputs of project team assignments (warm bodies) and physical resource assignments. The plan resources process creates the roles&responsibilities without real people assigned.

3. the resource requirements as output of the estimate activity resources process go back to scheduling and budgeting. I call them cold bodies (no name attached yet), they often are role descriptions only.

To your original question: Yes, correct.
...
1 reply by Richard Darko
Feb 11, 2020 4:52 PM
Richard Darko
...
Page 319.

And I quote...

Responsibility. The assigned duties and work that a project team member is expected to perform in order to complete the project’s activities.

This is under plan resources.
Dear Richard,

In the instance that you are describing, resources refers to team member and assigning them to project tasks and deliverables. As a result their billable time would be included in the project budget. However if you are referring to external contractors or supplies and materials required for the project then you would need to first estimate before any resource is assigned. Projects are becoming more resource centrist and slightly blurring the line between project team members as resources and materials as resources.

Daire
Richard -

There is no direct sequential path through PMBOK processes and there can be frequent iterations back.

For example, one might have pre-assignment of a team member (I don't use the word "resource" to describe people) to a project well before there is a definition of how much time that person will need to spend on the project.

Kiron
...
1 reply by Richard Darko
Feb 11, 2020 5:13 PM
Richard Darko
...
Thanks all.

Project Resource as the new name for this knowledge area compared to Human Resource refers to both people and material.

Thus it’s not so clear what you mean by (I don’t use the word “resource” to describe people). This is for both people and material.

I appreciate the fact that there is a lot of iterations. Example Team Charter is created during planning resources and then iterated during both develop team and manage team.

Also there is tailoring that can make you not necessarily conform to PMBOK to the letter but there will still be conformance to the spirit and general guidance of the Guide.

However there will always be some fundamentals that is inherently very difficult to circumvent. Like building the superstructure of a building before the substructure. Whereas if the phase is design the process is the opposite. Normally the superstructure is designed first before the sub-structure with iterations to optimize both.

Again quoting page 311 of PMBOK 6ed.

uuProject organization charts. A project organization chart is a graphic display of project team members and their reporting relationships. It can be formal or informal, highly detailed or broadly framed, based on the needs of the project. For example, the project organization chart for a 3,000-person disaster response team will have greater detail than a project organization chart for an internal, 20-person project.


How will you know you need 3000 people or 20 people if you haven’t yet estimated the numbers with one of the Tools and Techniques listed under estimate resources?

• Expert Judgement
. - Analogous estimating. (which is itself a form of expert judgement and most often top-down. But can also be bottom-up)

• Bottom-Up Estimating
. - Parametric Estimating (which is itself a form of bottom-up estimating).

Then there are the secondary tools Data Analysis, PMIS, Meetings.
Feb 11, 2020 2:43 PM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
...
Richard, to your last concern:

1. as a basic understanding, PMBoK only shows logical relationships between processes, thru outputs becoming inputs. There is no other logical sequence.

2. the plan resources process does not assign resources, but the acquire resources process does, see the outputs of project team assignments (warm bodies) and physical resource assignments. The plan resources process creates the roles&responsibilities without real people assigned.

3. the resource requirements as output of the estimate activity resources process go back to scheduling and budgeting. I call them cold bodies (no name attached yet), they often are role descriptions only.

To your original question: Yes, correct.
Page 319.

And I quote...

Responsibility. The assigned duties and work that a project team member is expected to perform in order to complete the project’s activities.

This is under plan resources.
...
1 reply by Thomas Walenta
Feb 11, 2020 5:11 PM
Thomas Walenta
...
Well, this just defines the term responsibility as part of the R&R. It does not say that a warm body is known at this time. It is just a plan at this time.

Before you can even search for and acquire people, you have to write their job description. Then you assign them to the job.

Maybe this should better read
Responsibility. The assigned duties and work that a future project team member is expected to perform in order to complete the project’s activities.
Feb 11, 2020 4:52 PM
Replying to Richard Darko
...
Page 319.

And I quote...

Responsibility. The assigned duties and work that a project team member is expected to perform in order to complete the project’s activities.

This is under plan resources.
Well, this just defines the term responsibility as part of the R&R. It does not say that a warm body is known at this time. It is just a plan at this time.

Before you can even search for and acquire people, you have to write their job description. Then you assign them to the job.

Maybe this should better read
Responsibility. The assigned duties and work that a future project team member is expected to perform in order to complete the project’s activities.
Feb 11, 2020 3:05 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Richard -

There is no direct sequential path through PMBOK processes and there can be frequent iterations back.

For example, one might have pre-assignment of a team member (I don't use the word "resource" to describe people) to a project well before there is a definition of how much time that person will need to spend on the project.

Kiron
Thanks all.

Project Resource as the new name for this knowledge area compared to Human Resource refers to both people and material.

Thus it’s not so clear what you mean by (I don’t use the word “resource” to describe people). This is for both people and material.

I appreciate the fact that there is a lot of iterations. Example Team Charter is created during planning resources and then iterated during both develop team and manage team.

Also there is tailoring that can make you not necessarily conform to PMBOK to the letter but there will still be conformance to the spirit and general guidance of the Guide.

However there will always be some fundamentals that is inherently very difficult to circumvent. Like building the superstructure of a building before the substructure. Whereas if the phase is design the process is the opposite. Normally the superstructure is designed first before the sub-structure with iterations to optimize both.

Again quoting page 311 of PMBOK 6ed.

uuProject organization charts. A project organization chart is a graphic display of project team members and their reporting relationships. It can be formal or informal, highly detailed or broadly framed, based on the needs of the project. For example, the project organization chart for a 3,000-person disaster response team will have greater detail than a project organization chart for an internal, 20-person project.


How will you know you need 3000 people or 20 people if you haven’t yet estimated the numbers with one of the Tools and Techniques listed under estimate resources?

• Expert Judgement
. - Analogous estimating. (which is itself a form of expert judgement and most often top-down. But can also be bottom-up)

• Bottom-Up Estimating
. - Parametric Estimating (which is itself a form of bottom-up estimating).

Then there are the secondary tools Data Analysis, PMIS, Meetings.
...
1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Feb 12, 2020 11:01 AM
Kiron Bondale
...
What I meant by not calling people "resources" is exactly that. People are people, resources are fungible commodities.

Getting details on the number/volume of people, equipment or materials occurs once you have done a certain amount of planning, but especially with people, you could have pre-assignment well before scope has been nailed down.

Kiron
Hi Richard,

I hope I get your point right with my answer. Just trying to help.

We must assume that plan resource management is done in iterations and in parallel to other processes. How else could the schedule be input if we need the resource estimates to have the duration estimates needed for the schedule? It is a continuous trial and error and looking for alternatives. Been there, did it.

An orgchart is rather driven top down from the needs to establish project internal governance and link it to external governance. Mucho importante. If at some iteration I see an orgchart box with 1000+ people in it, I will most likely try to break it down in more boxes. At this time I already know more than in the 1st iteration.

The RBS will also grow over time, without knowing the estimated number of resources yet but rather the job descriptions (R&R).


NB: parametric estimating is rather top down estimating, since you have parameters for the full project you put into a formula. Maybe you can use it also bottom up but the benefit (quick and dirty) is top down.

Thomas
Hello Thomas,

Resource planing is interlaced with schedule. Example resource requirement after estimate resources is an input to estimate activity durations. At this moment want to put to the background all other interlaced activities and focus only on resource activities.

One way PMBOK could have reinforced the concurrent and iterative nature of plan resources and estimate resources was to include resource requirements as an input to plan resources. But it does not and still assumes that quantity of resources are know and is used to assign resources during planning.

Regarding parametric estimating vs analogous estimating the former is done at a much lower decomposition than the latter. Afterwhich the estimates are aggregated.

Example if I have a 100,000bpsd refinery I may not need much decomposition to use analogous estimation. But for parametric this needs to be decomposed further making it more bottom-up than top-down.
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