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Assigning People to Tasks

Assigning People to Tasks

Author: Jeff Carroll

This lesson provides an overview of assigning tasks and gaining approval to dedicate people to a project team. 

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Video Transcription

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Hi, I'm Jeff. And in this lesson we'll cover how a project manager assigns people to tasks.

This step is done after the tasks have been defined using the work breakdown structure. So let's get started.

Each project task in the WBS will have people assigned to it. The assigned resource will either be a member of the project team or an external contracted resource. In either case, an assigned resource becomes part of the project team, which means the project manager will track their progress on the task.

The project manager assigns people to tasks in order to build out the project schedule. They also use the assignments to confirm that all tasks have adequate coverage by resources.

To make these assignments, the project manager uses a people by task chart. This type of chart displays the activities and their associated tasks from the WBS. The project manager can then link individual resources with the task.

Some charting software even provides resource balancing, so you can see which resources have too many tasks to complete and which have too few. Activities may also be linked to people resources.

For example, in the case where one person has oversight of an activity. But in most cases, the project manager will be responsible for the completion of the activities.

The project manager assigns tasks to people before the schedule is created so that individuals can provide comments and estimates on their assigned tasks. This results in more accurate schedules and, more importantly, buy-in from those actually involved in the work.

It also allows a project manager to identify tasks where the resources aren't available. The project manager can then fill that gap with additional internal or external resources before the schedule is finalized.

One method that project managers use to achieve buy-in from team members about their assigned tasks is with a resource agreement. This is an agreement between the project manager or management and a team member that includes the project tasks assigned to the team member, the percentage of the team member's total time that is assigned to the project, and the parameters for completing the assigned tasks-- such as the time allotted and any additional resources they can use to complete the work.

This document would be formally signed by the team member to show the project manager that they are committed to the details contained within the agreement. The document also serves as management's approval for the time and duration the team member can spend on the project. This process of assigning people to tasks continues until all tasks are assigned.

All right, well done. In this lesson you learned how to assign resources to tasks.

You understand why resource assignments should occur before a schedule is created. And you learned how to use a resource agreement to gain buy-in from team members. Excellent work, and have a great day.

Terms to Know
Resource Document

A document that describes the responsibilities of each member of the project team.

Task Chart

A chart that represents the assignment of people to each activity or task included in a WBS.