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4 Tutorials that teach Assigning People to Tasks
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Assigning People to Tasks

Assigning People to Tasks

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Description:

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

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Tutorial

What's Covered

An important aspect of project management involves the assignment of tasks to team members.  This tutorial discusses how a project manager assigns people to tasks by using:

  1. Work Breakdown Structure
  2. Task Chart
  3. Resource Agreement

1. WORK BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE

Once defined, a project manager assigns tasks using the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). Each project task in the WBS will then 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 the assigned resource’s 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.However, in most cases, the project manager will be responsible for the completion of the activities.


2. TASK CHART

To create task assignments, the project manager uses a task chart, which displays the activities and their associated tasks from the WBS. The project manager can then link individual resources with the tasks.

Some charting software even provides resource balancing, so you can see which resources have too many tasks to complete, and which have too few.

Term to Know

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

The project manager assigns people to tasks in order to build out the project schedule. Assignments are used to confirm that all tasks have adequate coverage by resources.

Tasks are assigned to people before the schedule is created so that it is easy to identify tasks where the resources aren't available. Gaps can be filled with additional internal or external resources before the schedule is finalized.

Assigning tasks prior to creating the schedule also ensures 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.


3. RESOURCE AGREEMENT

A resource agreement is one method that project managers use to achieve buy-in from team members about their assigned tasks. An agreement between the project manager or management and a team member, the resource agreement 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 that can be used to complete the work.

Term to Know

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

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


IN CONTEXT

You are a project manager on a project involving the implementation of a new voicemail server. Your task chart for the project might look like this:




Try It

What assignments still need to occur before the project manager can create a schedule? Recall what you learned about resource procurement and planning in previous lessons. If a task must be assigned to a resource outside of the team, which aspects of the project plan will this affect?

Summary

In this lesson, you learned that tasks are assign using Work Breakdown Structure. A task chart displays activities and resources, which helps a project manager identify any gaps. The resource agreement identifies the percentage of commitment time from each team member to help achieve buy-in.

Good luck!

Source: This work is adapted from Sophia Tutorial Author Jeff Carroll.

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Task Chart

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

  • Resource Document

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