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Multiple resource - problems on progress update (hours distribution)

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Dean Pearcy
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I'm really hoping someone can help me out with this one.

I have a new prgramme that contains activities with multiple labour resources, as numerous people have an input into each activity. However, they all have different input levels, an example....

I have a design activity to produce a specification, and 40 hours assigned to the task. The Mech designer is assigned 30 of these, the lead designer 8, as a checking function and the document controller the remaing 2.

Now, if on progress update, I say this activity is 50% complete, P6 dosesn't distribute the hours burned proportionaly, but splits the 20 hours burned equally across all 3 resources, so the mech engineer has used 6.7 with 23.3 remaining. The lead designer has used 6.7 with only 1.3 remaining, and worse still, the doc controller has used 6.7 of their 2 hours assigned.

There are something like 2500 activities in a similar situation and it would be very time consuming to go through each activity and update each resource manually. What I am hoping is that I am missing a switch or setting that will tell the programme to equally distribute the burned hours proportionally across all the resources, and that some very knowledgable person here is going to point me to it!

Many thanks for reading.

Replies

David Kelly
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P6 can pro-rate the actual hours, Dean, what settings do you have for:

 

Actvities Window:

Duration type

% complete type (if this is "Units", I can recomend a good therapist)

Resources Window:

Auto Compute Actuals flag (details tab)

 

Projects Window:

All the settings in the calculations tab

It would be natural to set default actual hours proportional to planned hours. 

David Kelly
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That's certainly true, Vladimir.

From the second last paragraph I am interpreting that there is no Timesheet system that records expended hours by Project/Actvity ID/Resource assignment. And that there is only a single total of expended hours across all  trades to give a single Actual hours total for each activity. This is the most common level of detail amongst my clients. 

Within P6 the typical way to deal with ths is to have a dedicated resource assignment for each Activity with NO estimate, only the running total of expended hours for the activity. That way CPI calculations at the activity level are "correct", although we can no longer tell CPI by trade.

BUT we still wait to hear if the "Burned Hours" that Dean describes has any connection to the "50%" complete!

Dean Pearcy
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Thanks David,

Perhaps I need to explain further. The activity in the example is a physical % comp duration type and the whole programme is meant to be a ready reckoner of hours in a design programme, and how they are being burned compared with the work being done. We have timesheets to compute the actuals, so lets assume this one activity is the whole project, for simplicity and to try and convey what I want to achieve.

My project has 40 budgeted hours, split as described earlier. Now I am informed the activity is 50% complete, i.e. each of those people have expended what their manager percieves as half the time required to complete the job. Now if the timesheets also say they have burned 50% of their budgeted time, then perfect, we are on target. But if they are claiming 60 hours to the project already, and their manager percieves they still have 20 hours remaining, then we have a problem. The reason they are split into different roles on the same task is again, a ready reckoner of averages. Over the 2500 activities, we have given average expected hours per discipline, and so we have a means of gauging, by comparing timesheet actuals, to the actual outputs we have achieved, wether we are somewhere near where we should be. We have for example 6000 hours for a CAD man. When we start progressing activities that require a CAD function, I want to check that we are expending a good amount of hours for the outputs.

What falls down, is if the programme assigns 6 hours to the time of a man that was only ever expected to take 2 hours for the task in total. I hope you understand my problem a little better now.

Dean Pearcy
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Thanks David,

Perhaps I need to explain further. The activity in the example is a physical % comp duration type and the whole programme is meant to be a ready reckoner of hours in a design programme, and how they are being burned compared with the work being done. We have timesheets to compute the actuals, so lets assume this one activity is the whole project, for simplicity and to try and convey what I want to achieve.

My project has 40 budgeted hours, split as described earlier. Now I am informed the activity is 50% complete, i.e. each of those people have expended what their manager percieves as half the time required to complete the job. Now if the timesheets also say they have burned 50% of their budgeted time, then perfect, we are on target. But if they are claiming 60 hours to the project already, and their manager percieves they still have 20 hours remaining, then we have a problem. The reason they are split into different roles on the same task is again, a ready reckoner of averages. Over the 2500 activities, we have given average expected hours per discipline, and so we have a means of gauging, by comparing timesheet actuals, to the actual outputs we have achieved, wether we are somewhere near where we should be. We have for example 6000 hours for a CAD man. When we start progressing activities that require a CAD function, I want to check that we are expending a good amount of hours for the outputs.

What falls down, is if the programme assigns 6 hours to the time of a man that was only ever expected to take 2 hours for the task in total. I hope you understand my problem a little better now.

David, with any percent complete I see no logic in the even distribution of actual hours between resources with different activity workloads.

David Kelly
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Dean,

HMM.  What has 50% of the work complete have to do with how many hours you have burned?  These would seem to me to be two quite different metrics,  In earned value terms you are reporting a percentage against BQWS and dissapointed in the resulting spread of AQWP?

Of course with four duration types, three percent complete types, a variety of Activity types and about a dozen switches at the project level my sums says reporting a % complete in P6 has about 120 different arithmetic outcomes. 

You can get the result you want using Duration % complete and a couple of switches at the project level, and then every burned hour is an earned hour, and the pro-rata spread is the way you want.