Posted by:Ranjit Anand July 22nd, 2014

Have you had a few people waiting for tasks on the project? Or, instances where they wait for a task to complete to start another?

Get into the shoes of project managers. Optimal utilization of people on a project is one of the most classic challenges of project managers. Many a time we realize, towards the end of the project, that we spent more time and utilized excess resources than what was budgeted for.

Below are certain common misses that occur when it comes to people utilization on projects.

  1. Understanding the ‘Bell Curve’ on People Utilization 

Many fail to understand the simplicity involved in the Bell Curve of People Utilization. Whenever a project starts, there is no need to book every person who is supposed to be on the project from the very first day. If you notice the Bell curve below, the maximum number of people are required during the execution of the project and that gradually reduces as the project nears completion. So allocating people accordingly to the project phases is very important.

  1. Handling lead and lag times while assigning people to tasks

Many a time, starting a task would require another task to complete. And also sometimes a task may be delayed which in turn would result in rushing to meet deadlines by adding more people, trying to skip certain tasks, etc. Making sure tasks are allocated to people in such a way that there are very little chances for lead or lag times in the project.

  1. Understanding the capacity of individual

Just like the fingers of your hand, every person on your project can’t be the same and do the same level of work. But to understand the capacity of the individual working on the project is very crucial while assigning them tasks. Any task given to a wrong individual will lead to undue delays which would in turn influence project managers to take other decisions such as adding more people.

Above 3 are the most common people management mistakes committed in projects. Well, I am curious to know if you have faced similar situations in your projects. How you have avoided them? Do let me know.

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