Capacity as Activity (flaw 2)

This is post number 2 in my series about incorrect use of Microsoft Project stand alone version. I started this series to get the most commonplace examples out in the world and help people understand Microsoft Project a little better. Once again, the images in these posts are build using the Microsoft Project 2013 Pro edition, but this series can be useful for all versions of the product.

With that said, let’s take a closer look at “capacity as activity”. This flaw is pretty self explanatory once you see the image below:

People as tasks

You are looking at a Gantt chart where 3 people need to work on a document. From the view it is clear that the 3 people need to do things separately. And there’s the problem; “things” isn’t really something you can do.

Project resource planning or allocating should be done on a different level. We need to add our resources using a different view in Ms Project called the Resource sheet.

The Resource Sheet

I added Erik, Dave and John in the resource sheet. Also some additional information like a standard hourly rate and a Base calendar was added.

And now we go back to our Gantt chart view to change the names of the activities and add the resources to these activities. In other words: we are generating assignments for the resources to the tasks.

I have changed the names of the 3 tasks to represent the different actions that need to be taken.

Correct GANTT view 1

Now I know what the team needs to do. And I can assign my resources appropriately. Using the details view in the views tab I can assign Erik to Write the first draft, and even give a indication on how many hours he needs to work on the task. Speaking about “work” that’s a column I can add in my Gantt view. The results:

Tasks with Assignments

That’s it for now. I hope you liked reading the post, leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to reply. Keep an eye open for my next post, this one will be about the Lack of structure and the Work Breakdown Structure.

Update 2019

I created a video of this second flaw, just like I did with the first one. You can find both at my YouTube channel here. And thanks to the WordPress awesomeness I’m able to include the video right into the browser as well, please enjoy:

4 thoughts on “Capacity as Activity (flaw 2)”

  1. Hi Erik,
    Many thanks for this blog.

    Now that we’ve established how to assign working hours, could I please ask how you can split working hours? For example, if ‘Write first draft’ requires two resource. i.e. Erik to spend 3hours on ‘Write first draft’ and Dave to spend 5hours on ‘Write first draft’ as well. How do you solve this please?

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Eze,
      You can change the amount of work a person does on the task either by viewing the “task usage” view or use the “split screen” or “details” view in your Gantt. These 3 options show you the individual assignments per resource on the task and give you the option to define more or less work per person.
      Hope this helps, thanks for reading and commenting.

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