Paul is a project manager for an effort that requires twelve months. During the 7th, 8th, and 9th months he needs two individuals with special qualifications. The functional manager has promised that these individuals will be available two months before they are needed. If Paul does not assign them to his project at that time, they will be assigned elsewhere and he will have to do with whoever will be available later. What should Paul do? Do you have to make any assumptions in order to defend your answer? Answer: If there is going to be another project available for these two individuals which requires their expertise during those 2 months prior to 7th month, then the solution is simple and straightforward. Paul can ask the resources to be assigned to this other project for the 5th and 6th month. Once they complete their assignment in the other project for 2 months, Paul can ask them to be shifted to his project for 7th, 8th and 9th month, and keep the project running as per his plan. But, if such an option is not available, then it all depends on the necessity and importance of these specific resources/individuals. If they are very important for project success, then it would wise for Paul to change his plans to accommodate these resources to work under his project, from the 5th month onwards and not be wed to his plans. If these individuals are not very important, then I would suggest Paul to find other individuals who although cannot meet his special qualifications, could satisfy to achieve a slightly modified planned goal that adhere to project schedule and timelines to an acceptable efficiency. Recruiting new individuals with such qualities could be another option.
In W.J. Taylor and T.F. Watling: Successful Project Management, Business Books, 1972, we read: (slightly abridged)
It is often the case that the Project Manager is more noted for his/her management technique expertise, his/her ability to "get things done," and his/her...
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