This post is part of a series I’m creating connected with Project Service Automation (PSA) for Microsoft Dynamics 365. This time I will review how to generate a project teams.
The concept here is to create a team based on the activities and roles defined in the project plan. PSA will review the plan and suggest the minimum number of resources required to complete the plan. I personally think this is a really useful approach to generating a team, as when this task is done manually it is very common to underestimate the number of resources required.
Below you can see that my project team is initially blank. This is actually a project that I manually resourced previously! When I did that I thought I needed one architect, one developer and one functional consultant.
As a test I have removed those resources and decided to generate the team automatically.
My project plan looks like this, you can see I have aa number of tasks that are dependent on each other. Also, notice that each take has been assigned a role, so the system knows the type of resource required for each task.
Now when I manually estimated this project I probably didn’t take the customers aggressive timescale expectations into account. As we often don’t! You can see in my plan that I have identified two sprints but to meet the deadline they overlap.
When I click the GENERATE PROJECT TEAM button a dialog warns me that any existing generic resources will be removed. I haven’t got any so that is fine!
After a very short pause the dialog below tells me how many resources of each roll type I require. Notice that as I suspected the overlapping nature of this project means I need more resources than expected. I guess we have a decision at this point, find the additional resources and deliver to customer expectation or start a conversation with our customer.
Below you can see that my project plan now contains the required resources.
And below you can see that the generic resources required have been added into my project team. I can now try to hard book resources or submit requests to identify available people.
Also, notice the assigned hours column has been populated on these resources. This is because they are associated with tasks in the work breakdown structure. What is nice about this is as I book resources the tasks that were automatically assigned to the generic resources will be allocated to the people that make up my team.
Now as a test, I “hard booked” my architect. Then I went back and reviewed my plans and realised that some test tasks had been assigned to my functional consultant. As I hadn’t hard booked any resources I simply changed the role on those tasks and clicked GENERATE PROJECT TEAM again. This time it didn’t tell me I needed an architect. As I’d already secured that resource. But the effort for the functional consultants was reduced and a tester added. If I’d done this task manually I would have been tempted to swap out one of my functional consultants for a tester who was potentially cheaper. But following this process told me that whilst the functional consultants will have less work two are still required.
This approach to building a team automatically is one of my favourite features of Project Service. Why? Well I have worked on so many projects that have been under resourced that any which brings some science to this situation is something I welcome.
I’m looking forward to my next project now.