Home › Forums › Microsoft Project Discussion Forum › Best way to model approvals?
Tagged: modeling approvals
I would like my approval tasks to grow in duration when one of the approvers is out of the office for an extended period. I don’t want to be surprised by a 2 day approval task taking 2 weeks because a director went trekking in Nepal. What’s the best way to model this? I’m currently just assigning the task to all of the approvers, making it Fixed Units/Effort Driven.
It sounds like the core of your issue is being surprised by resource unavailability. Project cannot identify resource driven task delays unless the resource is identified in the project and that resource has their unavailable working days identified in their resource calendar. It sounds like you may need to have your sign off resources notify you of their planned vacation days so that you can track it in the schedule.
If that approach gets push back from those resources, you might be able to handle it during sponsor(?) status meetings. When key sign off points are approaching, ask these key resources if they have any known vacation days planned that might conflict with these sign off points so that all are aware. If potential conflicts are identified, maybe an alternate sign off resource can be identified to help keep the project moving. Additionally, if you know a key sign off resource won’t be available with not alternate assigned, you can manually move the targeted sign off task in the schedule and then report on it’s impacts.
I would suggest both approaches, even if you get them set up as resources in your schedule.
If you are still getting unknown sign off task delays, mark the 2 day sign off task as Started within Project on the day it was sent for approval and then mark it Finished on the day the sign off was actually received. It doesn’t help predict the delay, but it will reflect what actually happened and allow you to see the down stream project impacts on future dates.
Finally, as a PM, document that delay, the reason for it, and the impact it had on the schedule, just in case you need to refer back to it months later.
Hope that helps
You’ve identified the problem. My concern is with detection. When an approver tells me about an upcoming vacation I want to be able to see any changes to my critical path when I modify their calendar. One option, of course, is to add separate ‘approval’ tasks for everyone on the approver list but that seems like a lot of unnecessary overhead. The other approach is to set each approval task up as fixed units/effort driven and then assign all of the approvers as resources to it. That way if someone leaves town during the approval period it would impact the critical path. Is there another, better way?