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Earned Value with Task Reassignment

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  • #97113 Reply
    Kevin Slane

    If I have a task assigned to one resource and I’ve baselined my schedule, what happens if I later want to add another person to the task? That second person isn’t going to have any baseline values associated with his assignment unless I rebaseline the entire task. However, if I rebaseline that task after work has begun, doesn’t that screw up my earned value?

    #97882 Reply
    Josh LoganJosh Logan

    You would need to perform a baseline change to add the resource and work/cost to that task, and thus the total budget. at the point in time mandated by your baseline change management process. The presumption on my part is that scope is either being increased, or that the work is behind schedule, thus the need to add resources. This would need to occur even if another task was being reduced and the increase in cost for the in question was being offset by that reduction. BOTH tasks would then need to be re-baselined.

    One wouldn’t normally change resource/cost/schedule in an EV environment without updating the baseline, and yes, it would most likely mess up your EV and violate good EV practice (and the law if you were working on a Defense Department project).

    #97889 Reply
    Kevin Slane

    That’s a great answer. You even got to the part I hadn’t asked about yet, which was, what do you do on government projects where you can’t just rebaseline at will.

    Your presumption wasn’t far off, but the real monkey wrench is this scenario: What if I generically assign a task to a skillset called “Electrical Engineer” at the onset of the project, but then later change that assignment to Joe and Jim? Joe and Jim won’t have any baseline values unless I rebaseline that task. That’s fine, but what if Joe and Jim have been working for a while on it and have accumulated actuals and are now behind schedule so I add Sally. In order for Sally to have baseline values, I have to rebaseline the task. If I do that, then the late work of Joe and Jim will suddenly be on track.

    So confusing. 🙂

    #98122 Reply
    Josh Logan

    Kevin, glad the answer was helpful. In the example you gave it might be better to continue using the generic resource, incrementing the work to the new estimate when ‘Sally’ comes on board, then re-adjusting the schedule to align with the new finish date.

    You’d have to track the appropriate work completed through the time/labor system. The cost system ought to be aligned with the labor charging system (WBS, Work Packages, etc.). If done correctly, using generic resources can work 1) as long as people are charging to the correct charge number and 2) The big caveat is knowing the cost of the engineer levels/grades that goes into the planning. If a senior engineer charges work that was initally planned to be performed by a junior engineer. Thus your SPI could be good, but your CPI would suffer.

    #98124 Reply
    Josh Logan

    P.S. correction. Meant to say, “if a senior engineer charges work that was initially planned to be performed by a junior engineer” your budget would suffer.

    #99522 Reply
    Kevin Slane

    Thanks for the reply once again. I think you’ve given me all the information I need. You’ve confirmed my suspicions actually. This question was brought up at the MS Project conference last month and the answer from the panel was pretty much the same, just not as detailed as yours. 🙂

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