We recommend fully scheduling resources on a project up front, rather than on a weekly or daily basis. This way, there’s better insight into your team’s availability over a longer time frame and your team knows what’s ahead.
Things change daily, however, which means adjusting the Schedule daily. But when projects are fully staffed ahead of time, these changes can now be precise and will only have an impact on people on the impacted projects.
From an organizational perspective, scheduling a project fully upfront will provide real-time insight into the profitability of the project. Before a project starts, a fully scheduled project should be exactly up to the budget, so you’re mapping the work plan for the project to the actual fee you’ve estimated.
For example, if there’s a $96,000 budget and you schedule two people for two months, full-time at $150/h, the future scheduled amount should match the budget.
Now, when your team reports their hours for the work they’ve done, you immediately see the impact on the forecasted budget.
You might not yet know who is going to work on the project, but you might know either the discipline or department that will do the work. In this case, you can create a Placeholder Team Member for that discipline (i.e. “Visual Designer”). This team member can also have a bill rate, so you know the impact on the schedule.
Once you decide on the right person for this project, you can reassign it. And if you make these scheduling decisions on a weekly or daily basis, you can split off weeks of the Placeholder’s assignment and reassign them to another person on the team.