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Assigning Hours to Teams


Gary Mullen-Schultz (28725536) | asked Nov 02 '12, 6:53 p.m.
I have a customer who uses vendors to fulfill various pieces of a given project.  They are interested in using RTC to track this work.

I can create "Team" views for a given plan, assign estimated work to it, and see the progress against estimate hours.  However, I cannot see how I can configure how many hours a given team spends each week on a given project.

I believe I can do this by adding "dummy" users to the teams, such that the total hours/week dedicated by each user adds up to the number done by the vendor.  This is pretty kludge, though.

Can anyone think of a better solution?

Thanks, Gary

3 answers



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Richard Knaster (23817) | answered Nov 05 '12, 11:30 a.m.
edited Nov 06 '12, 10:44 a.m.
Hi Gary:

Thanks for the clarification.  So the problem you are trying to solve is the Vendor overloaded.  Are they going to make their "commitment" of work they are assigned.   We may need to bring this to a live conversation, but I will take a risk of trying to respond here again.

Potential Flaws with current process:
  • Assumes people are interchangeable resources.   We can add /remove people each iteration with no productivity hit
  • Vendor understands the work being assigned to them.  Vendor has resources with the appropriate skills and knowledge to complete the work item.
  • Customer can accurately forecast whether the work can be done just by comparing total capacity to total work hours needed
  • The customer can accurately estimate the work items for the vendor even though the estimator and developers are different people with different knowledge, skills and experience.

Try an experiment to prove/dis-prove the viability of what your customer is asking to do
Create a resource called Vendor X. Assign Vendor X to tasks for the 2 week iteration -- RTC will tell you how many task hours are assigned to the Vendor X resource.  Find out from the vendor how many hours they can do for that two week period.  Adjust the assigned work hours up or down.  After the two week period, see how much of the total work was actually completed.  If this works over 3-4 iterations, you have a workable process.  If not, take a step back and consider changing the process.

Recommendation:
Move to an agile development approach. Agile is not a silver bullet but it will make it painfully obvious where the problems lie so they can be solved over time using continuous improvement.






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Gary Mullen-Schultz commented Nov 06 '12, 7:52 a.m.

Thanks, Richard.  Working with the customer now.

Gary


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Richard Knaster (23817) | answered Nov 02 '12, 11:25 p.m.
Gary:

You can use the Work Environment page in the User editor to define a user's work location, work days and hours, and team assignments (by percentage). Set the time zone and regional settings for the user's work location to match the user's settings for Regional and Language Options, which are available in the Windows Control Panel.  All users can modify their own Work Environment information.

You can do this on an individual user basis not a team.  I'm not sure why you want to track the vendor's allocation of people to the project or include their detailed tasks, unless they are using Team Concert.  I suppose you could create a dummy user to represent a team, if you do not want to enter the individual team members allocation.

Can you please describe what the goals of your customer are?

Procedure

  1. Right-click a user name:
    • In the Team Organization view
    • In the Project Area view Overview page Members list
    • In the Team Area view Overview page Members list
    • In a plan on the Planned Items page
    Click Open.
  2. In the User editor, click the Work Environment tab.
  3. Set the time zone and regional settings (language).
  4. Select an entry in the Work Days list and click Change to modify the work day status and times.
  5. Modify the percentage of the user's time assigned to the displayed teams in the Work Assignments list. To add or remove teams for this user, open a team area in the Team Organization view and add or remove this user from the Members list.


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Gary Mullen-Schultz (28725536) | answered Nov 03 '12, 1:36 p.m.
Richard:

Thanks for the response.  I know how to set a user's work environment.

The customer views the vendor as a "team," but does not know or care how many people are on it.  That vendor will have a certain number of work items to complete, each of which will have an hour estimate.  I know that I can create a team to represent the vendor, and assign work to it via a Category mapping.  I can then see how many hours have been completed by the vendor out of the total as work items are closed.

What I cannot see, however, is whether that vendor is overloaded.  Say that we know that the vendor is capable of completing 400 hours worth of work items every week.  I'd like to be able to see in a two-week iteration that assigning 900 hours to the vendor will result in overload.

Does that better explain our goals?

Thanks again, Gary

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