Do people in your office work from 9am to around 5.30pm with a short break for lunch? They probably work much later than that, but let’s just take that as an example. So, when you’re doing your resource planning, you can book them for around 7.5 hours per day, right? Wrong! Let’s work this out.
On a good day
|Lunch (it’s good practice to allow people an hour, even if they don’t take it)||1h||7h 30m|
|Tea, coffee, water, smoking breaks (4 x 15m)||1h||6h 30m|
|Distractions – chatting (how dare they), emails, Facebook, phone calls, instant messaging etc etc||30m||6h|
|Toilet breaks (yep, this is a reality so I’m including it – a conservative 2 x 10m)||20m||5h 40m|
That’s right, 5h 40m if they leave “on time.” But they don’t—I wonder why?
On a bad day
|Delays getting to work (traffic, train delays etc)||20m||8h 10m|
|Computer problems (we’ve all had them)||40m||7h 30m|
|Tea, coffee, water, smoking breaks (4 x 15m)||1h||5h 30m|
|Toilet breaks||20m||4h 10m|
4h 10m! OK, so the last example might be a bit extreme but lots of us have had days like this.
Distractions, especially, are not to be underestimated. I once worked in an office where the entire creative department would play “shove ha’penny” just to decide whose turn it was to make the tea! This exercise would take around 15 mins each time. And they drank a lot of tea!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it should be all work, work, work. But we need to be realistic about how much time there is in a day for constructive work. It’s not as much as you might think.
Why do projects fail?
There are lots of reasons projects fail and I believe this is one of the biggest. Project Managers base their project plans on unrealistic productivity. The kind of productivity you might get from a robot. People simply do not do 7 hours work per day unless they work late. And this is precisely why so many of us do end up working late. Because the project plans are unrealistic.
We’ve designed Resource Guru to ensure that you can specify realistic daily availability for your resources. We believe this will lead to projects that have a better chance of success and staff who will feel less like robots.
What’s the maximum amount of time you can book resources in your office? Does all this ring a bell with you? I’d love to hear, so please comment below!
Learn more realistic approaches to project scheduling in our free guide to resource management