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Work Ratio Model


Key Question: Are there enough resources to complete the remaining effort?

"The first rule of successful project management requires that the work effort not exceed the resources allocated to the project. This planning rule, expressed as a ratio of remaining work effort to the amount of resource hours, is called the Work Ratio. During all phases of the project and at any time in the project phase, this ratio must be less than or equal to 1. If the work ratio ever exceeds 1, the project is in jeopardy."

1  ≥  Remaining work effort (estimate to complete)/
        Number of resources*work hours per week*number of remaining weeks to the
        scheduled end date

"In this model, the work hours per week may not be the standard 40 hours; it may be less and usually is. It must be adjusted to accurately reflect resource productivity (for example, 80 percent) and availability of the resources (for example, 4 hours per day = 50 percent). An 8-hour day at 80 percent productivity and 50 percent availability yields 3.2 hours available for work (8*.50*.80). As this ratio becomes greater than 1, the initial tendency is to have people work more hours per week, starting the proverbial 'death march' of the project."


The above is an excerpt from a book written by Sanjiv Purba and Joseph Zucchero, published by McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2100 Powell Street, 10th Floor, Emeryville, California 94608 U.S.A. Sanjiv has over 20 years of experience managing large projects and many years engaged in rescuing ailing projects.