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Successful Project Management: Modifying the Project Schedule

Assigning Overtime

Asking people to work longer hours is another strategy for shortening a project schedule. By working beyond the normal day, they can complete tasks in fewer days. If people earn a salary and don’t earn any extra for working longer hours, the project price tag doesn’t go up. However, this sort of overtime abuse won’t work for long. Employees get tired of long hours. Morale decreases and employee turnover increases—both of which negatively affect your project. If people are paid overtime rates, your project costs do increase. In addition, you have to consider whether people could do more beneficial work with that time.

You can assign resources to work overtime in a couple of ways. You use the Overtime Work field only when you pay resources more for overtime hours. Here are some of the techniques you can use:

  • Increase work hours for a period. If resources don’t earn premium overtime rates, you can assign longer hours for a period of time. To do this, in the Resource Sheet view, double-click the resource you want to set up for overtime. In the Resource Information dialog box, in the Resource Availability section, specify the start and end date for the overtime and the units, as shown in Figure 13-5.

  • Modify the working hours in a resource’s calendar. For example, you could specify the work hours for one Monday to start at 7:00 A.M. and end at 7:00 P.M.

    Figure 13-5

    Figure 13-5 You can specify a resource’s availability at different times.

  • Assign overtime hours paid at an overtime rate. If you pay more for overtime hours, you use overtime hours and the overtime rate in Project to calculate labor costs correctly. You set a resource’s overtime rate in the Resource Sheet’s Overtime Rate field.