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When planning a project, the one thing that has the most risk yet seems talked about the least is the people doing the project.  Time, risk, quality all are dependent on having the right people doing the work.  

I think we all know that, yet my experience has been the “people” and the “task” conversations tend to be separate.  

Tasks are never separate from the people.  So how do you account for people in your project plan…

  1. Early on, make an assessment of your team’s skills. Include how fast they can accomplish something and at what quality level.  
  2. You don’t always get to change who is on the team. While it is important to get the “right people in the right seat on the bus”, that can take time. So understanding who you have and how they effect the timing of your project plan is important to the success of your plan. 
  3. Identify who on the team are single point failures. Develop risk management plans if something should take them off your project. 

Understanding that people are not robots and that the schedule has to be flexible to absorb the unpredictability of people is key to a strong, executable project plan. 

Be intentional