How can I assign multiple responsible people to a single Task in PPO like I can in Microsoft Project?

This cannot be done in PPO. This is not a PPO shortcoming or lack of functionality but is based on the principle (best practice) of holding a single person responsible / accountable for a piece of work (whether it is a Task, Issue or Risk).

Microsoft Project allows for the practice of assigning multiple people to a single task, but this does not mean that this is the correct practice.

If a single task is allocated to multiple people, what does that mean? Does it mean two people are going to do the same thing or that if one does it then the others don’t have to?

This requirement comes mainly from users who have been using Microsoft Project and have become accustomed to allocating multiple resources to a single task. This does not mean responsibility; it means multiple resources are allocated to the same task mainly for resource planning / capacity reasons.

The reason that PPO does not allow a single task to be assigned to multiple responsible employees is based on a best practice principle. It’s highly unlikely that an enhancement request to allow this will be considered in the future. Other large organisations have come to understand the principle, agree with it and have modified the way in which they do planning when using Microsoft Project. They have found that the proposed single task per person scheduling way is better and provides greater tracking ability and improved accountability and responsibility.

Examples to consider include:

  • Task - Review Scope of Work
    • If a single task like this is allocated to three people and the first person completes the tasks and marks it as complete does it mean the task is complete (i.e. all three people have reviewed it) or does it mean the task is complete for all (one of the three has done it and thus the other two do not need to)? The solution to this would be to raise three separate tasks, called Review Scope of Work, on the three people that need to do this. Then, as each person completes their tasks, you can track who has done it and who has not.
  • Task - Develop Iteration 1
    • If a single task like this is allocated to three people, it probably means (as per the example above) that the planning has not been completed to a sufficient level of detail. The solution would be to break up the development of Iteration 1 into smaller chunks that could be assigned to a single person.
This issue is not unique to PPO with vendors of other systems receiving similar requests. On this note, please see links to relevant articles below:
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