The human capital is a major asset for engineering companies. On-time completion of project tasks and cost effectiveness are contingent on proper allocation of human resources. In practice, most engineering mangers assign resources according to availability without considering the level of employee’s expertise while making the assignment decision. This may result in lower quality of design production or a difficulty in meeting deadlines in case an employee requires training or coaching. To better attain project requirements, the assignment practice could be improved by including resource characteristics and critical project information. This paper is part of an ongoing study that aims to develop a reliable resource assignment mathematical model that takes into account engineers’ years of experience, their level of familiarity with different software programs used by the company, and other task-related attributes. Examples of the latter include scheduled submission date, and range of estimated period required to complete a task. The output of the model consists of assignment variables through pairing a group of human resources to a group of tasks with the objective of minimizing project duration and cost while maximizing resource utilization. Extensions to the model can allow engineering managers to monitor and control the progress of the project or the lack thereof.
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