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A preliminary approach for modelling and planning the composition of engineering project teams

Coates, G. and Duffy, A.H.B. and Hills, W. and Whitfield, I. (2007) A preliminary approach for modelling and planning the composition of engineering project teams. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 221 (7). pp. 1255-1265. ISSN 0954-4054

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Abstract

Managing engineering projects is a complex activity involving multiskilled engineers, who have varying levels of capability in these skills. This paper outlines a preliminary approach to modelling and planning the composition of engineering project teams, taking into consideration the skills and capabilities of engineers and the nature of the project work to be undertaken. The approach includes a simple means of identifying engineers' skills and then quantifying their level of capability in these skills. Subsequently, the approach uses a genetic algorithm along with a task-to-engineer allocation strategy to establish how best to utilize the mix of skills and capabilities of the team of engineers assigned to the project under consideration. The approach also provides a means of identifying imbalances or shortfalls in skill and capability within a team, and the formulation of an appropriate development strategy to redress/overcome them. An application of the approach to an industrial case study is presented, which led to significant potential reductions in expected project duration and labour cost. These potential reductions could be achieved by appropriately modelling engineers' skills and capabilities, and redressing the imbalance within the team through proposed changes to its composition.