Program Level PM Allocation

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I was approached by the head of a PMO who was launching a major new program. This was a huge initiative that would consume more than half of the project management capacity of the organization for the next three years. They had spent a long time working out how to break the program down into separate initiatives and had explored a number of different models before finalizing the projects that would make up the program.

Her team had done a very good job of scoping out the high level plans--establishing the major program level milestones, identifying the projects that would require support from outside suppliers (and the timelines for engaging those suppliers) and building the key gates and the verification that would occur at each stage.

Where she was now looking for my assistance was in terms of assigning PMs to the projects. She knew who she wanted to assign to the projects that were kicking off immediately and had taken steps to ensure that they were available, backfilling their current projects with replacement PMs as needed. She just wasn’t sure what to do about the projects that were scheduled to start in the future--should she assign PMs now or wait until the projects were ready to kick off?

The issues
She wanted to assign PMs to as many of the projects as possible now, when the program was starting. Her argument was that she wanted to send a …

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