The Enterprise Resource Pool

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.

A CEO I have done some work for in the past called me recently to ask for some assistance with a problem he was having. His company had recently implemented portfolio management, and as part of that they had made a number of changes to the way annual planning was handled.

The company now conducted portfolio modeling—looking at how the resource needs of the proposed mix of projects aligned with the number of people available, as well as their skill sets. The problem the CEO was facing was that despite only approving projects the modeling analysis said they were able to deliver, they were still finding they didn’t have enough people to complete the work, and they couldn’t figure out why.

In conducting an investigation into the planning (portfolio and project) and estimating processes, I expected to find problems between the high-level planning estimates and the more detailed project estimates. I’m sure you have all seen situations where an apparently manageable high-level estimate in a business case has become a much more significant amount of work once the project-level plan is developed. However, that wasn’t the case—the situation was more complex than that, and it provides a good case study for this month’s organizational project management theme.

Segregation creates wastage
When the organization was undertaking its portfolio…

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"If they have moving sidewalks in the future, when you get on them, I think you should have to assume sort of a walking shape so as not to frighten the dogs."

- Jack Handey

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