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Topics: Resource Management
Resource Management - where to start
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I am a new project manager (recently completed my PMP) and have been tasked with managing or overseeing projects for a team of 12. I have a list of projects that need to be complete but no visibility to resource management to see which resources I can plug in where. Can anyone recommend a source for me to go to learn more about tools for resource management when my company doesn't use any software for this situation? I was thinking there might be an Excel template somewhere or some other magic to help me manage resources across projects.
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Hi Sandra,

My recommendation is to start with Gantt chart. Welcome to Project Management
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Sandra,
Unfortunately I don't have a template, but I frequently work through this issue, and usually use Excel.

For each project, you need some estimate of the amount of time it will take for the PM, and how that will change in the future. For example, Project A takes 40% of one PM's time, will end in 6 months, and will be increasing in the near future. You can try to develop an hours spread, but that can become more work than it is worth.

Each project is assigned a PM with a target of assigning 70-80% of their lime to leading projects. A matrix of project to PM is typically used for this. You need to be forward looking so that you know if they are going to become overloaded, or they will soon have more capacity. When PMs are working multiple projects I try to provide them with a mix of 1 or 2 larger projects that will consume most of their time, and some smaller ones that don't require as much effort and can be worked while the larger ones are at a low point.

Try to keep it simple. Lots of detail probably won't be valuable and will take lots of time. Your primary goal is a visual indicator for both the current and future capacity for the team members, and the projected needs of each project. I have even seen simple color coding with green indicating they have capacity, and red indicating they are full or over-capacity.
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Such a system is not only going to rely on you but will rely on the resources themselves and/or the resources' managers to update the system in order for you to be able to schedule/utilize resources appropriately.
Network:211



How about a simple spreadsheet? I threw together a simple one in Google Sheets here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pB...dit?usp=sharing

It lists people, the projects they're on, and the number of hours per week that they are assigned to each project. It totals the hours per person, and has conditional formatting to highlight instances of overallocation and underutilization.

It would work well for 12 people (or even 100 people), as long as your focus is on the level of utilization of people. If you also need to be able to quickly see who is assigned to which projects, then I would reformat it a bit, and use a pivot table so that you can easily switch back and forth between views. (Or perhaps simply apply a filter to the projects column.)
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2 replies by Keith Novak and Sandra Atwood
Jun 04, 2019 8:59 AM
Sandra Atwood
...
Thank you so much. Appreciate your help and tips.
Jun 06, 2019 9:00 PM
Keith Novak
...
Thanks for that submission Eric! That looks a lot like what I do, and the conditional formatting gave me some great ideas for my own team's spreadsheet.

While I often find that time spreads for PM's time on individual projects can be a waste because it can change so rapidly, the coloring does make a really easy way to see not just current capacity issues but also the future ones too. The numbers don't have to be either accurate or precise to tell the important part of the story.

All models are wrong, but some are useful. ~ George Box
Network:49



Hi Sandra,

Congratulations on acquiring your PMP! Welcome to the profession of PM. I love managing projects - prefer Agile Scrum/Kanban, however, I can use traditional.

To add to the advice given, I recommend getting the most out of your projectmanagement.com membership.

Scroll to the top of this page-- look for Templates ---- Resource_Management. I reviewed the template and it should get you started.

As far as who to plug in where: in most companies the PM negotiates with the Functional Manager to get the resource (s) required to make the project successful.

Let me know if this helps and if you have further questions.
Network:13



Jun 01, 2019 6:04 PM
Replying to Eric Isom
...
How about a simple spreadsheet? I threw together a simple one in Google Sheets here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pB...dit?usp=sharing

It lists people, the projects they're on, and the number of hours per week that they are assigned to each project. It totals the hours per person, and has conditional formatting to highlight instances of overallocation and underutilization.

It would work well for 12 people (or even 100 people), as long as your focus is on the level of utilization of people. If you also need to be able to quickly see who is assigned to which projects, then I would reformat it a bit, and use a pivot table so that you can easily switch back and forth between views. (Or perhaps simply apply a filter to the projects column.)
Thank you so much. Appreciate your help and tips.
Network:877



I'm not sure if this functionality exists in other standalone tools, but if you are using Microsoft Project, you can create a resource pool in one MPP file, and then share the resources across multiple MPP files. This will help you with determining availability.

Server based tools, like MS Project Server, should already have a resource pool built in.
Network:11



Your investment in resource management should be discussed with your organisation to work out what approach you will be best to take. If your organisation has a lot of resources/projects and it would get value out of having a central resourcing schedule to show current and upcoming requirements then I would recommend looking into systems that can do this, many can link resourcing into project plans, budgets etc. If you are doing it only for your team (or while your organisation is investigating different systems) I would start with an excel spreadsheet as mentioned above. Resource management isn't as arduous as many people believe but it does require everyone pulling their own weight otherwise it can become a mess.
Network:561



Hi Sandra

Like our colleagues have said , A simple excel spreadsheet would be an excellent start
As a Project Manager , if you are managing one project you will be 100% on that project or if you are managing 2, you may split it according to the relative complexity or give them equal slice of time , say 50% each

Next you need to decide what types of resource you would need on each of the projects


Lets say on any given day they work a total of 8 hours. The question then would be

1) Can they be dedicated 50% of the working week on a project that you are managing ? say about 20 hours a week assuming that an average working week is 40 hours. then calculate the number of working days per month, knowing that in some months like December there may be public holidays or breaks. so lets say your project is of 6 months duration
Your 50% BA can work a total of 3 months, spread over 6 months, or in other words , 10 days a month on an average or 60 days on the project.

Do the similar math for all of your other 11 resources and then run it past them (if they report to you ) or their managers and ask them if they think it is achievable.

Then develop your project schedule or Gantt chart according to the availability of the resource and decide if you need resource leveling etc
Network:27182



You can create yours using Excel and templates.
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