September 28 & 29, 2020 | Virtual
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I don't know that there is a single best way to do it, but there are a number of considerations such as cost accounting, how you plan to manage the individual projects, business strategy, etc.
Since multiple projects depend on the network changes, I would generally consider the network change a separate project from the portfolio of product development projects, all under a single program. We call that network development "enabling architecture", as it is infrastructure which enables or supports the execution of projects.
For one, if it is split out, the budget is not tied to a single project burdening it with all the cost, nor are you trying to split the cost between the many projects it supports which is always problematic. There are potential color-of-money issues, such as how the capital investment is treated for tax purposes.
To integrate those plans, I would build a program level schedule for all involved projects. The top line would be a selected set of milestones for the network development necessary to support the projects. Each portfolio project would also have a line with a set of selected milestones that are dependent on the network plan. When you move a milestone on any project, the program must evaluate whether it affects the other plans; the network schedule milestones are the most significant because they can affect all other projects.
Since each project should have a staffing curve based on the individual schedules, when you move milestones around, you will see the overall labor distribution change. If you have critical resources that are shared by multiple projects, like one super-SME who works on them all, you want a resource calendar as well which is tied to the milestones, so that you can tell when specific functions become overloaded due to schedule overlap.
Use if resource calendar's as mentioned above will bring clarity on resource utilisation
There are capital projects that the network team would like to drive and then the majority are required due to other projects. I really like your term, "enabling architecture". I think that could be formed into a program as you described to monitor milestones and resources.
I will start building that out and reach back out with any follow up questions.
If when you stated PM you are taking about project manger then portfolio is not a concern of a project manager. If you are talking about a portofilo where network is part of it then you have to consider it inside the universe of investment. Sorry if I did not understand your post.
Congratulation on your promotion at PM (Portfolio Manager).
Not sure about what you're looking for
I would organize the pieces of information in a visual way to help better understand. That should permit to better organize the sequencing.
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