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How to account for limited resources on multiple projects
Managing resources for a vital project, when the resources are also assigned to other projects, might make it difficult to show the impact those resources have on each project. I'm thinking Change Management, and having resource/hand-off dependencies in the project plan, to show how the loss of one of those resources can affect any of the projects, particularly the more vital project.

Any better solutions?
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You account for your resource availability in your project schedule i.e. if a resource is working on multiple projects your schedule would not allocate said resource 100% thus the tasks/ the resource is allocated to will take longer to complete. Resource management is not an exact science because there are many different external factors that can influence your plan but understanding what percentage of their time will be available to your project will be enough to baseline.

Change management is more relevant to managing scope changes than resource changes, but if it is big enough to actually impact deliverable within a timeframe then you probably could implement a change management process. I personally have never done that.
Marcus, the situation you mention is very practical. In these days, we don't have the luxury of a complete project organization. Part of the team comes from shared resource pool or specialists from other organization. Resource availability can be managed in the project plan as % availability of the resource. You should have an enterprise level view of all project plans, so that the resource availability can be correctly represented.
First of all is to say that what you stated is a program manager problem to solve, not a project manager problem to solve. That´s because the program manager has the enough visibility for that. Second, the problem for you are the projects where you are assigned. Then, in the very begining, before a project exists, the business analyst with help of program manager must elicit it and is a best practice to put it inside the business case. With that on hand when you are assigned to a project you have to pay attention to project dependencies which have to be stated in the project charter as a best practice. When you have to create estimations is time to talk with the project managers assigned to those projects to evaluate resources. But, in fact the sooner the better.
Marcus,

read up on Theory of Constraints and look into Critical Chain scheduling as one way of dealing with this tactically but also strategically by educating leaders on the importance of effective portfolio management practices.

Kiron
@Anton, @Nishant, @Sergio, @Kiron, much appreciate the responses. This is very valuable information. The situation sounds practical, as well as the potential solutions mentioned.

Marcus
Dear Marcus
Program managers rsponsibility is to ensure necessary and essential resources are available for all the connected projects .The necessity and essentiality and ensuring their availability at the the decided scheduled time is one of the important keys for successful program.
The scheduling program availability is quite complex as requirement can happen many times overlapping with each other. The scheduling with critical chain method for every component project is essential and resource scheduling need be arrived at to ensure least overlapping of necessary and essential resource. If
"limited" means in adequate after consideration of required as per contingency plan then certainly some or other is bound to suffer in terms of delays in delivering.My worry is such limitedness can have cascading adverse impacts on involved projects in program delivery as a whole.Such likely situation must be communicated to Sponsor and steering committee for bringing in pressure to agree and release the required essential resources for the program and it's components.There is no other go.
Warm regards
Mohan
@Mohan, I certainly appreciate your valuable comments. Many thanks.
Marcus,
portfolio resource constrained scheduling determines what resources must do what and when taking into account project priorities and all existing constraints. This is typical portfolio (not project!) management task.
Marcus,

I have seen many organizations fail in trying to manage resources centrally, especially when using PPM tools. Typically resources are overcommitted (seen 300% plan vs capacity), and resource owners are a engaging in a bazaar like meeting every week.

I would recommend to leave work allocation to the people themselves, empower them and trust them. But also protect them, so make sure you help them to shield of requests. I have used a bottleneck list on the portfolio level to identify the key resources (typically only about 5%), and allow them to focus and not multitask. And midterm build new people who can support their workload. CCM could do wonders here.
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2 replies by Thomas Walenta and Vladimir Liberzon
Jun 29, 2020 6:36 AM
Vladimir Liberzon
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Hi Thomas,
I have an opposite experience. Centralized resource management helps to solve resource conflicts and justify resource allocations. It also helps to avoid bazaars that you mentioned.
If in your cases resources were overcommitted then their portfolio management and PPM tools were very poor. Resource constrained portfolio leveling does not permit to overcommit any resource.
Jun 29, 2020 8:13 AM
Thomas Walenta
...
Hi Vladimir,

good for you, and probably you have helped many of those organizations to get mature (no irony here).

Without proper project selection and prioritization, resource allocation will fail, same with estimates which are not trusted. So resource management can only be successful after some basics are set.

In a survey available at IIL, it says
'Resource conflicts and work overload for critical resources were reported by 73 percent of respondents, with the U.S. commercial sector reporting 85.6 percent.' and
'Fewer than half of respondents agree that a consistent approach for screening, prioritizing, selecting and approving projects is defined and applied in their PPM process.'

Some other survey stated, that the most effective PM tool was indeed PPM, the prioritization part. So still work to do. And it does not go away with agile.
Jun 29, 2020 6:11 AM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
...
Marcus,

I have seen many organizations fail in trying to manage resources centrally, especially when using PPM tools. Typically resources are overcommitted (seen 300% plan vs capacity), and resource owners are a engaging in a bazaar like meeting every week.

I would recommend to leave work allocation to the people themselves, empower them and trust them. But also protect them, so make sure you help them to shield of requests. I have used a bottleneck list on the portfolio level to identify the key resources (typically only about 5%), and allow them to focus and not multitask. And midterm build new people who can support their workload. CCM could do wonders here.
Hi Thomas,
I have an opposite experience. Centralized resource management helps to solve resource conflicts and justify resource allocations. It also helps to avoid bazaars that you mentioned.
If in your cases resources were overcommitted then their portfolio management and PPM tools were very poor. Resource constrained portfolio leveling does not permit to overcommit any resource.
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