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Topics: PMO, Resource Management, Scheduling
Manage shared resources in a Program.
To manage a Program, planning tools with resource sharing capabilities are very useful. MS Project can handle resource pools and provides immediate warnings about overallocation, but if the MPP files are stored on SharePoint this is no longer possible. Which tools as you using to share and manage over allocations in your Projects?
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You may try Smartsheet Software, which gives you the possibility of visualizing a Schedule dashboard with the projects assigned to each resource. Another good option is Monday.com.
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1 reply by Antonio Gaspar
Dec 07, 2020 4:25 PM
Antonio Gaspar
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Hi Veronica,

Thank you for your reply, that is definitely an alternative.
Did you have any experience with Project Online?

Best regards,
Antonio
Dec 07, 2020 12:03 PM
Replying to Verónica Elizabeth Pozo Ruiz
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You may try Smartsheet Software, which gives you the possibility of visualizing a Schedule dashboard with the projects assigned to each resource. Another good option is Monday.com.
Hi Veronica,

Thank you for your reply, that is definitely an alternative.
Did you have any experience with Project Online?

Best regards,
Antonio
How about Primavera P6 by applying to each activity resources.
Veronica and Alisher made good suggestions.
Can you use sharepoint as a "backup" file location and keep the active files somewhere else (even on your local hard drive)? My preference is to use MSP because I'm accustomed to the resource tracking within it.

Alternatively, you could set up a spreadsheet and do a manual copy/paste of the hours spent by each resource on each project, which actually gives you some really fantastic graphing options for resource usage & forecasting. I have done this successfully in my current and past positions. (MSP can do this pretty well on a Project Server or network location, but Excel can really take the information & graphs to another level). I don't think there is a way to attach files / jpg's here, otherwise I could post a redacted graph to show you what I mean. This typically takes me about 90/minutes to copy/paste the hours - slightly tedious but the results are magnificent. (And I'm sure someone smarter than me could export the data from MSP to Excel much more quickly and efficiently). Of course it depends on the number of projects and resource pools being tracked.
This problem varies a lot with the scale of your program. Task start dates, finish dates, and assigned people change constantly. If your program consists of over 100 people, and want to know the availability of each person, you will have an administrative nightmare that is never correct. It's a big driver for incremental planning, rolling waves, insert favorite term here.

In organizations with hundreds of people, tools like Primavera can roll up the planned workload to various levels of the org chart and you can get a sense of when certain teams or orgs will have or exceed capacity. If you are planning specific tasks or people however, especially if you certain tasks that require a specific expert, you need another method.

At a team level, resource calendars can be built showing who is working on what. To integrate those, there are a variety of methods like Kanban and Obeya boards. These involve getting the people together who manage the specific resource pools, and looking out 1 day, the week, two weeks ahead (depends on your project cadence), talking about who is working on what, and adjusting priorities based on current need.
Right tools solve overallocations automatically. This is called resource leveling. Another tool that is most helpful when resources are limited is skill scheduling.
If you define the skills of your resources and assign to activities not specific resources but skills the software will select who shall do what basing on resource availability, productivity, cost and user defined priorities.
Manual leveling rarely produces the best possible results and is very time consuming. So automatic resource leveling is the only practical way to manage limited resources in projects, programs and portfolios.
For resource constrained schedules optimization and skill scheduling use Spider Project (www.spiderproject.com), other tools do not have these capabilities.
I admit that in 40 years I never succeeded in planning resources so that they really worked on the tasks I tried to assign them to. I tried tools, not only MSP which is based on durations, but tools like open workbench which was based on efforts and could do a realistic (?) resource distribution. Probably similar to spider.

Just read an article by Dietmar Prudix (German only) that elaborates on the thesis that defensible resource planning is not possible. One main reason is that we are humans and not bricks.

In my last portfolio mgmt implementation we stopped short on resource mgmt and left it to the teams and resource managers.
Teams and Resource managers will not be able to help if the program was scheduled ignoring resource constraints.
I have opposite experience - we always plan and manage project resources, the same are doing our customers.
Spider Project is not similar to open workbench - different functionality, different algorithms, different approaches, different capabilities.
Humans are not bricks and this is why they are involved in project planning and plans allow for data uncertainty and risks.
By the way we distinguish between renewable (people, machines) and consumable (materials) resources. Bricks are consumable, people are renewable. So it is better to compare people with excavators.
I did not read an article of Dietmar Prudix but am sure that his conclusion is wrong based on my own experience and experience of our customers.

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