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Issue with managing resources



As a project manager you are responsible for deployment of a software solution for a customer. But you are far behind the schedule because the design of the software solution has not been completed yet, and the SME suddenly quit the job. The Current CPI is 0.85. How would you proceed?
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The word SME can have different connotations

Question :- Is the SME a design expert who was actively working on the design of the software or are they someone with background knowledge of a legacy system or the key person to tell you the User Requirements?

If they are someone who is designing the software, depending on the technology used, if they are a Java Programmer or a .Net Expert , you need to replace them

Second Question :- what kind of organisation are you in ? is it Matrix or is it Projectized? If matrix, then the resource manager needs to tell you what's the earliest they can replace him

Third Question :- Does this organization use a Body shop or has partnership with a company who can readily give them another resource and in quick time?

Fourth Question :- is rest of the team capable of picking up the slack and work , albeit delayed delivery , or was this person the Single Point of Failure?

Now these were Human Resource concerns

Now to come to your CPI . So you have blown the budget. Can you use contingency funds if they were marked for this purpose to start with?

If you don't have contingency funds, you need a Change Request

But you will need a Change Request for schedule as well because you are not going to deliver if this resource was a key resource

So Off you go to the Steering Committee with a Change Request on Time and Cost .



Given, scope unaltered, review Design WBS(break a critical task into smaller tasks that can be worked on at the same time by different resources) by onboarding low billing(for CPI) application architects(keeping in view of minimal learning curve) for crashing tasks to catch up on schedule. Please advise for better alternatives. Thanks...
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 15, 2017 11:08 AM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks for the insight Sourabh. Since this is a critical project for the customer, it's very important to have the customer approval and acceptance moving forward.



Anish -

This project is facing multiple issues - schedule delay, cost overruns and loss of key resources. As usual, without more context, it depends...

Assuming the team has a clear understanding of the "must haves" for the customer including an understanding of what's most important re: schedule, scope, quality, you'd want to work with them to come up with a recommended plan of recovery which would be approved by your customer and would most likely require a contract change.

You will likely need to escalate within your organization to secure a qualified, replacement SME ASAP and your company will most likely have to "eat" those costs...

Kiron
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 15, 2017 11:20 AM
Anish Abraham
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I agree with you on this, Kiron. Unfortunately the sponsor didn't approved the funding for hiring a new SME, so it looks like we will have to work with the available resources for the next few months.



Dec 15, 2017 2:19 AM
Replying to Sourabh Banerjee
...
Given, scope unaltered, review Design WBS(break a critical task into smaller tasks that can be worked on at the same time by different resources) by onboarding low billing(for CPI) application architects(keeping in view of minimal learning curve) for crashing tasks to catch up on schedule. Please advise for better alternatives. Thanks...
Thanks for the insight Sourabh. Since this is a critical project for the customer, it's very important to have the customer approval and acceptance moving forward.



Dec 15, 2017 8:29 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Anish -

This project is facing multiple issues - schedule delay, cost overruns and loss of key resources. As usual, without more context, it depends...

Assuming the team has a clear understanding of the "must haves" for the customer including an understanding of what's most important re: schedule, scope, quality, you'd want to work with them to come up with a recommended plan of recovery which would be approved by your customer and would most likely require a contract change.

You will likely need to escalate within your organization to secure a qualified, replacement SME ASAP and your company will most likely have to "eat" those costs...

Kiron
I agree with you on this, Kiron. Unfortunately the sponsor didn't approved the funding for hiring a new SME, so it looks like we will have to work with the available resources for the next few months.



It sounds like
1. the resource management plan did not cover cross-training and knowledge transfer, and
2. there was no risk identified/managed around losing this key SME.

You're going to have difficult choices to make. If you don't have the budget to get another SME, that means you also don't have the budget for staff to work overtime. Unless you can push out the project target date, you are faced with reducing the scope.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 15, 2017 2:32 PM
Anish Abraham
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I hear you Stephane. Yes, it looks like a difficult choice to make. I have some experience in this domain, so will have to look at various options. Thanks for your feedback.



Dec 15, 2017 12:56 PM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
...
It sounds like
1. the resource management plan did not cover cross-training and knowledge transfer, and
2. there was no risk identified/managed around losing this key SME.

You're going to have difficult choices to make. If you don't have the budget to get another SME, that means you also don't have the budget for staff to work overtime. Unless you can push out the project target date, you are faced with reducing the scope.
I hear you Stephane. Yes, it looks like a difficult choice to make. I have some experience in this domain, so will have to look at various options. Thanks for your feedback.

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