- Trevor Bramwell, ICT Project Manager, Viridor Waste Management
- John Hansknecht, Director of Technology, University of Detroit Jesuit High School & Academy
- Brian Lasby, Project Manager, Toronto Catholic District School Board
- Jean Charles Parise, CIO & DSO, Office of the Auditor General of Canada
- Darren Schell, Associate Executive Director of IT Services, University of Lethbridge
- As CIO, you oversee a department that lacks the resource capacity to adequately meet organizational demand for new projects and services.
- More projects are approved by the steering committee (or equivalent) than your department realistically has the capacity for, and you and your staff have little recourse to push back. If you have a PMO – and that PMO is one of the few that provides usable resource capacity projections – that information is rarely used to make strategic approval and prioritization decisions.
- As a result, project quality and timelines suffer, and service delivery lags. Your staff are overallocated, but you lack statistical evidence because of incomplete estimates, allocations, and very little accurate data.
- IT’s capacity for new project work is largely overestimated. Much of IT’s time is lost to tasks that go unregulated and untracked (e.g. operations and support work, break-fixes and other reactive work) before project work is ever approved. When projects are approved, it is done so with little insight or concern for IT’s capacity to realistically complete that work.
- The shift to matrix work structures has strained traditional methods of time tracking. Day-to-day demand is chaotic, and staff are pulled in multiple directions by numerous people. As fast-paced, rapidly changing, interruption-driven environments become the new normal, distractions and inefficiencies interfere with productive project work and usable capacity data.
- The executive team approves too many projects, but it is not held to account for this malinvestment of time. Instead, it’s up to individual workers to sink or swim, as they attempt to reconcile, day after day, seemingly infinite organizational demand for new services and projects with their finite supply of working hours.
Impact and Result
- Instill a culture of capacity awareness. For years, the project portfolio management (PPM) industry has helped IT departments report on demand and usage, but has largely failed to make capacity part of the conversation. This research helps inject capacity awareness into project and service portfolio planning, enabling IT to get proactive about constraints before overallocation spirals, and project and service delivery suffers.
- Build a sustainable process. Efforts to improve resource management often falter when you try to get too granular too quickly. Info-Tech’s approach starts at a high level, ensuring that capacity data is accurate and usable, and that IT’s process discipline is mature enough to maintain the data, before drilling down into greater levels of precision.
- Establish a capacity book of record. You will ultimately need a tool to help provide ongoing resource visibility. Follow the advice in this blueprint to help with your tool selection, and ensure you meet the reporting needs of both your team and executives.
This guided implementation is a nine call advisory process.
Guided Implementation #1 - Take stock of organizational supply and demand
Call #1 - Assess how accountability for resource management is currently distributed.
Call #2 - Create a realistic estimate of project capacity.
Call #3 - Map all sources of demand on resources at a high level.
Guided Implementation #2 - Design a realistic resource management process
Call #1 - Set your seven dimensions of resource management.
Call #2 - Jump-start spreadsheet-based resource management with Portfolio Manager Lite.
Call #3 - Build on the workflow to determine how data will be collected and who will support the process.
Guided Implementation #3 - Implement sustainable resource management practices
Call #1 - Define the scope of a pilot and determine logistics.
Call #2 - Finalize resource management roles and responsibilities.
Call #3 - Brainstorm and plan for potential resistance to change, objections, and fatigue from stakeholders.
Book Your Workshop
Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.
Module 1: Take Stock of Organizational Supply and Demand
- Obtain a high-level view of current resource management practices.
- Identify current and target states of resource management maturity.
- Perform an in-depth time-tracking audit and gain insight into how time is spent on project versus non-project work to calculate realized capacity.
Key Benefits Achieved
- Assess current distribution of accountabilities in resource management.
- Delve into your current problems to uncover root causes.
- Validate capacity and demand estimations with a time-tracking survey.
Perform a root-cause analysis of resourcing challenges facing the organization.
- Root-cause analysis
Create a realistic estimate of project capacity.
- Tab 2 of the Resource Management Supply-Demand Calculator, the Time Audit Workbook, and survey templates
Map all sources of demand on resources at a high level.
- Tabs 3 and 4 of the Resource Management Supply-Demand Calculator
Validate your supply and demand assumptions by directly surveying your resources.
- Complete the Time Audit Workbook
Module 2: Design a Realistic Resource Management Process
- Construct a resource management strategy that aligns with your team’s process maturity levels.
- Determine the resource management tool that will best support your processes.
Key Benefits Achieved
Action the decision points in Info-Tech’s seven dimensions of resource management.
- A wireframe for a right-sized resource management strategy
Review resource management tool options, and depending on your selection, prepare a vendor demo script or review and set up Info-Tech’s Portfolio Manager Lite.
- A vendor demo script or Info-Tech’s Portfolio Manager Lite.
Customize a workflow and process steps within the bounds of your seven dimensions and informed by your tool selection.
- A customized resource management process and Resource Management Playbook.
Module 3: Implement Sustainable Resource Management Practices
- Develop a plan to pilot your new processes to test whether you have chosen the right dimensions for maintaining resource data.
- Develop a communication plan to guide you through the implementation of the strategy and manage any resistance you may encounter.
Key Benefits Achieved
- Identify and address improvements before officially instituting the new resource management strategy.
- Identify the other factors that affect resource productivity.
- Implement a completed resource management solution.
Develop a pilot plan.
- Process Pilot Plan Template
Perform a resource management start/stop/continue exercise.
- A refined resource management process informed by feedback and lessons learned
Develop plans to mitigate executive stakeholder, team, and structural factors that could inhibit your implementation.
- Stakeholder management plan
Finalize the playbook and customize a presentation to help explain your new processes to the organization.
- Resource Management Communications Template
After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.