Develop a Resource Management Strategy for the New Reality

Reclaim project capacity with realistic resource management.

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Your Challenge

  • As portfolio manager, you’re responsible for communicating portfolio performance and capacity for new projects to your steering committee. You need to help them make insightful intake decisions based on accurate information.
  • You rely on project managers for up-to-date project data and you provide them with the tools they need for aggregating project stats, managing resources, and delivering regular status reports.
  • The steering committee approves more projects than you have capacity for. Even if you’re in the minority of PMOs that provide usable resource capacity projections, that information isn’t used.
  • Resources are over-allocated, but you lack statistical evidence because of incomplete estimates, allocations, and very little accurate data.
  • Projects are delayed or backlogged and you can’t determine if this issue is due to a resource shortage or an inability to estimate.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Resource management suffers from a fundamental misconception about the availability of time. 
  • In theory, people have 40 hours/week “available.” Multiplied by the number of FTEs, this is the organization’s “potential capacity.” 
  • But in IT, much of that time is not realistically available to be allocated. It’s spent before project work is assigned – on operations and support, reactive work, and consumed by continuous partial attention that has become a daily reality for everyone in IT. 
  • Realistic resource management is about matching the true available capacity to allocation.

Impact and Result

  • Assess how resource management operates in your organization and where time is spent.
  • Allocate project work properly and establish more stable project timelines. Develop a reasonable and manageable approximation of resource supply and demand.
  • Tailor your resource management strategy based on your own capacity to manage the data.

Contributors

  • 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

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  • Upcoming Workshops: Accelerate your project with an onsite, expert analyst to facilitate a workshop for you. Contact us for more details.

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Get to Action

  1. Make the case for a resource management strategy

    Understand the schools of thought surrounding resource management and establish the relevance of this project.

  2. Assess the current state of resource management

    Assess processes, policies, project lists, and resource lists. Calculate potential capacity and resource demand.

  3. Perform a time-tracking audit

    Track resources’ actual time using this audit. Identify where resource time is spent and where problems are arising.

  4. Define the resource management strategy

    Identify the core dimensions with which to manage resources and integrate these into the resource management strategy.

  5. Pilot and validate the strategy

    Ensure that the dimensions chosen are right-sized to resource management needs.

  6. Develop a resource management roadmap for reclaiming project capacity

    Anticipate, plan, and address barriers and opportunities that influence the success of the resource management strategy.

  7. Measure value

    Measure how capacity has changed since the implementation of the resource management strategy.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is an eight call advisory process.

    Guided Implementation #1 - Assess & audit

  • Call #1: Have a scoping call to establish the relevance of this project for your organization.

  • Call #2: Discuss your current state assessment and resource management maturity model.

  • Call #3: Implement the time-tracking audit and analyze the data.

  • Guided Implementation #2 - Develop strategy

  • Call #1: Determine the dimensions needed for your strategy.

  • Call #2: Discuss the piloting of the strategy and determine next steps.

  • Guided Implementation #3 - Execute & communicate roadmap

  • Call #1: Develop your roadmap for reclaiming capacity.

  • Call #2: Develop an action plan for maintaining data.

  • Call #3: Discuss changes in resource management maturity and measure value of project.

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Assess and Audit

The Purpose

  • Complete a business case to present to your stakeholders.
  • Obtain a high-level view of current resource management practices and identify current and target states of resource management maturity.
  • Perform an in-depth time-tracking audit in order to gain insight into how time is spent on project versus non-project work in order to calculate realized capacity.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Communicate the costs and benefits of completing this project.
  • Have a high-level view of resource management maturity in your organization.
  • Understand the difference between potential capacity and realized capacity.
  • Calculate your organization’s realized capacity.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Establish the measured value of completing a realistic resource management strategy.
  • Completed measured value assessment.
1.2 Populate Info-Tech’s Project Portfolio Management Workbook.
  • Completed PPM workbook.
1.3 Determine your level of resource management maturity.
1.4 Determine potential capacity.
1.5 Complete a SWOT analysis.
1.6 Define goals and scope of the audit.
  • Completed Time Audit Workbook.
1.7 Communicate the audit goals and implement.
  • Completed Time-Tracking Survey Email Template.
1.8 Calculate realized capacity.
1.9 Communicate the results of the audit to confirm executive buy-in.

Module 2: Develop Strategy

The Purpose

  • Construct a resource management strategy that aligns with the new reality.
  • Pilot the strategy in order to test whether you have chosen the right dimensions for maintaining resource data.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identify the ideal dimensions to move forward with the resource management project.
  • Determine a realistic amount of time and effort to dedicate towards maintaining the strategy.
  • Identify and address improvements before officially instituting the new resource management strategy.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Determine the default project vs. non-project ratio.
  • Completed Resource Management Strategy template.
2.2 Determine the dimensions of the resource management strategy.
  • Customized PMO Coordinator Job Description.
2.3 Analyze viability and effectiveness using a SWOT analysis.

Module 3: Execute and Communicate the Roadmap

The Purpose

  • Develop a roadmap to guide you through the implementation of the strategy and manage any resistance you may encounter.
  • Measure the value of implementing the resource management strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identify the other factors that affect resource productivity.
  • Implement a completed resource management solution.
  • Measuring changes in resource management maturity since the implementation of the strategy.
  • Measuring the value of improving resource management maturity.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Brainstorm potential impact and implications of the new resource management strategy.
  • Completed Resource Management Roadmap.
3.2 Develop a plan to manage stakeholder and team resistance to the new strategy.
3.3 Brainstorm ways to reclaim project capacity.
3.4 Develop an action plan for maintaining the strategy.
3.5 Measure the value of implementing the resource management strategy.
  • Updated Time Audit Workbook.
  • Completed measured value template.

Workshop Icon 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 road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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Hide Details

Search Code: 75936
Published: September 11, 2014
Last Revised: January 26, 2015

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