Let me start with an obvious statement, You can't execute a project if you don't have available people. However, what we encounter far too often is that organizations don't perform any sort of Resource Planning, Resource Analysis, Capacity Planning, Resource Management or whatever buzzword name we want to give it this week. Here are 5 tips to consider for effectively managing your resources to deliver projects and manage your portfolio.
First, consider that people are people. We haven't been replaced by robots yet so all of this has a high level of "Art" to it and not so much science. However, as discussed on a recent episode of Project Management Office Hours, PPM tools are starting to utilize AI and Learning Capabilities to help us better understand data leading to smarter decision making.
In this series of posts we'll review our 5 Tips to improve Resource Management within your organization. Every organization is different so maybe some of these fit for your team or perhaps all could make a difference for you. Either way we'd love to hear from you with your experiences and comments on what working for your team.
Tip #1 Allocation
Tip #2 Effort vs Duration
Tip #3 Collecting Data
Tip #4 PPM Tools
Tip #5 People are People too
Tip #1 - Allocation
How do you determine what allocation to use when planning resources on projects? Do you plan for 100% of your resource time to be spent on the project? Are resources split between sustaining work and project work so you split them 50/50? What about overhead? How do you account for Vacation, Holidays, Sick time, Company Meetings, etc? It is unrealistic to think that anyone operates at 100% effectiveness, so how about re-work, coffee breaks, drop in visits from co-workers and customers or any other daily distraction. Taking all of that into consideration I advise starting with a Rule of 60s.
It works like this, take the resource assignment spread then multiply by 60% to determine his/her allocation. For instance, if the resource is 100% assigned to a single project without any other assignments, take 100 x 60% to give you 60% allocation on the project. If a resource is split between two items 50/50 then 50 x 60% = 30% allocation per item.
Think that seems excessive? Consider the following: (hours over a year)
Add all that up and you get 870 hours per year spent not directly working on the project. Take that across 2080 hours per year and you are at 42%. I'll round it off to 60% availability and there you have it, the Rule of 60s.
In our next post we'll discuss Tip #2 - Effort vs Duration.