At this point, everything is going well:
- The project plan is well defined,
- The tasks are correctly sized,
- You know how to use the experience of previous projects to update your project plan,
- And you know how to identifiy the critical tasks of a project taking into account the resources.
But, there are several projects that use the same resources. So, how do you manage this?
Most people will tell you that having a project management tool that collects load and capacity will help you drive your choices. This is simply not true.
Most load / capacity tools will display this information and that’s it.
The tools will not tell you what to do, how to do it and the consequences that your choices will have on the end dates of current or future projects.
Even worse… To date, we haven’t encounter a company that, by using the load / capacity features and showing a significant load problem, was able to convince a management team to hire to alleviate the problem.
Indeed, we observe that hiring to support project teams is triggered more by the projects won (and their stakes) than by the specific resource load associated with them.
Why, despite these precise tools, are they still not used to make decisions? Simply because they do not reflect the load/capacity of the teams.
Indeed, as the teams work in multitasking, on several projects in parallel, while having operational activities to carry out; how much confidence do you attribute to a load / capacity diagram, which will take into account this context partially? Or that will be forced to make assumptions about the distribution of hours to arrive at a load calculation?
Our recommendation is simple; stop measuring the load/capacity of your project teams to make decisions… or just to try to set up a schedule that would take into account all the loads/capacities of everyone.
The only thing we recommend is to identify, at the project portfolio level, the resource (or function) that is the most loaded over a given period.
This way, you can identify the potential bottleneck resource and drive your decisions (of project launch, recruitment, etc.) based on what is being achieved by the bottleneck. The irony of this action is that 100% of the time; your team knows this critical resource and doesn’t need a load/capacity tool to tell you.
It is therefore the decision mechanics that are the problem at this stage and not the knowledge of loads/capacities…
We give you an appointment for the season 3, with the pipeline…