Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just go to the local store to fill your project resource needs, and no more worrying about whether you will get the right resource (skillset) at the right time for your project, asks Lee R Lambert
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Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just go to the local store to fill your project resource needs, and no more worrying about whether you will get the right resource (skillset) at the right time for your project, asks Lee R Lambert.

One visit to the ‘resource store’ and your dreams will come true. Wake up! If resource management was that easy every project would be successful. There is no resource store.

Needs of multiple projects


Every organisation has a fixed number of resources that must be carefully allocated to satisfy the needs of multiple projects — projects that support the accomplishment of the organisation’s strategic objectives.

Whether you are a senior level manager, the owner of a skillset resource pool, or a project manager, the need to develop and manage comprehensive resource utilisation plans is not optional.

Every project has a scheduled completion date. Every project needs human resources to achieve the desired end result.

Project tasks require specific skillsets to assure the highest quality project work is completed on time within cost targets. Seems straightforward to me. What’s the big deal?

The ‘big deal’ is that effective and timely resource management can NOT be efficiently achieved manually.

The complexity of today’s organisations and the diversity of the projects that are undertaken demand reality-based initial resource utilisation planning and rapid response to the inevitable changes that occur during the project lifecycle.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if an automated enterprise-wide information management system to facilitate the organisation’s resource management efforts existed? Celebrate!

Such a system is available — NOW. It’s called project portfolio management (PPM) and it will seriously reduce the number of headaches that normally come with resource management.

Let me tell you a story about resource management. I was working one time with on a major ‘save the company’ project for a $1 billion German-owned medical diagnostic equipment company.

The competition had introduced a new product that had taken the market by storm resulting in the German company losing three points in market share — every month.

I had been contracted to manage a ‘work in process’ new product development project to stop the market share loss. The project was on a VERY tight (unrealistic) schedule.

One of the key technical tasks on the project schedule had been estimated by a SME resource to be eight days of effort. I was immediately concerned that the resource eventually assigned to the task was not as qualified (experienced) as the SME who had provided the original effort estimate and that it was far too optimistic.

I applied the ‘bait and switch’ formula. I assumed the assigned resource was 50 per cent as productive as the original SME and he was only available 25 per cent of the time.

The result was a new duration estimate of 64 days. This new estimated duration was inputted to the integrated project plan — the result was an unacceptable 56-day schedule slip.

Having a PPM solution in place


Fortunately, the resource allocation problem was discovered early and corrective action was taken. The project/product was delivered on time. Thanks to having a PPM solution in place.

The incredible success of the project in the market led to the company being acquired several years later for $11 billion. Could this success have been achieved without a robust PPM system to support the decision making process? I don’t think so.

Lee R Lambert.

The benefits of using a proven PPM are only limited by the user’s imagination. If your objective is significant improvement in the availability of information needed to support project and organisational decision making — you need a PPM system.

Remember, don’t ask what you can do for the ‘system’, ask what the ‘system’ can do for you?

Lee R Lambert is one of only 70 PMI fellows worldwide and a champion of Cora Systems.

To register for Lee R Lambert’s resource management webinar (November 21), click here: http://bit.ly/ResourcesGone.

 

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Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just go to the local store to fill your project resource needs, and no more worrying about whether you will get the right resource (skillset) at the right time for your project, asks Lee R Lambert. One visit to the 'resource store' and...