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Project Portfolio Management

Resource Management 101, Part 2: Current Workload or What the Heck Are We Working On!?

Published By Innotas Team

By: George Shaheen, Sales Consultant & Product Evangelist at Innotas

In part 1 of this series, we took a look at how we lay down a foundation for resource management success by documenting each of our people, their attributes, setting corporate calendars, and finally, out of office time.

Upon that strong foundation, we are going to build a picture of where we currently stand today. But before we can do that, how do we define current workload? Here is a simple equation to focus our thought:

Current Workload = (Project Work) + (Operational Work)

Let’s take a look at each of these pieces.

Project Work

We define project work as work that has a specific start and end, with a defined and specific objective. A few examples include application implementation projects, business process improvement projects, or enterprise workstation upgrade project. We need to understand the demand these projects put on our true capacity/supply.

In order to do that, we need at a minimum, the following information for each project both in progress and planned (so we can see demand into the future):

  • Project Title
  • Each Role the project requires (e.g. project manager, business analyst, etc):For each role, we need start date, end date, and headcount/FTE or number of hours needed
  • Each Resource fulfilling the defined Roles (e.g. Joe is the project manager, Jane is the business analyst, etc):For each resource, we need start date, end date, and headcount/FTE or number of hours assigned

Innotas comes standard with the ability to capture the above data, along with numerous other project attributes (we’ll get into those in part 3 of this series). Additionally, as you begin to get better at understanding how resources spend time on projects, Innotas will allow you to contour the allocations so you can show how different resources spend more time in different areas of the project. For example, a business analyst will spend more hours at the beginning of a project than the middle or the end. This provides an even more accurate picture of where resource constraints are located.

Operational Work

The second set of work that we need to capture is operation work. We define operational work as ongoing nonspecific work. That is, there is no start or end date for this work, and we are not too concerned with what exactly we are doing (fixing a phone, for instance). From a higher level resource management perspective, we are more concerned with how much time we are dedicated to types of work. So we capture this work categorically, the categories being what is important to your organization. A few examples of this might include time dedicated to help desk work, a specific application, or infrastructure work.

At a minimum, we need the following information:

  • Category Title (e.g. SAP, Infrastructure, Help Desk, etc)
  • Each Role the category requires (e.g. network engineer, junior help desk technician, etc):For each role, we need headcount/FTE or number of hours needed
  • Each Resource fulfilling the defined Roles (e.g. Joe is the network engineer, Jane is help desk technician, etc):For each resource, we need headcount/FTE or number of hours assigned

Innotas allows you to define these categories or buckets of work, assign the appropriate roles and resources to it, and define the time they will spend there. As you begin to get better at this, Innotas also allows the definition of sub-categories of work. For instance, you may want to break out the time spent on SAP by break/fix or enhancement work.

What now?

OK, so we’ve captured all this wonderful data. Great. But it’s pretty useless unless we can report on it in a way that makes sense. Innotas provides detailed capacity and demand screens that can show you how your resources are currently allocated from a resource, role, and project perspective for any time period, at any level of granularity, for any set of roles, resources, or projects.

With these screens, we can see how we are currently doing against our true capacity now and into the future from resource, role, and project perspectives. We now understand what it is we are working on across the organization. These are fairly static reports though… so how do we play with the data to see what happens if we cancel a project? Or change the timeline? Or a higher priority project comes along that we need to do? What happens if someone goes on vacation? What projects does that impact?

For answers to those questions, you’ll have to wait for part 3 in this series where we talk about accomplishing optimization, alignment, and efficiency with some powerful Innotas features.

In part 3 of this series, we will explore how to optimize and align your resources.

Watch our on-demand webcast “The Smart Approach to IT Resource Management.

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Written by Innotas Team