For resource managers, line or department managers and their support staff that use Project Web App (PWA) in a Project Server environment
This 2-day course prepares resource managers to manage their resources effectively in a Project Server environment. With Microsoft Project Server, many organizations have an opportunity to improve the resource management within their organization. The course is a hands-on workshop in which participants will work with a real database of projects of a virtual organization. Participants will have access to the Project Server database and will do hands-on exercises.
Click here for a listing of Course Dates and for purchasing a course.
After this course, you will:
- Be aware of the three areas of resource management: Resource allocation, Resource capacity planning and Resource usage optimization
- Know business processes for allocating resources in a pure functional organization, matrix or pure project organization
- Be able to determine a target resource capacity for the longer term (resource capacity planning) or level the workloads
within the capacity
- Know how to monitor and manage administrative hours and maintenance hours
- Be able to capture individual resource vacations in the enterprise resource pool
- Be able to monitor resource workloads and resolve over-allocations (workload leveling) in an enterprise resource pool
- Be able to optimize the resource usage on the short term by optimizing the use of critical resources or by resource substitution
In this course, we will focus on how organizations can improve the quality of their resource management through Project Server. The quality of resource management will be measured in terms of the proper adjustment of resource capacity, the utilization of resources and the equal spread of workload across resources. Of course, there are many other facets to resource management (job satisfaction, motivation, team dynamics, remuneration etc.), but the scope of this course will be focused on the facets of resource management that can be monitored and managed through Project Server.
- Resource allocation
- Resource capacity planning
- Resource usage optimization
- What type of organization are you in: pure functional, matrix or pure project organization?
- Resource allocation processes for each type of organization
- Allow project managers to over-allocate resources (reactive workload leveling) or not (proactive workload leveling)?
Resource Capacity Planning
Modeling different resource availabilities in the Enterprise Resource Pool:
- Temporary and varying availability
- Part-time and full-time
- Compressed workweeks: 4-40 workweek or 9-80 workweek
- Consolidated resources
How people spend their time at work: ongoing work, projects, administrative and personal hours (breaks and time off)
Managing ongoing work like Maintenance or Technical Support work
- Create line items in time sheet or create maintenance projects: pro's and con's
- Line items: help desk, technical support, customer support, hot fixes, patches, service packs, repair
Managing administrative hours in Project Server
- Administrative line items on the time sheet for collecting actual hours spent in the past
- Line items for admin work: voice mail, email, sickness, absence, leave, time off without pay
- Getting reports on actual hours spent on admin work
- Resource Calendars for planned time off in the future
- Categories: vacation, jury/civic duty, professional development
- Business process for authorizing time off on the enterprise resource calendars
- What is the appropriate level of detail? What should you capture and what not?
Questions for resource capacity planning
- Plan the capacity for: ongoing and project work only, or also administrative and personal time?
- The resource capacity is flexible on longer term, but fixed on the short term (constraint): for how many weeks/months from now is the resource capacity fixed for your organization?
- Monitoring all resources or only the critical resources?
- Using resource plans or schedules with generic resources to model resources needed (resource demand)? Pro's and con's
- Do your resources have one (primary) skill or multiple skills? Business processes for both situations.
Strategies for resource capacity management:
- Adjust demand to resource capacity (resource workload leveling): the goal is to level the workloads and optimize resource usage on the short term given a fixed resource capacity. Projects and tasks will be delayed to fit in the capacity.
- Adjust resource capacity to demand (resource capacity planning): the goal is to find the optimum resource capacity on the longer term given the projected workloads. Resources will be hired or trained to adjust the capacity.
- Combination of both resource usage optimization and resource capacity planning
For many organizations, the resource capacity is fixed in the 0-3 months look ahead window and flexible 3-6 months ahead
Resource workload leveling with Microsoft Project
- Automatic leveling
- Quantifying the time risk caused by over-allocations in a portfolio
- Level workloads across multiple schedules
- Leveling options: exclusions, priority numbers, time frame
- Checking the results
- Manual leveling
- Using Free Slack or Total Slack
- Improving the Resource Allocation View
Resource capacity planning techniques
- How to create a headcount report with number of resources available versus needed by skill, department or region
- Determine the most critical resource (skill) for the 3-6 month time frame. Decide if you should hire or train more people in these critical skills, or if you need to trim non-critical resources to balance the organization.
Resource Usage Optimization
Calculating utilization and improving
- Formula to calculate the resource utilization
- Creating a resource utilization pivot table
- Improving resource utilization in the 0-3 month time frame:
- Resource Substitution
- Optimizing the Critical Resources
- Manual or automatic resource substitution
- Manual substitution: re-assigning the best resources to the most critical tasks
- Automatic resource substitution: what is needed in Project Server?
- skills defined, entered and maintained for (actual and generic) resources
- skills needed entered for each detail task
- Customizing skill fields in Project Server
- Concerns about the about the output of the Resource Substitution Wizard
- The need for leveling workloads after automatic resource substitution
Optimizing the Critical Resources
- Theory of constraints: the critical resource determines the throughput capacity of an organization:
- The resource constraint and the importance of project ranking
- Determine the most critical resource for the 0-3 month time frame (fixed resource capacity) and explore how to exploit this restricting resource capacity to the maximum:
- Are these most critical resources the best ones in their skill category? If not, you can make improvements.
- Do the most critical resources manage their limited time well? Do they use disruption-avoidance techniques well? Do they use concentration-enhancement techniques? Do they apply their limited productive hours well? Do they not stress or tire themselves unnecessarily?
- Are they multi-tasked or single-tasked? Multi-tasking is known to be less productive.
- Will you make these critical resources king while they are critical? (Pass the King’s crown).