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 main 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
- Resource Workload leveling
- Making an inventory of the human resources of your organization:
- What skillsets (roles) are available?
- What levels of competency do your resources have in these roles?
- How many people are available in each role?
- What work experience is unique in your organiation and relevant for finding the right resource?
- What diplomas or certificates are relevant?
- What type of organization are you in: pure functional, matrix or pure project organization? Resource allocation processes for each type of organization
- Using Resource Plans and/or high-level project schedules to capture the need for resources by proposed project
- Important decision upfront: Allow project managers to over-allocate resources (reactive workload leveling) or not (proactive workload leveling)?
- Matching human resources with resource needs: skillsets (roles) and availability. Different ways to check if the resource has the right skillset and the right availability.
Resource Capacity Planning
If you do the capacity planning well (proactive), you will have little workload leveling to do (reactive).
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 and operational work in Project Server
- Administrative/operational line items on the time sheet for collecting actual hours spent in the past
- What is the appropriate level of detail? What should you capture and what not?
- Line items for admin work: voice mail, email, sickness, absence, leave, time off without pay
- Getting reports on actual hours spent on admin and operational work
- Options for dealing with administrative and operational work:
- Reduce availability of resources because of administrative and operational work. Model project work only in Project Server
- Capture the administrative and operational work as well in Project Server and manage the aggregated total workload
- Use of 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
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) role or multiple roles? Business processes for both situations.
Strategies for resource capacity management:
- Adjust the demand to the resource capacity (usage optimization: staggering projects and leveling of resource workloads): 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 the resource capacity to the demand (resource capacity planning): the goal is to find the optimum resource capacity on the medium 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 next 0-3 months ahead and flexible in the next 3-6 months ahead
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 resource substitution
- Re-assigning the best resources to the most critical tasks
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).
Resource Workload Leveling
Resource workload leveling with Microsoft Project
- Automatic leveling
- Quantifying the time risk caused by over-allocations in a portfolio
- Level workloads across multiple schedules using project priority numbers
- Leveling options: exclusions, priority numbers, time frame
- Checking the results
- Manual leveling
- Using Free Slack or Total Slack
- Improving the Resource Allocation View