Managing Resources with Project Server 2016 / Project Online
For resource managers, line or department managers and their support staff that use Project Web App (PWA in Project Server) or Project Online
About this Course
This 2-day course prepares resource managers to manage their resources effectively in a Project Server or Project Online environment: Many organizations have an opportunity to improve 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 do hands-on exercises.
Each participant will receive a copy of the course manual and an electronic certificate with PDUs upon completion.
After this course, you will:
- Be aware of the main areas of resource management: Resource Capacity Planning, Resource Demand Management, Resource Balancing, Resource Allocation, Resource Usage Optimization, and Workload Leveling
- 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 adjust the demand for resources to stay within their capacity (Demand Management / Workload Leveling)
- Be able to monitor resource workloads and resolve over-allocations (Resource 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 substituting resources
- Know how to collect and monitor administrative and maintenance hours
- Be able to capture individual resource vacations in the enterprise resource pool
- Resource Capacity Planning: Determining the right number of resources by role for the organization to address fluctuating demand on the long term
- Resource Demand Management: Determining the right start date for each project in such a way that the demand for resources does not exceed the resource capacity fixed in the medium term (a.k.a. 'staggering' projects).
- Resource Balancing: Finding out what the ideal composition of the project or program team is in terms of number of FTEs in each role based on the schedule at hand
- Resource Allocation: Finding the right resources for all projects in the portfolio and authorizing the project managers to use them
- Resource Usage Optimization: Maximizing the workload of resources within their capacity on the short term
- Resource Workload Leveling: Keeping the total workloads across all projects (and operations) within the capacity of (generic or actual) resources
Resource Capacity Planning
- Temporary and varying availability
- Part-time and full-time
- Compressed workweeks: 4-40 workweek or 9-80 workweek
- Consolidated resources
- Plan the capacity for: project work and/or operations (ongoing) and/or administrative (personal time)?
- Typically, the resource capacity is flexible on the 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 critical resources?
- Using resource engagements or template 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.
- Adjust the resource capacity to the demand (resource capacity planning): the goal is to find the optimum resource capacity given projected workloads. Resources will be hired or trained to adjust the capacity, which takes time.
- Adjust the resource demand to the capacity (resource demand management / workload leveling): the goal is determine the start date for each project to level workloads on the short term given a certain resource capacity. Projects and tasks will be delayed to fit in the capacity.
- Combination of both resource capacity planning and demand management (workload leveling): For many organizations, the resource capacity is fixed in the next 0-3 months ahead and flexible in the next 3-6 months ahead, which requires a combination of capacity planning AND demand management.
- How to create a headcount report with number of resources available in each role (capacity by role) versus needed by 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 Demand Management
Staggering the projects in such a way that the demand for resources does not exceed the resource capacity that is fixed in the medium term.
On the medium term (typically between 0 and 4 months projected into the future), the resource capacity is fixed and cannot be adjusted. What you can do is delay the start of projects (stagger) in such a way that the demand for resources does not exceed the fixed capacity.
- 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?
- What diplomas or certificates are relevant?
- What work experience is unique in your organization and relevant for finding the right resource?
- How many people are available in each role?
- What type of organization are you in: pure functional, matrix or pure project organization?
- Resource allocation processes for each type of organization
- Using Resource Engagements and/or (template) 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) when they plan their project?
- Matching human resources with resource needs: skillsets (roles) and/or availability.
- Different ways to check if the resource has the right skillset and the right availability.
- Formula to calculate the resource utilization
- Creating a resource utilization pivot table by role, by department or by region (in Excel or in PowerBI)
- Principle: Re-assigning the best-resources to the most-critical tasks
- Resource Substitution: Manual resource substitution or Automatic resource substitution: ins and outs
- Optimizing the Most-Critical Resources (see next)
- Theory of constraints: the critical resource determines the throughput capacity of (a subset of) the organization
- Having limited resources and the importance of ranking all projects and programs
- Determine the most-critical resource for the 0-3 month time frame (fixed resource capacity) and explore how to maximize throughput on this resource:
- Are the Most-critical resources the best resources within their skill category? If not, re-assign work from the most-critical resources to the best resources (adjust estimates?).
- Are the most-critical resources multi-tasked or single-tasked? Multi-tasking (part-time assignments) is known to be less productive than single-tasking (full-time assignments).
- Will you make these most-critical resources king-of-their-team while they are the most-critical resource? Give the most-critical resource the King’s crown so that all team members recognize who is the most-critical resource and help him/her.
- Do the most-critical resources manage their valuable time well:
- Do they use disruption-avoidance techniques well?
- Do they use concentration-enhancement techniques?
- Do they not worry unnecessarily?
- Do they use their most productive hours (morning / afternoon / evening) on the most-critical tasks?
- Do they not tire themselves out unnecessarily?
- Do they work regularly rather than in spurts?
- Do they strive for perfection rather than good-enough?
Resource Workload Leveling
- Leveling workloads in project portfolios(staggering projects) using Portfolio Analyses in PWA to ensure that authorized projects will have access to the resources they need.
- Never allowing project managers to create over-allocations in the first place in Microsoft Project (without talking to the manager/owner of the resources to be over-allocated)
- Automatic leveling
- What the scheduling engine can and cannot do for you?
- Quantifying the time risk caused by over-allocations in a portfolio: what is the minimum and maximum time needed?
- Level workloads across many projects using project Priority numbers in temporary master schedules
- Leveling options: exclusions, priority numbers, time frame
- Checking the results; are there over-allocations left? Why?
- Manual leveling
- 15 ways to level workloads
- When delaying tasks: Using Free Slack or Total Slack?
- Improving the Resource Allocation View with Free Slack and Total Slack lines