5 Tips When Resources Disappear
By Christian Bisson
Resources come and go, whether it’s just for a day when you need to get work done for tomorrow, or a week because people are switched to another project, or permanently because they leave the company, you will have to find a Plan B, even C or D!
Here are some general tips that can help various situations when resources wave goodbye!
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- Manage client expectations appropriately
If resources are switched, or even temporarily absent, chances are, your project will slow down. This means that you may not be able to meet a set deadline. Your client must know this right away, and you may not know when the deadline can be met.
In these cases, do not commit to a specific time and give yourself more time than you think you will need. Instead of “next Monday”, commit to “mid next-week” where you will have some flexibility.
Six Ways to Know You Should Pay More Attention to Resource Management
By Nicholas Holmes
Resource management is the lifeblood of a consultancy business and of good project management. If you can’t get the right people in the right place, you’re dead in the water. But it’s surprising how many projects get into trouble when the warning signs were there long before anybody realized there was a problem.
So what should set alarm bells ringing for project managers when it comes to resource management?
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- Unknown, uneven or low utilization
Utilization is a metric most project managers should be paying attention to as closely as financial controllers do – but for slightly different reasons. While under-utilization is seen as a financial problem, over-utilization often results in a resource squeeze, significantly reducing the agility of project teams, and it can also lead to demotivated, exhausted employees. So PMs need to be able to see areas of concern early and work with a resource scheduler or manager to iron out issues before they become a problem that can affect project delivery.
Is There a Resource Shortage or a Priority Shortage?
By Andrea Brockmeier
When I ask students for their biggest challenges in managing projects, they usually tell me it’s the lack of people, time, or money. They just don’t have enough resources to get done what’s expected of them.
I don’t doubt it. The relentless battle cry to reduce waste and increase productivity has many project managers feeling like they are expected to build a bridge over the Mississippi River with one team member and a box of toothpicks. By tomorrow.
How much of this challenge is exacerbated by the lack of clear organizational priorities to guide how those precious resources are allocated?
Imagine this: Starting tomorrow you and everyone in your organization will be greeted as you arrive with a documented list of organization priorities. You will be able to take this list to your cube, post it on your monitor and let it guide how you spend your time. Read the Complete Article
Economies of Resource Over Allocation
By Carl M. Manello
“I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.” –Ronald Reagan
What the former President expressed in jest brings attention to a long-standing issue. We are decades past Regan’s time and you still cannot listen to news for long without hearing a story about the national deficit, the growing deficit, or reducing the deficit. You do not need an economics degree to understand that a deficit means that spending is in excess of what one has. In other words, the government is committing to do and spend more than it has the capacity to do. And no matter what side of the political spectrum you sit on, all can agree that a large deficit is a bad thing.
The same idea applies to the management of resources within a company, specifically its people. An organization uses a mix of employees and contractors to complete work to meet its commitments. Read the Complete Article
Work Leveling Your Lubrication Excellence Project
By Jason Kopschinsky, Noria Corporation
Recently I have written about the challenges we face when implementing a program of any kind. Lubrication excellence programs are especially difficult to plan for implementation. This is because most of the equipment involved in the program will need to be pulled off-line to do necessary work like minor modifications, oil or grease changeouts, etc. One of the best ways to plan the implementation phase is to level the workload.
In project management, when we plan for initiatives like program implementations, we attempt to level the work based on the resources available. Resource leveling, as described by the Project Management Institute, is “any form of schedule network analysis in which scheduling decisions are driven by resource management concerns such as limited resource availability.”
Most of us are trying to accomplish more with less these days, and limited resources are just another hurdle to jump over. Read the Complete Article
The Seven Deadly Project Sins: Part 6 – Over-allocation of Resources (#6 in the series The Seven Deadly Project Sins)
By Tim Bergmann
This document is sixth in a series about the Seven Deadly Project Sins.
In this narrative, I will continue to focus on some of the “soft-elements” of the project, some temptations that the project manager needs to be on the lookout for in order to foster success on the project.
The Seven Deadly Project Sins as I have defined them are:
- Project Envy
- Resource Gluttony
- Project Lust
- Over-allocation of Resources
- Best Practice Sloth
The sixth Deadly Project Sin – Over-Allocation of Resources can definitely make accomplishing the project more difficult.
How does Over-Allocation happen?
Project Managers are often encouraged to try and meet unreasonable expectations for projects. Scope is often extended while schedules and budget are restricted. Project managers many times try to meet these constrained schedules by pushing their existing resources to their limits. Read the Complete Article
A Project Management Primer – Basic Principles – The Mythical Man Month (#4 in the Hut A Project Management Primer)
By Nick Jenkins
In 1975 during the pioneering days of software development a man named Frederick Brooks penned a number of books and articles on the subject. His most famous is “No Silver Bullet”, in which Brooks pointed out that software development could expect no thunderbolt solution to its various problems of quality, cost and complexity other than to adopt rigorous methodology. Only slightly less famous than “No Silver Bullet” is another Brook’s paper, “The Mythical Man Month”. The papers are no less valid today than they were when written, but they receive a lot less attention.
In “The Mythical Man Month” Brooks argues that adding people to a project doesn’t speed it up. While it is true that more resources can speed up the delivery of a software product, the increase in speed is not directly proportional to the amount of resource added. Read the Complete Article
Don’t Add Developers to a Late Project
By David Carr
In my experience, there appear to be three types of manager when it comes to a project that looks like it is about to overrun. Here is my simple classification:
This manager sees a project that is about to overrun and starts adding resources and chopping back on testing. We know that it is bad to cut back on testing; those bugs won’t find themselves! (No, the customer will find them and then our late project will become a late, inaccurate project).
This chap knows the problem. However, he has bigger managers above him that like to twist the screws, turning him into a Panic Manager.
This manager is a useful ally. She will contact the customer, manage the problem through, deliver slightly late but everyone will be (reasonably) happy with the end result.
OK, I have seriously over-generalised here so what is my point? Read the Complete Article