Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Refocus Your PMO - Part V

3.Manage the resourcing across all projects

The resourcing of projects continues to be a top priority of management and a significant barrier for PMOs in achieving their mandate. Management are not “on board” because they are uncertain what the resources are doing and why. They often perceive that work on projects is an intrusion to their employee’s daily work requirements.

An important role of the PMO is to ensure that all project managers know how to develop a detailed project plan which clearly identifies all of the tasks to be done and the name(s) of the resources that will be responsible for doing them. These project plans should be input into project management software and reports generated regularly.

If this is completed consistently across all projects the PMO then works with management to analyze the consolidated resource reports and help them deal with over-allocation issues including some guidance on help them find solutions. These might include assigning a different resource to complete a specific series of project tasks, identifying that some tasks may be delayed or that the resource assigned is not actually completing the task and rather, they are responsible to oversee its completion and therefore are not as time constrained as the report indicates.

It is beneficial to discuss resource over-allocation issues with the functional managers of the project resources. Discussing the issue with functional managers will help to identify opportunities for alternative resources or changing functional work priorities. As well, calling this issue to the attention of senior management will identify if projects can be re-prioritized. The prioritization of projects may be changed owing to a lack of resources to complete one or more of the projects or the senior management may provide larger budgets to some of the projects so that external resources can be hired.

The PMO needs to develop a plan to oversee the management of all resources across all projects on a continuous (at least monthly) basis. The resource plan will link all projects to organizational commitments for resources on a continuous basis and will anticipate potential resource issues.