Improving Resource Allocation for Project Management in BrightWork
Why do projects fail?
There is no simple answer. Managing a project is not only about meeting deadlines, but also fostering teamwork, and managing various stakeholders and the multiple communication channels that come with each task. According to the PMI 2018 Pulse of the Profession Report, Over half of all projects are generally thought to fail, and according to some estimates, even up to 70 or 80 percent.
Projects fail because they are poorly planned or poorly executed but sometimes they simply should never have been started in the first place because of bad timing, misjudged budget or the wrong resource availability. There might be an enthusiasm to do the project but there isn’t enough consideration. Building a bridge over a river might be welcomed by many but without a civil engineer and the right amount of steel, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and still slowly rowing your boat across the river!
Project Request Management
BrightWork has long acknowledged the importance of appropriate planning and the Project Request Manager template was introduced to anticipate these challenges long before they happen by automating the process behind requesting, qualifying and approving a new project.
The template has been very popular with PMOs as they struggle to make the right decision on a new project. The process is also very configurable as you can simplify the stages in the approval process and re-caption the steps according to your own business taxonomy.
Figure 1: BrightWork Project Request Manager Process
Resource reporting and allocation is a critical part of the project request management process as it allows project managers to make informed decisions about which projects to give the green light to. BrightWork resource reporting allows you to assign resources to your existing projects and report on what is over-allocated. Knowing which team members have been over-allocated (e.g John has been allocated 100 hours’ worth of tasks but is only available for 40 hours) can prevent bottlenecks and inevitable delays in the project.
Up until now, this process has been very granular and specific to the individual tasks within the projects. But what if the individual tasks are not clear when planning a process? What if you know you might need an engineer at some stage in the project but it is too early to break down their workload?
BrightWork 15.9 has evolved the existing resource reporting mechanism and improved it to introduce a Resource Allocation list functionality that allows you to manage your resources at an earlier stage in the planning process when the tasks and timelines might not be confirmed. You don’t know how long you will need an engineer, designer or consultant but you are sure that you will need their time at some point along the process.
Resource Allocation gives you an overview of what’s available and allows you to block allocate your resources.
“I need Mike for the first two weeks’ full time. I need him for the next three weeks half-time and the final week at quarter time to close out the project”.
You may have hundreds of tasks later and you can allocate them to Mike (your resources) based of the pre-determined block allocations. You can also take this a step further. If you are sure you need a Designer but are unsure who is best suited to the project, you can allocate a block of time for a Designer and identify the specific person for tasks at a later stage in the process.
As we outlined, one of the main reasons projects fail, are late, over budget or simply don’t deliver is because they should possibly have never have been started in the first place. Project Request Manager and BrightWork’s improved Resource Allocation informs your decision with accurate data providing that all-important stitch in time to save nine!