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Resource Management across multiple projects

Resource managers are responsible for assigning resources to projects. To manage resources in an organization, resource managers need to know where resources are currently working and when they will be finished and available to work on new projects. As well, resource managers need to know what new projects are in the pipeline waiting to be approved and started.

Microsoft Project server offers advanced capabilities for resource management and electronic collaboration. However Microsoft Project also provides capabilities to view resource assignments across multiple projects. You can view resource assignments across multiple projects linked to your shared resource pool. This allows you to analyze resource workload across multiple projects. Microsoft Project can consolidate multiple projects to provide a grand view of all projects at one time. 

Resource Usage Graph

See detailed hour by hour agenda for this session.

The goals of resource management that you will learn in this session include:

  1. Forecast resources demand for new and existing projects.
  2. Different strategies for managing resources across multiple projects.
  3. Standardize resource definitions with resource pools.
  4. Finding resources to staff projects.
  5. Allocate scarce resources to projects and tasks.
  6. Analyze resource workloads across multiple projects to identify critical resource shortages that create delays and bottlenecks in projects.
  7. Identifying new technology and skill requirements for future projects.
  8. Upgrading resource skills for future projects.
  9. Hiring new resources to meet project demands.
  10. Transitioning resources between projects.

Managing resources across multiple Projects requires resource-demands for new projects coming down the pipeline and for existing projects currently underway. Having the resources to staff projects for clients involves advance preparation and training to have the right skill mix to meet the demands for new technology. Staffing projects for upcoming client projects requires knowing when existing resources will come free from existing projects.

Capabilities of both Microsoft Project standalone and Microsoft Project with Project Server will be discussed. Use Microsoft Projects Server to centralize project data and simplify the management of resources across many projects. Participants will have hands-on access to Project Server through Microsoft Project. This session will help managers who are managing project leaders and allocating project team members to projects. 

Resource Management
  Topic Managing Resources across Multiple Projects agenda
9am Meet challenges of resource management
  • Find resources to staff projects. 
  • Keep resources billable.
  • Upgrade resource skills.
  • Finish projects on time within budget.
  • Satisfy clients.
  • Manage Resources cost effectively.
9:30 Standardize resource definitions to allow workload analysis across multiple projects

Both enterprise and local resource pools will be covered.

  • Standardize Resource definitions with enterprise Resource Pool. 
  • Define outline codes for resources with Outline Codes. 
  • Standardize resource definitions so resource workload can be analyzed across multiple projects with Resource pool. 
  • Add generic and specific resources to resource pool.
9:45 am Coffee 
10 am Forecast resource needs for new projects
  • Setup templates for activities which consume resources. 
  • Forecast project start dates. 
  • Add generic resources to resource pool. 
  • Assign generic resources to get a long term forecast of resource requirements. 
  • Forecast completion date based on staffing levels. 
  • Replace generic resources with specific resources. 
  • Review workload for each specific resource .
 10:30 am Analyze resource workload across multiple projects with consolidation
  • Select strategy for managing multiple projects.
  • Consolidate projects with Resource pool.
  • Consolidate projects with Insert -> Project.
  • Catalog multiple projects as summary Tasks.
  • Upgrade-to Project Server.
  • Catalog current projects with Executive Overview.
11:00 am Allocate resources to projects and tasks
  • Request specific resources from resource manager.
    Review availability of specific resources with Workload Analysis by Week.
  • Link projects to resource pool.
  • Identify specific resources that fill each role with Resource group.
  • Establish team size with Unit Availability.
  • Replace generic resources with specific resources.
  • Identify overloads with Percent Allocation.
  • Forecast completion date based on staffing levels.
  • Review workload for each resource with View -> Workload Analysis.
11:30 Track progress through project cycles with master project
  • Track Initiation phase with Super project. 
  • Project Execution. 
  • Project Wrap-up. 
  • Report project status to management with Management progress view.
12noon Lunch break  
1 pm Allocate resources to projects
  • Setup project control office. 
  • Maintain project management methodology. 
  • Centralize time reporting system with Timesheets. 
  • Standardize estimating knowledge in spreadsheets.
 1:45 pm Manage resources cost effectively
  • Plan Skill Acquisition. 
  • Build core competencies. 
  • Develop existing resources. 
  • Recruit new resources. 
  • Allocate resources to projects.
2:30pm Coffee
2:45 pm Build planning capability in organization
  • Improve project management support within organization. 
  • Overcome obstacles to planning. 
  • Recognize levels of achievement. 
  • Establish project management training courses. 
  • Plan small projects to build skills for bigger projects. 
  • Form project managers user group. 
  • Support project planning with positive feedback.
3:30 pm Improve project delivery capability
  • Setup project management methodology 
  • Validate planning methodology and standards. 
  • Practice setting up a project template. 
  • Understand stages of project management improvement with SEI 5-Level CMM model.
  • Identify opportunities for improvement. 
  • Improve project estimating reliability. 
  • Discover better methods and technology. 
  • Adopt best practices from other organizations.

Step 1. Early adoption by a few project managers.

Some project managers take initiative to use Microsoft Project to plan their projects. These are the early adopters want a tool to aid planning and are committed to overcome the challenges they face. These project managers may have taken external Microsoft Project training. Other managers remain skeptical about the effectiveness of Microsoft Project.

Step 2. Formal introduction

Organization decides to adopt Microsoft Project as a project management tool. In-house training is provided. Microsoft Project is installed on everyone’s workstation. Not everyone successfully converts to Microsoft Project. Fortunate organizations have some standardization such as calendars and the resource pool.

Step 3. Standardization across projects

An experienced Microsoft Project user may introduce some standardization including calendars, reports, views, tables, filters and fields. Most organizations appoint a project administrator to promote consistency across projects. A project managers user group that meets on a regular basis supports this continuous improvement.

Step 4. Standardized planning templates speed planning.

As the organization gets more sophisticated they recognize the similarity between projects. Creation of standard templates speeds planning and allows comparison across projects. Using templates offers the greatest opportunity to improve productivity.

Step 5. Workload analysis across multiple projects.

Resources managers use Microsoft Project  to analyze resource workloads and to assign resources to projects. All project managers must have their projects in Microsoft Project to allow consolidation of multiple projects using the resource pool. Estimating methods need consistency.

Step 6. Robust project management system installed.

Organization recognizes project information as a key organizational resource and moves to create an enterprise project management system. Microsoft Project Server with Web Access supports this.

email Brian Mullen with your questions

Warning: This web site under continuous improvement.

Click here List of Recommended books on Project Management, Team Building, Estimating, Software Development methodologies, requirements definition, and Microsoft Project.


planning corp.
5361 Malaspina Place
North Vancouver
B.C.V7R 4L9
Easy to remember
ISPangle.com or iSPANGLE.com.

Copyright March  11, 2007 Brian Mullen, I.S.P. information systems planning corp.
Last updated: July 28, 2010