Understanding the Portfolio Management Framework

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As I see it, the Portfolio Management Framework starts from strategic portfolio management. Some level of executive management is making a decision about the following: * Which product lines do we pursue?

* What is our financial model?

* How should assets be invested?

Executive management is not involved with projects per se, but they are the source of funding that allows projects to be initiated.

So what do we need to move beyond strategic portfolio management into operational portfolio management?

1. Portfolio planning

* Is the portfolio aligned to strategy?

* Is the portfolio achievable, give our resources?

* Are resources deployed per the strategy?

2. Project planning

* What is the project plan?

* What will it deliver?

* How is it doing?

But this picture is in and of itself unbalanced. Most organizations have these elements in place. What are they missing?

3. Resource planning

Resource planning is the responsibility of the line functional management. Resource planning is absolutely something different from portfolio or project planning, and it's done by different people. Line functional management are responsible for the utilization of resources and their allocation to projects. They are the ones that understand resource demand and resource supply. They should be the data providers, the data owners, regarding utilization and availability of resources.

4. Time/Actuals tracking

Finally, you need some form of tracking. It doesn't have to be done in extremely detailed time sheets, but it can be.

* How have resources been utilized?

* How much has been spent?

Through tracking, you can understand what you've done and whether you've acccomplished your goals.

In our view, successful operational portfolio management requires all four of these elements.

--Peter Heinrich

The Foundation of Portfolio Management

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How did we come to appreciate the value of resource planning? After years of being involved with project management, and being very excited about it as a discipline, I realized that even though we would do a great job of teaching project management within the organization, the organization as a whole would have great difficulty executing. I came to see that there was a problem that went across projects. It was not simply a manner of planning and managing an indivdual project better. The problem lay in making decisions about the whole set of projects that the organization was trying to undertake.

Resource Planning is Not Project Planning

You can do PMBOK 100 percent and still fail as an organization.

Resource Planning Is Needed

Without resource planning, bad decisions are made repeatedly.

The first thing we realized was that resource planning is different from project management. You don't get resource planning by collecting a bunch of individual project plans. You can be 100% right in your project planning, and your organization may still have problems. Resource planning is needed; without it, terrible decisions are made.

The Solution Matters

The type of solution also matters. If the solution is too complex, it is rejected by the people that have to use it. Finally, if the data are not credible, the system will fall into disuse. After disuse of one system comes the "solution du jour," which is really a downer for most people. I've talked to many people about this, and they tend to think, "OK, we've been here before, so what's different?"

What is the Problem with Project Management without Resource Planning?

The problem is manifested at various levels and roles in the organization. Here are quotes I have heard over my career, dating from the 1990s. I still hear statements like these today:

From the project manager:

* I am not getting the planned resources at the right time.

* Then at phase gates, we go through a phase gate review. We get approval of a project plan. I know what I'm supposed to deliver, but I also know what resources I am supposed to be getting at the next stage, and what happens? I get to the next stage, and I'm not getting the resources we're committed to. So my project is in trouble, and I get blamed.

From the resource manager:

*Management never sets priorities.

By resource manager, I mean a line or functional manager who has people directly reporting to him or her. The resource manager's complaint is that management doesn't set priorities; they're always asking us todo more; they don't think about what we're currently working on; they just say, "Oh, we can start another project...."

Conversely, at phase gates, even though a project team may have done an outstanding job of doing a project plan, they get into a phase gate meeting, and the resource managers, who may not heave been heavily involved in the resource planning for project, will say, "That's not my plan!" So you have a disconnect right at the phase gates.

From senior management:

The senior management team has a whole different set of problems:

* I don't have a clue what people are working on.

I heard this last week at a large financial institution that is using our product. (They said this in the context that our product was finally fixing this problem!)

* We start all kinds of projects, but have trouble finishing them.

This is a common mistake; after all, it only takes one person to start a project, but if it takes 100 people to finish it, and if that project requires 10 or 100 people in two months, suddenly you don't have enough resources.

* I can't tell if our resources are focued on our high priority projects. In fact, I know in some cases, they aren't.

When a project slips we can't see what other project a reaffected until they get into trouble later. If you have a high priority project that was supposed to shed resources the next month, and those resources wre going to work on another set of projects, you might not notice how badly they are impacted if you are looking in a rational and careful way.

* We staff revenue projects but ignore critical infrastructure requirements.

This is a problem set that we encountered in the '90s, and we are still hearing it today.

--Peter Heinrich (CEO, PDWare)

Excerpted from a webinar, September 20, 2013, recorded on International Project Management Day.

PDWare for PPM

The PDWare PPM framework supports the complete project portfolio lifecycle with an emphasis on resource planning. The philosophy is that resource control ultimately drives portfolio productivity. With resource planning in place, the functions and flexibility of the project portfolio management system modules deliver powerful executive analysis. All PDWare modules are integrated in an environment that promotes accuracy and credibility of data.

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360˚ Executive View of the Project Portfolio

PDWare offers complete vision into the portfolio. Dashboard views focus on project metrics, resource demand, resource utilization, actual effort and portfolio risk. Using interactive data warehouse style reports, executives can easily navigate to important data and drill down on the business unit or cost center of interest. Advanced users can build custom views to align PDWare portfolio management with established business processes.

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Portfolio Management

PDWare offers a straight- forward approach for adding projects and maintaining a portfolio. There are always multiple ways to enter data. For example, project status dates can be entered through a grid view, or they can be added through a status report, or through a detailed project plan. PDWare easily imports data from Microsoft Project or Microsoft Excel.

Customizable Portfolio Management Process Through configurable data fields and views, PDWare is able to present the data the way you want to manage it. The combination of active grid views and drill-down dashboard reporting allows analysis of the portfolio from all angles. Using custom fields, project measurements and metrics may be added for analysis purposes.

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Project Initiation PDWare begins the portfolio management lifecycle with a formal request and initiation process. The request forms are configurable so clients can include business case criteria, ROI data and internal cost codes. Requested projects are aggregated in a special area so they can be formally approved by the appropriate manager. Projects that pass the first level of review are now proposed projects competing for resources with other projects in the portfolio.

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Manage Projects and Programs PDWare allows data management at multiple levels. Projects can have a work breakdown structure, and they can be part of a larger project hierarchy. The project OBS (or project hierarchy) allows projects to roll up to any level of the organization. If a project hierarchy changes, all projects are automatically updated with the new structure. This allows PDWare data to remain current, even when organizations and strategies are constantly changing. Once the Project OBS is created, project data can be summarized at any level and displayed in a hierarchical report for analysis. Multi-level reporting is also available for both project and resource hierarchies.

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Alignment to Strategic Objectives There are a number of ways that PDWare clients link projects against their business and portfolio objectives. PDWare has fields reserved for SOI (Strategies, Objectives and Initiatives) organization. SOI data can be managed for each project, while sort and filter criteria may be applied to manage sub-sets of the overall inventory. Once SOI data is logged, reports can be generated across any of these categories. Clients use project ranking fields to generate scorecards for each objective. Projects are compared against the overall portfolio objectives and against each other.

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Risk Management SOI data can also be displayed in hierarchical form so demand for effort and cost can be shown at each summary level. Managers can review costs by project, by program and/or by release. Scorecard data is also used to determine Portfolio Risk. PDWare consolidates Portfolio Risk, Cost Risk, Value Risk, Investment Risk and Schedule Risk into an interactive dashboard that provides a consolidated view of portfolio challenges. This report can be adapted to client needs.

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Resource Planning

One of the primary differences between PDWare and other PPM systems is the resource planning functionality. PDWare starts with capacity, assigns teams via the effort forecast, and assigns work assignments via the scheduler without losing reference to the original capacity value. This is good as an initial setup; however, PDWare's most important strength is its ability to accommodate change at any point in the process, and resolve conflicts that arise in a straight-forward manner.

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Capacity Management PDWare™ is more powerful than traditional PPM applications because it allows organizations to manage current short-term capacity while modeling the longer term targets for future capacity. Capacity is measured in time-period FTE's (fulltime equivalents) or in hours. Resource managers usually enter capacity through a view. This information becomes the basis for all forecasting, demand and utilization data. At each level in the planning process, resource forecasts reference capacity to validate the reasonableness of the plan.

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Capacity Modeling Capacity may fall short of the desired level in certain skill areas as a company looks towards future initiatives. The PDWare™ capacity modeler allows an organization to simulate the addition/subtraction of budget dollars (or headcount). It first analyzes the required skills distribution and makes recommendations for maximizing productivity under the current budget state. The final result is a recommended skills mix to best satisfy the portfolio at the desired level of investment. The ability to plan for change allows planners to build a more solid foundation to the portfolio.

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Demand Management PDWare™ takes the approach that resource demand forecasts are at the center of Portfolio Management decision-making. Functional managers forecast their resources based on requirements outlined by project teams. The forecast is validated and updated periodically, usually, at least once a month and sometimes more frequently. Functional managers are responsible for the utilization of their staff. Overcommitted resources are replaced with available resources from within the group when possible. Otherwise, a search for similar skills from other business units is possible.

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Skills Management A hierarchical skills grid is available to categorize resources by capabilities and proficiencies. Resource searches try to match skills to demand while taking remaining availability into consideration. The system is also capable of identifying people who match the high priority requirements, but are currently assigned to a lower priority project.

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Project Management

PDWare offers two types of integrated scheduling options. Users may choose the integrated PDWare Scheduler, or they can choose to work in Microsoft Project. Both options are integrated with the database, and both will update status data at the portfolio level and allow time tracking to the project.

Project Scheduling with PDWare Scheduler PDWare™ supports the development of a project schedule including the work breakdown structure, dependencies, milestones and status tracking. Project work estimates are directly linked to the functional resource allocations and overall resource capacity.

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Project Status Reporting PDWare offers flexibility in the way managers choose to update status. Managers can update a status view, update a status form, enter their status through the PDWare™ Scheduler or use Microsoft® Project. This allows companies with multiple management standards to be successful with corporate portfolio reporting.

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Supports Hierarchical Projects PDWare™ supports multi-level nesting of subprojects and work breakdown structures. As discussed earlier, a Project OBS (Organizational Breakdown Structure) allows nesting of descriptive information and codes. Hierarchies can also be defined on the fly in the Project Hierarchy Module. PDWare™ project level data offers up to 90 custom fields that can be used for data entry and calculated values. Any of these fields can be added to views and the project status form. Web views are also available through our dashboard reporting system. With data warehouse style reporting, there are virtually no limits on the output.

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Project Resourcing Through the PDWare Scheduler, resources who are part of a project team can be assigned to individual tasks. The system will show when the resources are available for work. If resource assignments exceed the allotment, a project manager can request additional commitment from the functional manager.

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Time Tracking

PDWare offers time sheets that automatically populate with work assignments that require effort from the team member during  the time period. Time sheets can include scheduled project work, unscheduled project work and overhead items. Submission of a timesheet kicks off a review/approve process that ultimately leads to approved actuals in the database alongside the forecast data. Once approved, actuals are immediately made available for reporting. PDWare automatically aligns actuals to the forecast and baseline. This allows analysis of variance trends over time.

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Systems Integration

eMail Notification PDWare Messenger offers eMail integration with most mail clients. Messenger provides executive alerts when changes occur along the portfolio management workflow. Messenger can also be configured to alert executives when changes occur to key project indicators.

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Interfacing with Microsoft® Project PDWare™ offers a 2-way interface with MPP files out of the box. PDWare™ also offers direct integration with Microsoft® EPM using PDWare™ Integrator. This interface usually requires some professional configuration.

Interfacing Methods PDWare™ is an incredibly open system. It has been integrated with many ERP, HR, BI, PPM and Time Tracking systems. There are six common ways to interface PDWare™ with another application:

  • Flat file import
  • Paste import
  • Web Services
  • SQL coding
  • Pivot-table ready output to Microsoft® Excel™
  • PDWare™ Integrator for PPM

Should the basics of project planning and financial planning be taught in high school?

Notice that I didn’t say “Project Management” as embodied in PMBOK. That is far too much information and content. For project planning, classes would focus on objectives, requirements, work breakdown, dependency definition, skill requirements and staffing, completion criteria, risk assessment, etc.

Financial planning classes should focus on time value of money, compounding effects of reinvesting interest and dividends, and many other useful topics that I never learned.

This is of great importance for our kids and our society for many reasons.

  • These topics teach and require critical thinking which benefits everyone.
  • Those kids who don’t go to college or university need these skills at least as much as everyone else.
  • Most higher education programs don’t address these topics at all leaving their graduates ignorant of these powerful ways of thinking about problems.
  • These methods are very useful in making practical decisions that must be made over and over during a lifetime.

Resource Data Sheet: PDWare

PdWareResourceDataIn this slide, I am acting as if I were the line or functional manager of the mechanical engineering organization. I have five people reporting to me who have a variety of skills. They are reflected in the organization skills matrix to the left.

Take a look at Bill Brophy, who has packaging skills. As his manager, using PDWare, I can put an indicator in that cell to reflect his skill and his availability. I have now registered that Bill is available for work that requires those skills.

Next, I want to express how much effort is going to be required from my resources by project. Let's say I have been asked to support New Project in Product Line A. It is going to be a long project -- about 18 months to 2 years in duration -- but I have to support only the first phase or two.

Resource utilization

I look at the resource utilization sheet, which shows the total current demand for each resource divided by the resource's capacity. If a person is available 1 FTE per month (if they have a demand of one), this number will be 100 percent. If they have less demand than 1 percent, the percentage will be lower than that.

In this case, Pat McClusky in January has only 20 percent of his capacity identified as demand on a project. That translates into availability. Conversely, if I have a resource that has a number of 115 percent, he is scheduled at 15 percent capacity beyond his level of availability.

Capacity planning

If I am asked to support a project, I will look at this chart and note its duration. In this example, I see that the project is going to run from February through April or May. Next, I see that Joe Poteet has 60 percent availability, but I know that he is going to be needed at about 40 percent capacity to meet the needs of the new project. That means I will be able to right click to assign resources (in this case, Joe). Then, I select New Project and insert Joe. Now I only need to indicate the level of effort required from Joe on the project; I click and drag the cursor for as many periods as necessary.

As you see, PDWare provides standard Excel functionality in order to quickly express a requirement for a resource on a project.

--Peter Heinrich

 

The complete webinar from which this material was taken appears at the following url:

http://internationalpmday.org/webinars/sept-20-2013-peter-heinrich-resource-planning/

Illustration of PDWare product platform, part 1

PDWare product platform This snapshot is from PDWare Portfolio, PDWare's Excel-based product. Our product interacts with a relational-based backend, usually either SQL server or Oracle. Data should be provided by the people who are most familiar with it. If data are not timely and accurate, captured and entered by the functional managers for resource data and project managers for project attributes, even the best reporting systems software will fail.

Screen capture description

This is  a worksheet from a workbook that is controlled by PDWare software. We are looking at the project list and the project portfolio for the unit.

As the example demonstrates, you can see the list of projects that must be accounted for. Next to the project, you see its priority, which is determined by the portfolio managers. Next, you see the project's attributes. For instance, one project is part of Product Line A; another is part of Product Line B, and so on. PDWare provides the capability to track many other attributes, like those pertaining to the budge,t current phase completion schedule, deliverable attributes and status, and user definable items.

How resource planning differs from project planning -- the PDWare difference

The information captured on this sheet is the responsibility of the project manager *and* the portfolio manager; other sheets have data owned by functional resource managers including capacity, skill, and project demand.  This shared responsibility is one element that distinguishes PDWare from a project scheduling tool like MS Project. While some items are strictly the responsibility of the project manager, such as dates and the current overall health of the project, other items such as priority are the responsibility of senior/portfolio management.

PDWare integrates the efforts of project, functional resource, and portfolio managers. You have in one place current plans, all history, prioritized resource supply-demand analysis, the impact of new projects or project plan changes on all other projects in the portfolio, and much more.

--Peter Heinrich

PDWare is a resource planning software application.

 

Are you still managing your resources with Excel?

PDWare resource planning softwareThis is a resource plan that I did many years ago when I was in the early stages of my career at Xerox. As you can see, it is handwritten on graph paper! Comments about age aside, I wanted to present this artifact to illustrate a principle about resource planning. I organized all of my people on the left hand side. I listed the projects they were working on and entered a forecast of the percent of their time dedicated to each project in each time period.

Believe it or not, this methodology for resource planning is still in use today -- even though people don't use graph paper. Instead, they do it in Excel. Despite the presence of high quality project management scheduling tools of all varieties, from simple to complex, many resource managers still manage their resource checkbook - their allocation of people to projects - with Excel.

Limitations of Excel

Excel works well in very small organizations; not so well when there are many resource and project managers involved. The problem of course is consolidation and consistency. This is why PDWare Portfolio has been designed with an MS Excel frontend and a SQL Server or Oracle backend.

--Peter Heinrich

Four reasons why resource planning is a big win regardless of process maturity level

The number of excuses offered for failing to implement a portfolio resource planning process appears infinite. Here is a small sample:

    * Our organization is not mature enough.”

    * Our organization is too mature – we already have a process (even though it doesn’t work well).

    * Our executives won’t, can't, or don’t stick to project priorities.

    * Our organization is different; resource planning won’t work here.

    * Resource planning will take too long, cost too much, or be too difficult for our organization.

The PDWare approach gets around these and other barriers to acceptance. Here are the reasons why every organization should focus on resource planning and some thoughts on the barriers and appropriate responses to them.

Reason 1: A credible inventory of people, skills, and projects is a big win for many companies

I can’t count the number of times I have heard, or heard of, this lament, “I don’t have a clue what all the people in my organization are working on.” A simple process to capture in one place the inventory of people, their skills, and projects answers that complaint and many others.

Reason 2: A prioritization process is not required to get value from resource planning; a resource planning process inevitably leads to priority decisions

An organization can’t or won’t set priorities? Fine. Let’s just look at our inventory of projects and their skill needs against our inventory of people and skills. Wherever you see significant shortfall you have a decision to make. Delay or kill projects, add resources, reduce scope of projects – these are your only choices. And by making them you are making priority decisions.

Reason 3: Resource-loaded task-based detailed project plans considered harmful

You cannot have a successful resource planning process based on rollups of resource loading on tasks in detailed project plans. Such rollups are almost always wrong, often wildly wrong. Resource-loaded tasks on detailed project plans are good as a first approximation to a credible resource plan for a project. But many types of projects do not need that level of detail to create a realistic resource plan. Furthermore, even when the bottom-up resource plan is good, it will become less and less accurate as the project goes on and activities are changed and reordered. The level of detail is not commensurate with the need in all but very few cases. Moreover, most companies do not have the uniform level of skill and discipline (and time) to make a bottom-up process work.

Reason 4: Accountability matters: functional resource managers are the key to success

The enormous investment in project management has marginalized functional managers in operational portfolio management practices. One of the most important things a good resource planning process does is formally recognize and engage functional managers in the planning process. Who else in the organization knows more about the utilization of resources than the manager to whom they report? Who knows more about their abilities and their suitability for specific tasks and projects?

--Peter Heinrich

 

Project management or resource planning?

pdwareManageMost organizations, even those that are good at project management, would benefit from resource planning. For the past fifty or sixty years, project management has been the rage -- and rightly so. But it has its limitations. PDWare recommends that companies begin with resource planning, and embrace life cycle management across a portfolio of projects. With effective resource planning, it becomes possible to deploy resources in the most effective way possible. Organizations graduate from a culture in which projects stay on time and budget (or not) to one in which they embrace an attitude of continuous improvement in resource allocation across a portfolio of projects.

Who Needs Resource Planning?

Most large organizations need resource planning. Generally, organizations manage project portfolios ad hoc. Their efforts are not systematic, and they do not encompass the company's entire spectrum of projects. Following are questions for organizations interested in learning more about resource planning. They help us understand their current processes, corporate culture, and technological environment.

Resource Planning Questions for Project Sponsors

* What is the average duration of projects in your portfolio?

* What is the average number of resources per project in the portfolio?

* Do your team members currently track time? If yes, what system do they use?

* How many first level resource managers allocate their people to projects?

Questions that Involve Executive Management

* Who typically makes portfolio approval decisions?

* Describe the current portfolio pipeline process.

* Who is the senior professional who has operational portfolio or pipeline process responsibility?

Questions for IT

* Describe your technical environment.

* Does your environment support Microsoft Windows application servers?

* Does your company use Microsoft Office?

Resource Planning Example: The Pyramids

Pyramid SlideThis diagram, one of my favorites, shows how resource planning is a new but ancient discipline. The builders of the Pyramids used a classically hierarchical organization breakdown structure. Each dot at the bottom of the Pyramid represents twenty men. As you go up the Pyramid, you can see how many people are in each of the units that comprise this organization. So, resource planning is as old as large-scale efforts conducted by human beings. But resource planning is -- and has always been -- plagued by problems with communication. In most modern organizations, if you use a hierarchical communication structure, in which the individual group leader reports to his manager, with communication moving upwards, you end up with a flood of detail data that are not usable. Also, this structure creates many opportunities for miscommunication, spin, suppressing or hiding bad news, and so on.

These serious communication problems can be resolved with modern technology. For effective resource planning, we believe there needs to be a set of software application tools in which:

* Data are collected at the lowest and most credible level.

* Data and analysis are obtainable by anyone in the organization, as needed.

--Peter Heinrich

Hear the entire webinar on the origins, present, and future of resource planning from  PDWare's CEO:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1khutDrzBO4&feature=youtu.be

Five questions to ask yourself about your project portfolio

unformal meeting with orange chairsThere are five questions you want to be able to answer with respect to effective resource planning, or managing a portfolio of projects. 1. Should we?

Should we do this project, or this set of projects? Clearly, this is a benefit/cost and contribution analysis. Are these projects worth doing? Are they critical? Are they mandatory?

2. Can we?

This is a capability supply/demand analysis. Do you have the right number of people to staff the project for its lifetime? Moreoever, do they possess the right skill sets? You might have enough people, but you might not have enough DBAs, or EEs, or testers, for example. Having the correct head count to staff a project does not ensure its success if those resources are not functionally prepared to do the work.

3. How are we doing?

Are projects hitting their targets and expectations? Are there gaps in resource-skill supply vs. demand in coming periods? Do we have people available with the right skills to take on the new and unexpected projects that must be done?

4. Did we?

After the fact, you must be able to go back and look at the plans, the intermediate status, and the results, to see how your organization did against those expectations and plans. This analysis must be based on data, not anecdotes or narratives.

5. How do we improve?

Obviously, if you don't have good data, you have little basis for making improvements. Capturing accurate, credible data allows you to develop metrics that help you improve.

--Peter Heinrich

 

Webinar: Resource planning is not project planning

international project management dayPeter Heinrich, CEO of PDWare, presented a webinar on resource planning for International Project Management Day. Thanks to Frank Saladis and his team for the invitation to speak and for providing the link to the webinar. http://internationalpmday.org/webinars/sept-20-2013-peter-heinrich-resource-planning/

Abstract:

There is no longer disagreement about the importance of resource planning to portfolio management. Portfolio management without a robust resource planning process is static, leaving out the most powerful levers for improvement. With all that is now known, most companies still self-identify as being poor at resource planning. Many of these companies also claim they are not mature enough to take on such an initiative.

Resource planning is where you start portfolio management, not where you end. Resource planning is a key driver of portfolio selection and is a necessary condition for improvement in execution. This webinar will elevate the traditional status of resource planning within portfolio management, and will make the case for getting started sooner rather than later.

The webinar will also introduce you to PDware and their unique approach to the challenges of managing organizational resources.

Speaker Information:

Peter Heinrich has a long history in technology product development and management. During a 20-year career with Xerox, he managed the group that developed the original Star Workstation functional specification and later played key roles in program management and planning process design. In 1989 he co-founded Integrated Project Systems (later called IPS Associates) where he created the IPS portfolio management practice. Based on his experience with corporations large and small, Peter designed the portfolio resource planning and management process that is instantiated in PDWare’s products. Peter has a BA in philosophy from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Phil Wolf to speak at Strategic Resource Management Conference

imagegen-2.ashxPhil Wolf, SVP, PDWare, will speak on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at the 11th annual Strategic Resource Management Conference in Bethesda, MD. Title: "The 6 Point Self-Evaluation of Capacity Planning"

Summary: An overview of the most common trouble spots PDWare comes across in new client implementation -- and their implications.

PDWare is a market leader in providing resource planning and portfolio oversight software to organizations managing project portfolios. PDWare was founded in 2001 to provide high-value, low-overhead resource planning software to support operational decisions and improve resource and portfolio productivity.

Practical software for all resource constrained environments

oldpdwarePDWare software addresses the following enterprise management issues:

* Visibility - Does management understand who works for them and what capabilities they deliver? * Throughput - Is the planned schedule of initiatives achievable based on current capacity? * Allocation - Are the right people working on the most important initiatives? * Staffing - Can the current talent profile support long term objectives?

Software functionality highlights:

* Dashboard reporting * Microsoft Project integration * Program level financials * Labor forecasting * Non-labor forecasting * Actuals tracking.

PDWare software is available as a hosted application or it may be installed on premises. Contact us about a 3 month hosted pilot engagement at sales@pdware.com.

CEO Peter Heinrich to speak at IT Portfolio Management Conference

PeterandDickPDWare CEO Peter Heinrich will speak at Camp IT Portfolio Management Conference in Chicago, Oct 8-9, 2013.

Title: "Defining and Implementing a Demand Prioritization Model."

Abstract:

Portfolio management without resource planning is an empty shell. There is no longer disagreement about the importance of resource planning to portfolio management. Portfolio management without a robust resource planning process is static, leaving out the most powerful levers for improvement. With all that is now known, most companies still self-identify as being poor at resource planning. Many of these companies also claim they are not mature enough to take on such an initiative. Resource planning is where you start portfolio management, not where you end. Resource planning is a key driver of portfolio selection and is a necessary condition for improvement in execution. This presentation will elevate the traditional status of resource planning within portfolio management, and will make the case for getting started sooner rather than later.

Bio:

Peter Heinrich has a long history in technology product development and management. During a 20-year career with Xerox, he managed the group that developed the original Star Workstation functional specification and later played key roles in program management and planning process design. In 1989 he co-founded Integrated Project Systems (later called IPS Associates) where he created the IPS portfolio management practice. Based on his experience with corporations large and small, Peter designed the portfolio resource planning and management process that is instantiated in PDWare’s products. Peter has a BA in philosophy from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Peter Heinrich, PDWare CEO, to speak

PeterSpeaker PDWare’s CEO Peter Heinrich will be speaking at two upcoming conferences.

* “Defining and Implementing a Demand Prioritization Model,” Camp IT Portfolio Conference, Oct 8-9, 2013, Chicago.

* “Beyond Resource Planning: Should We, Can We, and Did We?,” CHI Strategic Resource Management & Portfolio Management Conference, Oct. 21-23, Bethesda, MD.

Projects at Work on Resource Planning Conference 2013

PeterandDickThe 2013 Resource Planning Summit, a thought leadership conference focused on portfolio resource planning and management, drew its largest audience ever was earlier this year. The summit, now in its fourth year, presents theory and practice in resource planning and related processes from the point of view of companies at various stages of implementation. As a point of emphasis, RPS organizers view resource planning and management, in the context of project portfolio management, as unique processes that are not addressed adequately by PPM, phase/stage gate processes, or Project Management Institute’s PMBOK Guide. The RPS program offered a diverse mix of professional and practical presentations. Among the more than 125 resource planning and project portfolio professionals who came, one attendee described the events as “one of the best industry-led conferences” and a “great blend of inspiration, perspiration, and relaxation.” Presenting companies ranged from Fortune 500 giants to recent NASDAQ supernovas. An impressive list of speakers and presentations included:

Jason Boyd, PMO executive, Bank of America eCommerce Division surprised, shocked, and even dismayed listeners when he stated, “Tired of filling out time sheets? Just do away with them.” In Boyd’s division of 20,000 people, the practice of filing time sheets was called into question. They concluded that the cost of filing time sheets — not the software and IT expense, but the cost of team members completing them, line managers reviewing and approving them, and PMO/senior managers ensuring consistency and compliance — approaches seven figures annually. Most of the time sheets had pro forma amounts that did not vary from week to week. Jason’s presentation was an excellent guide for implementing resource planning in large financial services IT organizations, but most attendees at the conference will remember the part about time sheets.

Kevin Nguyen, director, PriceWaterhouseCoopers emphasized the importance of not making solutions complex and used the concept of an “Inflection Point Curve” to describe the relationship of solution complexity to value realization. Based on data from PwC engagements, the more complex the resource management process, the higher the risk of decreasing benefits. There was much to like about this well-organized presentation and its clear, actionable recommendations.

Meg Smith, VP product development systems, Stryker Corp.; Natalie Williams, senior consultant Global Portfolio Management, Motorola Solutions; and Dan Matarazzo, senior director, Clinical Finance, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals formed a panel that discussed obstacles to effective resource planning in their organizations, and the techniques they use to overcome them. A common theme among the panelists, as well as from other presenters, is that implementation of a resource planning process can threaten many people at all levels of the organization. Offering insight into what’s in it for them — better communication about current workload, solid justification for hiring or reducing the workload, clear priorities among competing activities — can turn around even the most reluctant opponent. Natalie Williams strongly recommended that a respected senior executive sponsor the effort to explain and defend the implementation, especially in meetings with other senior managers who resist the process.

Nate Bonar, PPM manager, B. Braun Medical, emphasized the importance of trust in a successful implementation. He described the formula at Braun Medical as a combination of trust, leadership, process and tools. Bonar suggested that none of us has all the answers and there will be mistakes along the way; however, if people trust each other, they will give the benefit of the doubt and continue to communicate. The major message of this presentation was simple yet valuable: 1) Accept that trust is a must; leadership matters; and the two are inseparable; 2) Build the right processes; and 3) Select a tool to enable the process.

Bodine Balasco, Mark Mayfield, Terry Schmidt, Frank Saladis and Stacy Goff led attendees through the subtleties of change management and team building with entertaining and engaging presentations. Goff and Saladis both sizzled with positive, people-oriented approaches to performance improvement and project leadership.

Peter Heinrich, CEO, PDWare, opened the summit by comparing today’s processes to those used by the early Egyptian teams responsible for the building of pyramids. According to Peter, the process of efficient resource planning is based on fresh, timely data served as needed. Users should periodically review and analyze the results of capturing relevant status and baselines at phase gates in order to explain the results and modify the process. The key is to make it as simple as possible, but no simpler.

“This conference has grown in attendees and impact every year because of the quality of the industry presentations and the excellence of the leadership speakers,” Heinrich said.

-- H. Molk, conference attendee

--Reprinted from ProjectsAtWork (9/6/2013) @ www.projectsatwork.com