PDWare: Don't we get resource planning from project planning?

Yes and No! Yes project schedule planning is an excellent source of a 1st approximation to an organization's or portfolio's resource plan. But unless you are doing only one project at a time, that won't do for portfolio decision making.

If many projects are underway at the same time, those 1st approximations need to be adjusted by the functional managers to account for all the activity going on. The big questions are: How do we match demand to supply? And conversely, how do we match supply to demand over the long-term?

When you are deciding to start or continue a project, you should be able to show that the skills and resources required for that project, and all others, are available now and for the duration of the project. This is the achievability factor that should be addressed in your project life cycle (phase gate) and portfolio management processes.

Peter Heinrich is CEO of PDWare, a resource scheduling software company.