Scary Resource Planning Stories for Halloween

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This being Halloween time, it's quite appropriate to share some scary stories to tell in the dark. Of course I'm talking about scary resource planning stories!

Be aware, the names and companies have been changed to protect the innocent, but the horror is all too real.

Now sit back IF YOU DARE, and enjoy a spine tingling duo of short but horrific tales of resource planning terror!

Dead Projects Tell No Tales

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One dark afternoon, Kirk T. James, PMO Director of Acme Enterprises, tried to get his company to implement resource planning, but nobody would listen.

The silence was deafening.

That very day, they had a new major initiative, the Vorta project, that had to be undertaken in order to keep up with their competitors, the Romulan Corporation. The problem was that there weren't any project managers available, or even developers that knew the Vorta system.

And so, the worst possible thing happened.

The project had to be abandoned, left to die on the vine while their competitors raced ahead.

Had they only known there were two available business analysts elsewhere in the organization with stupendous project leadership capabilities, plus three that had a pretty darn good knowledge of Vorta. A good resource planning system would've told them that.

But alas, the graveyards are full of companies who didn't know what they had... and well-meaning projects that never happened.

Nightmare at 10,000 Feet

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Margie Tyrell was VP of R&D for Highgarden Manufacturing, and her organization had no resource planning software whatsoever. All she knew was that projects were running late, important market windows were being missed, and the pressure was increasing by the day. It was a frightening situation and she wasn’t sure she’d survive it.

On a chilly afternoon in March, she got the news. The company had purchased resource planning software at last. All the organization's projects and resources had already been entered into the system, along with a high level effort forecast for each project.

For the first time, she was able to see a bird's eye view—-a 10,000 foot view, if you will—-of who was scheduled to do what in her division. And what she saw made the hair on her arms stand up.

It was a mis-utilization nightmare.

  • Heavy resource investments were being made in low priority projects while the really important work was bone dry.

  • Crucial and much-needed skill sets were extremely overbooked, causing huge bottlenecks.

No wonder they were missing all their deadlines and people were stressed!

There would be much work needed to rectify all this, but at least she now had clear visibility of the true horrors that were all around her—-invisible terrors that many people don't even know are plaguing them, haunting their schedules day and night.

Do you know what’s lurking in the hidden corners of your process?

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tales of resource planning terror, and remember, come trick or treat time, you don't want any tricks. Just the treat of a good resource planning system!


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Jerry Manas is the bestselling author of The Resource Management and Capacity Planning Handbook, Napoleon on Project Management, and more. At PDWare, Jerry helps clients improve strategy execution through tools and processes that align people and work with organizational priorities. Connect with Jerry on Twitter and LinkedIn.


PDWare is a pioneer in resource planning software, offering intuitive resource planning tools to drive your work portfolio based on your people's capacity. PDWare believes that good strategy execution, portfolio management, and project delivery begins with a solid foundation of resource planning. PDWare is a proud sponsor of the Resource Planning Summit, the premier resource planning conference.