Resource Planning Summit

Resource Planning Summit Planned for June 2020

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ANNOUNCEMENT:

The 9th annual Resource Planning Summit will take place in June 2020, and once again, PDWare is proud to sponsor this premier event.

If you’re planning conferences for next year, this is one you won’t want to miss. Exact dates and location will be announced in the near future.

With top speakers, industry experts, networking opportunities, and entertaining evening events, the Resource Planning Summit is a great way to elevate your knowledge in resource planning, strategy execution, and portfolio management, while hobnobbing with peers and having fun.

Stay tuned for more!


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.

Takeaways from the Resource Planning Summit

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I had the good fortune to present with some excellent fellow speakers at this year’s Resource Planning Summit in Nashville, TN.

Speakers were on hand from leading organizations to talk about good practices in resource planning that have helped them succeed, as well as challenges to look out for.

Several common themes emerged across the diverse presenters:

  • Prioritization is essential to good resource planning

  • Engagement across business units is key to allocating resources properly across the enterprise portfolio

  • An ongoing cadence of portfolio reviews and resource allocation is necessary to keep things on track

  • Paying attention to demand distribution and how people and money should be aligned across demand types can help ensure optimal resource utilization

  • The human side of resource management cannot be underestimated. Resource optimization and productivity is as much a psychological issue as it is an alignment and capacity/demand issue.


The closing day keynote speaker was filmmaker/screenwriter David Hayter (X-Men, X-Men 2, Watchmen), whose behind-the-scenes filmmaking stories brought a wealth of advice in an entertaining and humorous fashion. Some key takeaways I noted, especially regarding the soft skills of leadership and resource productivity, but also in project and portfolio management, were:

  • All environments are chaotic to a degree. Some are exceedingly chaotic and downright negative. Sometimes this is because the leader WANTS chaos. They think that constantly changing directions will keep people sharp or give them an advantage (note: It may, but at what cost?). Then it becomes a matter of how to perform well in such environments. This is true in filmmaking and in business.

    • Being unpredictable is one of the power principles espoused in the book, 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene, a Machiavellian tome described by its own publisher as "amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive." Hayter added that this is by no means a recommended strategy, merely an expose into the mind of such leaders.

  • People set the culture of any organization. BUT… the leader's energy (positive or negative) often spreads to the whole team.

  • Regarding projects and programs: Don't be afraid to switch gears if it'll bring greater value, regardless of how much has already been spent. In the X-Men movie, a late decision was made to involve a lead character more because it was the right thing to do, even though it added cost. The value return was exponential.

    • In general, think more toward value than cost. Some of the best ideas weren't planned from the beginning. Sometimes you may need to make a case for taking corrective or new action.   

  • Ernest Hemingway said "Kill your darlings." This is applicable to project portfolios as well. Sometimes to bring greater value, there's more to be eliminated than there is to be added.

  • When given conflicting or contradicting direction by different stakeholders or leaders, have a dialogue to address the differences. Be a leader. 

  • Chaos happens, but a good, open culture can help expedite problem solving. You may reach the same finish line in both positive and negative environments, but the latter is unnecessarily stressful.

  • Since chaos and troubleshooting are the norm, the only thing you can control is yourself and your reaction to it. Some guidelines are:

    • Don't take on a fight you know you can't win

    • A combination of humility, listening, and adapting, plus knowing when to stand up and fight back is the ideal course to take.

    • Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse said, "Be nice... until it's time to not be nice." But keep in mind the above. There is a nobility in the Zen response.

  • Leverage opportunities when you get them, but be prepared to deal with a variety of situations. Remember, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity" - Roman philosopher Seneca.


In addition to the above takeaways from David Hayter, attendees were asked to contribute their favorite quotes from the event. Below is a short summary:

  • You can't change an event, but you can change the outcome.

  • Normal is the exception to the rule.

  • People are the fuel on which an organization runs.

  • Life is change.

  • Resource management is the cure for disengagement.

  • Life isn't always the party we hoped for, but while we're here we might as well dance.

  • If you want to create a movement, get people engaged.

  • The first casualty in any battle is the plan.

  • Employee entrepreneurial orientation delivers innovation.

  • General Custer could've used resource management.

  • Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

All in all, the event was a splendid time for all (to paraphrase the Beatles).


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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.

Resource Planning Can Make You a Superhero: The Human Side of Resource Planning

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People often associate resource planning with cold numbers or hard skills, and speak in terms of "FTEs," "resources," and "head count." For a high performing, motivated team, it's crucial to remember that it's human beings we're dealing with. Unlike machine parts, human beings have good days and bad days and family issues and working styles, and all sorts of things that can impact their work, for better or worse. As one of the key founding fathers of Agile, Alistair Cockburn, once shared with me, "People are not suitcases, to be moved around at will." 

Indeed, optimizing resources means creating an environment where people can do their best work. A pioneer in the positive psychology movement, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, created the concept of Flow, where people are so immersed in what they're doing that time seems to stand still. To enable that optimal state, they must be doing work that both has an appropriate level of challenge and is an appropriate match for their skills/strengths. Too little challenge creates apathy. A skills mismatch creates frustration. Either will reduce interest and productivity.

Of course, for Flow to happen in the first place, the environment must be suitable for it. 

A big part of enabling people to do their best means not overloading them with multitasking or forcing them to work out of their comfort zones. This is best addressed through resource planning (for lack of a more suitable term), which involves ensuring that incoming pipeline projects are prioritized and the availability of people with suitable skills is assessed. There are multiple approaches for addressing any shortfall, including delaying or altering the incoming work, securing outside or additional resources, or shifting priorities.

Management guru Ken Blanchard said, "Profit is the applause you get for creating a motivating environment for your people and taking care of your customers." With this in mind, you can become an absolute superhero to your organization, and the people in it, by introducing and/or improving a resource planning process that will enable optimal performance.

Speaking of superheroes, I was especially saddened to hear of the recent passing of Marvel legend Stan Lee. I grew up reading his stories and had the good fortune to meet him at a comic con a few years back, where I happened to be speaking on the art of storytelling (side note: I write sci-fi in my other life). He was a gracious man with a knack for telling captivating tales. A consistent theme he'd always preached through his characters was that doing the right thing was heroic, and that superheroes can come in all shapes and sizes.  

It does not seem a stretch to extrapolate from that a valuable lesson that introducing resource planning is simply the right thing to do. It's right for the people, right for creating value, and right for the top and bottom line. The other choice is to continue business as usual, burning people out while projects get delayed, errors increase, and customers get irate. The question then, is: Can you afford NOT to do resource planning? 

I know which option Stan Lee and Ken Blanchard would choose.


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PS: Related to the topic of superheroes and resource planning, noted screenwriter and filmmaker David Hayter (X-Men, Watchmen, and more) will be delivering a keynote at the 2019 Resource Planning Summit in Nashville, TN (Feb 10-13). He'll be sharing team-building and resource planning lessons from the fictional world of superheroes as well as real-life superheroes, the teams that make the films, amid high complexity, constant change, and tight deadlines. To learn more, visit www.ResourcePlanningSummit.com


JB Manas - website photo.jpg

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.

Gain an Edge at the Resource Planning Summit: New Speakers Announced

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Resource management is simple, right? All you have to do is not schedule more work than you have people for, and make sure you have the right skills available for the right work at the right time. 

For many, that's easier said than done. The truth is, amid constant dynamic change, digital transformation, rapid innovation, and business complexity, you need a resource planning model that's lean and adaptive, meant to support greater agility and change. You need systems to provide visibility and accommodate multiple work methods. And you need to optimize the resources you do have for high performance.

Fortunately, others have paved the way with tools, tips, and techniques.

This is why PDWare sponsors the Resource Planning Summit each year, to hear and share the latest thought leadership on resource management, to share challenges and ideas, and to gain the insights of the collective experts in attendance. As they say, a rising tide raises all ships.

The upcoming Resource Planning Summit in Nashville, TN on Feb 10-13 is shaping up to be bigger than ever, with a growing lineup of speakers, including leading experts, authors, and practitioners in the world of resource and portfolio management. 

Speakers will be talking about organizational agility and resource planning; optimizing performance in mission-critical environments; why Agile resource management is so unique; and more. You'll hear from PMO directors, consultants, authors, as well as valuable insights from those who've overcome common resource management challenges. Plus, there's a panel on combining Agile and Waterfall resources.

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In addition to thought leaders and practitioners, filmmaker/screenwriter David Hayter (X-Men, Watchmen, and more) will share team-building lessons from the fictional world of superheroes as well as real-life superheroes-(aka the teams that make the films, amid high complexity, constant change, and tight deadlines). And, of course, this being Nashville, noted songwriter and humorist Patrick Henry will be on hand to show how to keep your resource management team in tune—literally.  

Recently, I had the pleasure to interview another RPS speaker, Donna Fitzgerald, executive director of Nimble PM and former Gartner VP, on why resource management, product focus, and spontaneous projects are the driving force behind adaptive strategy execution, especially in these volatile days of digital transformation. Check it out HERE.

And here's a short video preview of the upcoming event in Nashville. 

Hope to see you all at the summit!

PS: I'll be looking forward to speaking at the event as well, sharing timeless resource planning lessons from a thousand years of military history. After all, you don't want to be like General Custer!


JB Manas - website photo.jpg

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.

The One Thing You Need to Do To Resolve Project Overload

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Too many projects and not enough people. It’s a battle cry heard in organizations everywhere. A new article published in HBR (Harvard Business Review) titled “Too Many Projects: Why Companies Won’t Let Bad Projects Die” tackles the issue head on. Authors Rose Hollister and Michael D. Watkins offer key insights into the root of the problem, along with some practical, spot-on solutions.

The gist of the solution can be summed up in two words: Resource Management,

This includes:

  • the demand/capacity visibility and transparency that prioritization and resource planning brings

  • continuously considering the triple constraint of demand, supply, and priority with every new project request, ongoing resource assignment, and project execution checkpoint. 

Hollister and Watkins offer a few cautions as well.

They warn against prioritizing by function or department alone, lest silo thinking will sabotage enterprise prioritization efforts.

Likewise, they advise against simply instituting an overall prioritization process without deciding what to cut (i.e., planning without execution). 

They also suggest avoiding uniform percentage cuts for each department because then organizational priorities aren't considered.

The authors include four areas to assess before each new initiative is undertaken, all of which relate directly to resource management (which I propose includes balancing demand with capacity).

The four areas are (the parts in parenthesis are my added description):

  • Analyzing the project (for goals and expected benefits)

  • Assessing the resources (and the resource and cost impact on the organization vs. other work)

  • Sizing up stakeholder support (for commitment and to validate priorities)

  • Setting limits (and identifying tradeoffs needed in order to fit the work in)

For more on the causes and cures for project overload, I highly suggest reading their article.


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Note: Whether you’re new to resource planning concepts or an experienced veteran, you may find value in the 8th Annual Resource Planning Summit, February 10-13, 2019 in Nashville, TN. Registration is now open. I’ll be speaking at the event, along with PMI Fellow Frank Saladis and a number of other leaders in the field. The full speaker lineup will be announced shortly. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.


JB Manas - website photo.jpg

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.

Registration Now Open for the Resource Planning Summit 2019!

We’re happy to announce that Registration is now open for the 8th Annual Resource Planning Summit, February 11-13 at the beautiful Hutton Hotel in Nashville, TN.

The Resource Planning Summit is the premier event for promoting best practices in Resource Management, Demand Management, Capacity Planning, and how all these disciplines apply to Projects, Sprints, and Strategy Execution.

The two and a half day conference is a meeting of the minds to learn, share and network with like-minded professionals on how to best utilize and optimize enterprise resource planning techniques and software across various industries and businesses.

  • Interact with managers, executives, PMOs, EPPMOs, PPM industry experts and companies

  • Participate in interactive sessions, and panel discussions

  • Learn from industry leaders, top notch speakers and keynotes 

  • Earn PDUs over 2+ Content Filled Days

  • Experience Nashville, TN with a purpose

Be sure to register early, as this year's venue is in high demand. We look forward to seeing you in Nashville!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Sponsorships Still Available

Sponsorships are still available. Sponsorship includes an optional vendor booth at the conference, promotion in conference materials and marketing, special mention at the conference, and more. For info, please call Judy: (203) 894 5666; or email us at info@resourceplanningsummit.com.


JB Manas - website photo.jpg

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.

Save the Date! The Resource Planning Summit 2019 will be in Nashville, TN

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If you're looking to improve your organization's resource management and capacity planning capability, the premier event for this subject is returning early next year. 

The 8th Annual Resource Planning Summit will be held in Nashville, TN on February 10-13, 2019. Details will be announced shortly, but early reports on the venue and speakers have the 2019 Summit shaping up to be one of the best ever!

A key theme, among others, will be resource planning in an Agile and Waterfall world, something many organizations are challenged with. 

Meanwhile, check out the Resource Planning Summit website to view the details from last year's event, which was held in Austin, TX.  Registration for the new event will be announced soon. 


JB Manas - website photo.jpg

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.