I wanted to get feedback on if anyone has a really good way of when looking and trying to visualize a book of work or a roadmap, to connect:

  • Investment Themes
  • Resource Allocation
  • Projects & Deliverables

I really don't want to get into a micro management of resources / microsoft project styles as teams work in all sorts of ways and trying to micro manage the cost of every little deliverable has high overhead and little value.

That being said, I do want to have some connection around resource forecasting and the book of work to make sure I see where i am overcommitting and where i am allocation my resources.

Has anyone found a good middle ground that doesn't have to have an army of people to manage this data but still be good enough to be meaningful and give good visibility around where folks are investing.

Any particular tools out there that people find work well for this?

3 Answers 3


As software recommendation questions are discouraged, let's review what are good ways to present this information. Based on it, we can take this list to assess if a software is good or not for your needs.

Investment Themes

I'm afraid not quite used to this term, but as per THIS article, it seems to be a methodology (usually applied for Agile) to make sure that the budget for the different themes within a project is being consumed as expected (i.e. there's no project consuming more budget than expected).

It seems to be usually presented on a graphical form of some sort.

Googling for it, your question appears as the 11th result... so I'm assuming it's something 'new' (or usually referred by another terminology).

Resource Allocation

There are as many ways to see resource allocation in a project as project management tools for resource allocation. As you mentioned, you need a high level view of resource allocation... but it's not clear on the question what's the information you need.

  • How many resources are allocated to a specific theme?
  • What project is consuming more resources?
  • What are the resources delivering within estimates?

In my work, for instance, what I need to know is the workload of each resource (regardless of the project he's currently working, as our projects are similar) and when this specific resource will be available again.

Projects and Deliverables

Again, there's a lot of forms to present the projects and deliverables forecast. With my BAs, I'm used to use a simple Excel (I love Excel). It'll also depend on how you want this information to be presented.

Now, if your situation is similar to mine, you can give it a try to the Atlassian Jira. I can tell that you can use Structure to have the project's big picture. Jira can also be integrated to your Continuous Integration Server (not only to the Atlassian's Bamboo. We use Sonar) linking deliverables by Milestones. Jira has also a very high level of customization, so you could definitely make it fits your needs.

Once the team is used to use Jira, you just need to access it to check how things are going... as developers are expected to be updating their own tasks.

Still, regardless of the tool you'll use, you first need to review what you need and (most especially) why you need, otherwise you'll be only adding extra work over your shoulders.

Think of a tool as a means to reach a goal, not the goal itself.

Hope this helps, success!

  • I am trying to find if there is one set of tools that work across these points . .
    – leora
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 12:40
  • And have you had a look on my suggestion?
    – Tiago Cardoso
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 19:31

If you're looking for a tool, HP PPMC web based tool might help to allocate resources for projects, list of projects team is working, how much availability team have, time entry etc..

  • 1
    what is HP PPMC (couldn't find it by googling)
    – leora
    Commented Nov 16, 2013 at 18:04
  • Hi @Sreedhar, I edited slightly so this doesn't sound so much like a follow up comment requesting clarification. In general, requests for more info should be comments.
    – jmort253
    Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 2:44
  • Hewlett Packard Project Protfolio Management solution called PPMC. Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 16:26
  • Leora did this clarify your question? PPMC will be one tool for all your needs, might be expensive for small irganizations. Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 17:16

What is your driver? More important than a particular concept is your attitude and your insight into working with people and projects. A tool such as Quality Companion (see http://www.minitab.com/en-US/products/quality-companion/default.aspx) can help you develop answers to your questions.

From the site: "Manage your projects with a single application that gives you all the tools and guidance you need."

Well, more or less. The tool ist good packed, easy to learn and leads me and my team to a successful approach. IMHO, there ist no such tool like "ready to go and make me look smart".

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