I work as a PM for a small company active in the metal carpentry business. We have 3 PMs managing up to 50 projects per year ranging from few weeks to three years each. Design, shopfloor and site installation people are, of course, shared across the projects.
We are struggling to find a good way to manage a global schedule where we can spot and anticipate resource shortage or contention across all the projects.
MS Project seems fine as long as we use to plan at a week resolution level for projects far down the pipeline. As soon as we need to manage the shopfloor or site planning for the next week, the interplay between resources, changing priorities and activities becomes so fluid that it seems impossible to track things down with Project (it takes more to update the tool than manage things with paper and pencil).
Once we get hit by this "wave" people gets frustrated and lose confidence in using MS Project for the coming planning, but we see that there is a big potential in using it.
I think this pattern is quite common. What method would you suggest to approach this type of situation?