12

Drawing from the body and comments of a previous question, what is the best way to schedule simultaneous projects and resources to those projects?

For example, in a group of 16 staff, each working on multiple projects, each with an iteration cycle of ~2 weeks, how can I see what people are working on what NOW, so that I can effectively utilize staff across all projects we may have and reduce idle time on the whole team?

4

Drawing from the body and comments of a previous question, what is the best way to schedule simultaneous projects and resources to those projects?

  • Ideally you will schedule your team so as to minimize the amount of time that they are working on more than one project at a time. This helps avoid the inefficiencies associated with multi-tasking.
  • Failing the ideal (which is likely what is going to happen around 99% of the time) look at your projects and figure out where they are most work-intensive for a given role. Use this knowledge to help level overall effort for your team across your projects.
  • Allow for some amount of idle time. If you don't do this you will burn your team out, so allow your team some time to take a breath and celebrate successes before moving immediately to the next job. All too often the reward for a job well done is twice as much work.
  • Go through your projects and get feedback from your team members about where bottlenecks are. This can help tell you who is getting overloaded, allowing you to take action to resolve the problem.
2

Good Gantt chart software can be helpful, but, in my experience, not enough for efficient resource planning. For the cases described in both questions, I’d advise something a bit more advanced. Wrike, PM software that my team and I have been using for more than a year now, has an interactive workload view, which helped a lot in optimizing our schedules.

I tend to use its Gantt chart and workload in combo. First, I plan the project’s steps and set its milestones on the Gantt chart, and then I assign the tasks to my team on the workload. And there I can actually monitor how loaded with work each member of my team is at any time and, if needed, reallocate the tasks. So if, for instance, one of my team members falls sick, I can simply divide and drag-and-drop his tasks among the rest of the team.

This software has been a real life-saver for us, and I can’t even imagine how hard it would be to keep all that in one’s head and, honestly, can’t see why a person would want to :)

1

We've used https://taliscape.com/ to align our people across all of the projects in our organization. It's great to give you a visual look of people's allocated time (similar to a gantt chart) and it helps you understand their capacity vs. assigned hours.

As Doug mentioned, you don't want to overstaff your team - allow for some amount of idle time.

-1

Collaborative resource scheduling software is the answer to your question. You can give a free try to Enbraun's eResource Scheduler (multi user resource planning software).

You can have Gantt Chart view of all your resources and projects on a single dashboard and can export this chart to MS Excel that facilitates sharing the data among multiple users.

The Gap Report highlights resource gaps at project level by comparing resource requirements and allocations in different views and units.

This application facilitates importing multiple tasks from MS Project file, and individual notes can be entered in tasks.

It facilitates task level scheduling.

  • 2
    Welcome to PMSE @user10481. This answer reads a bit like an advertisment for eResource Scheduler at the moment. It would be more useful for the original poster to understand why these kind of features/approaches might be useful in their particular situation. – Willl Sep 9 '14 at 13:38

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