Resource Management Software
One of the key problems in product development is not having enough
resources. Usually this means not having enough manpower to do all the
projects on the list, leading to delays. The current 'solution' is for
management to shout louder, exhort everyone to work harder and bang the
table. Unsurprisingly, this is not very effective, because it does not
address the root cause of the problem.
Another 'solution' is for management to insist on one pet project
getting priority. This works for a while for that project, by people
doing just that and robbing resources from every other project to feed
the 'pet'. Of course at the next meeting it is noticed that other
projects are now slipping even more and a new 'pet becomes flavour of
the month - If a pet can be flavour of the month, but you know what I
And so the cycle of changing priorities continues, with ultimately
all projects running late, in an uncontrolled fashion and a demoralised
workforce, whose mantra is 'I wish they would make up their mind', or
perhaps more likely, 'That lot could not organise a piss-up in a
brewery', because chaos reigns.
The resolution is simple - to assess the resources that each project
needs and when, to add them all up over time, compare them with the
available resources and then decide an action plan to deal with the
overloads. This might be setting priorities, i.e. deliberately delaying
less important projects or tasks within projects, recruiting more staff
in key areas, getting contractors in, outsourcing some activities, or
cancelling some projects etc. The choice is yours.
Some projects will still not meet their original release date
(especially if they have been cancelled!), but now your are dealing with
planned delays, rather than unplanned ones, which means you are
organised rather than disorganised and order reigns, rather than chaos.
If you do this down to a sufficient level of resolution, e.g. to
department level, or skill level, you may find that the problem comes
down to 2 or 3 bottlenecks where most of the hold-ups occur. This means
that in fact it is probably an easier problem to deal with, as you can
focus just on those key areas. Of course when you have dealt with those,
other bottlenecks will become apparent, which will then have to be dealt
If the problem is specific areas then the best solution is usually to
reinforce those areas, either temporarily or permanently. If the problem
is more general, then the best solution is to cancel some projects, to
allow the 'good' ones breathing space. As Steve Jobs said "It's saying
no to a 1000 things to allow you to focus on the really important ones".
In your case, perhaps it is saying no to only a few things, rather than
So the key is
This may take some time and effort the first time that you do it, but
then as each new project comes along it becomes relatively easy to see
whether it will fit in from a resource point of view.
It does not matter how you do it; Excel, MS Project, or a more
sophisticated tool. The key is that you make a start and do it somehow.
For further information or to discuss how we may be able to adviose
you with regard to your specfic problems, please contact us,
and we will do our best to help.