Resource Engagement using Team Planner

Posted By Posted by: Derek Halawa on July 26, 2017

Resource Management is one of the most challenging aspects for Enterprise PMOs. This is partly because it falls on the borderline between projects and operations (BAU). Effective management relies on collaboration through mature processes and tools. The size of the resource pool, the spread of skills across departments, and the constant change in demand on resources can turn this into a headache.

I have observed clients addressing this in a variety of ways. Some simplify it to a 20 day per month for all resources. PMs and Resource Managers (RM) log their need and negotiate over-allocation on monthly basis. Others assign them to summary tasks on the schedule. The first gained simplicity and compromised accuracy while the other can be a cumbersome job to maintain. In all cases, the location to view capacity/allocation is separate from where the allocation is done. I.e. if a Manager notices an over-allocation in the Capacity Planning page then they have to go to another interface (e.g.  project schedule) to rectify it back and forth.

The Team Planner plug-in from Projectum attempts to assist with this challenge. To the end user, it will be accessible through a PDP within the project context.

The anatomy of the interface can be split into the following sections:

  1. The left-hand side is a list of projects/phases/tasks
  2. The middle section is the work space. This is where the adjustments are made
  3. The right-hand side shows a list of resources. Resources can be added by clicking the + button or drag-and-drop into the workspace

This web part is typically embedded into a PDP as below:

The tool extends its features to build the WBS as well while allocating resources. The PM can add a resource to the middle section (work area) and will either; assign it to an existing task or create a new one, depending on where the resource is dropped. Once a resource is added to Team Planner, the resource is also automatically added to the Project Team.

The Resource Manager experience is resource-centric (instead of project-centric for the PM). In their interface, they can view resource allocation across the enterprise. On that interface, a heat map color-coded shows the different levels of allocation and allows re-assigning resources. The user can drill-down into the full assignments of any given resource. It also allows the replacement of Generic resources (as requested by the PM) with Named ones. The interface to the Resource Manager is similar to that of the PM but with the ability to approve and view Free Capacity (FC).

I reached out to Projectum to address the following points and Anne-Cathrine responded with the following:

  1. Is the license per user or per instance?
    • There is a basis fee of app. 1.000 AUD. This includes 50 resources in your Resource Center. For every resource above the 50, the fee is app. 3 AUD
  2. Does the tool take into account the security model of PPM and restrict access to resources according to the permissions of the PM or RM?
    • Yes. Team Planner reads the permissions from Project Online.
  3. Does the tool take into account the Resource Breakdown Structure hierarchy built into PPM?
    • Yes. Team Planner reads from the RBS of the organization to find out which resources belongs to which resource manager.
  4. Does the tool take into account resource attributes such as starting date or unit % (for part-timers)?
    • Yes it does.
  5. Does the tool take into account resource unavailability due to leaves as entered in the resource calendar or timesheet?
    • No, it does not. We don’t want it to do so, since it is the Resource Manager who is responsible for the data in Team Planner, we want him to be the person so enter leave and vacation. In Team Planner, we have “Administrative Project” for this purpose. Administrative projects don’t have the request function like “regular” projects – it is simply the manager allocating the resources to “Vacation”, “Maternity Leave”, “Internal Time” or whatever the organization have defined as Administrative projects.
  6. It seems that the resource pool on the right-hand side is drawn from AD, can that be switched to the Enterprise Resource Pool instead?
    • Team Planner takes resources from Enterprise Resource Pool in Resource Center in Project Online. We advise our customers to synchronize their Resource Center with AD, so that they only have to update resources in one place. The pictures are from AD.

Find below further information on Team Planner:

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