Good capacity management leads to better project execution, thus bringing greater benefits to the company. However, there are several challenges associated with resource capacity management, two of which are discussed briefly below.
The first challenge is to understand what level of granularity the organization needs to be successful (i.e. at an organizational level, at a skill code level, or even at the individual by-name level). Data granularity comes with a price. Counting the number of resources in an organization is relatively easy, but provides minimal benefit. Identifying specific skills/roles and tracking this requires more effort. Allocating individuals to project phases requires even more time and energy but enables good organizational capacity management.
The next challenge is keeping the data current which requires project management discipline. Depending on the level of detail, a certain degree of project management expertise (maturity) is required to collect that data. This is where there is significant overlap between project management and portfolio management. In order to have good resource data, the project manager needs to have a reasonable project plan in order to understand the resource requirements. The aggregate of all of that information certainly feeds the portfolio management system, but the data is largely driven by the project plans.
My personal approach is to right-size portfolio management processes to fit an organization's culture and maturity to be effective without creating a bureaucracy. Please contact me if you would like to know more about how project portfolio management (PPM) can help your organization achieve its strategic goals.
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