Best Practice Resource Management ;)

Dave works in the Project Management Office (PMO). He’s responsible for resourcing projects. The most common phrase he hears in the company is “we need more resource”. Luckily for the organisation Dave is a magician! He can resource any project. In this blog post I uncover Dave’s secret and share with you a practice that is common place across many organisations.

Behold the resource management spreadsheet:


Green means fully utilised, Red indicates over allocation (but that’s ok as we like to stretch our people a little), and blue means spare capacity. Another way to look at it is an allocation of .2 equates to 1 day.

Dave keeps a close eye on this spreadsheet and updates it in real-time to ensure he’s got his finger on the pulse. Dave is approached by Sue, head of PMO – “Dave, I’ve got a new project that needs to start asap. Can you pull me a team together please?”. Dave glances across his spreadsheet and works out that he does indeed have the resources available. Dave’s spreadsheet now looks like this:


Project 4 is fully resourced, his boss – the head of PMO is happy, the project sponsor is happy, so Dave heads out for lunch after his busy morning of resource wizardry with his reputation as a miracle worker intact.

Upon Dave’s return from lunch he has an urgent email in his inbox from the CEO’s office. The CEO needs to resource an urgent project with tight deadlines. Dave needs to respond by close of play today with a resource plan. Again, Dave crunches some numbers in his spreadsheet and comes up with the following plan:


The yellow highlights show the changes made. Again, Dave has done the impossible and managed to resource the project.

Now, to the uninitiated, it may seem like the consequence of Dave’s actions would lead individuals like Kathy Phillips to be confused as to what their priorities are when they come in to work when assigned to multiple projects? Luckily, this organisation empowers their employees to manage their own time.

If you recognise any part of this satirical article within your organisation then let’s explore the alternative Lean Agile approaches to managing people and teams. 

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