Complex Resource Management

How do you manage 8 people working on 20 projects, more or less at the same time? This is one of the toughest challenges me and my colleagues are facing every day. You may have noticed by now that I love complexity. Well, there are times when things get too complex, even for my taste.

Today the project managers and I have been discussing how to manage resources over all these projects. The problem is that we have not yet found a suitable tool that enables us to manage the capacity planning of X resources working on Y projects, where Y is much larger than X. The tools I have investigated so far simply assume that the entire development team is assigned to one and the same big project. Every scenario in every book and article I have read about project planning makes this simplistic assumption. But for many dynamic organizations, like ours, it is insufficient. Sure, iteration and release planning per project can easily be carried out with popular tools for agile project management. But when you climb one level higher, and you want to plan how and when those resources are assigned to the different projects running concurrently in the organization, you are left to your own devices. In practice, this often means using Excel-spreadsheets or other cumbersome solutions.

If you have any suggestions, don't hesitate to let me know! My resource managers will send you kisses and flowers.

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