Addressing the skills and processes necessary to schedule shared resources across multiple projects (portfolio or program) requires an intimate understanding of all the resource skill and experience sets along with the tools to allocate and track these resources. Most standard project management software programs contain resource allocation modules, which not only track individual resources but how they are allocated, how much is allocated, and whether they are overallocated. These programs also produce reports that are the usual communication tools for stakeholder management. So learning how to use these tools is critical to successful project management, particularly in the program and portfolio environment. With these tools and the skills to use them we can:
Balance individual resource load versus capacity across the portfolio.
Assign and allocate resource skills effectively across the portfolio.
Understand shared resource availability.
Make fact-based portfolio schedule trade-offs.
Preserve project schedule priorities relative to enterprise objectives.
Present useful status (high-level portfolio and detailed project) to stakeholders.
The resource allocation, in conjunction with the final schedule and cost evaluation and validation, is the last step before project plan approval and implementation.