Planning for Enterprise Information Sharing

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PMOs are responsible for planning the data, processes, and roles necessary to capture, report on, and analyze project and resource information in the enterprise. The goal of planning is to enable the gathering and reporting of the information the organization wants to use and report on.

A good place to start your planning is with business questions. When you know the questions that the business needs answered , you can determine which data is required from Microsoft Project Server 2003 to help answer those questions. Key business questions might be

  • What is my organization's capacity for work?

  • What skill bottlenecks exist in my organization?

  • What would be the impact to other projects if we added this new project to our portfolio of projects?

  • What is the cash flow for my projects?

  • What is my portfolio of projects, and how do they meet our business imperatives?

  • What would happen if I shifted the way projects are prioritized?

  • What would happen if I added or removed resources that have specific skills?

Answering these questions requires that accurate, timely , and consistent information be available to the business leaders in an organization.

A business typically charters a PMO to establish and manage the planning, roles, rules, and processes associated with enterprise-level project management and the business questions your organization needs to have answered.

Planning Enterprise Roles and Group Responsibilities

The capabilities and functions of Microsoft Project Server 2003 are associated with a default set of user groups and roles. The variety of capabilities and roles can be overwhelming at first. Microsoft Project Server 2003 is most easily understood if thought of in terms of capability and group roles, as described later in this section. The list illustrates the correlation between the various capabilities or functions and the major user roles.

TIP

The roles shown later in this section may or may not fit your current organizational language or operating structure. After reading through this chapter, you might want to consider your organizational structure in order to refine or improve the roles defined.


Keep the roles in mind as you are reading Part VIII. They will help you understand how the various capabilities are used and when and by whom they are used.

Microsoft Project 2003 predefines seven distinct Project users, known as groups:

Group

Roles

Administrators

Installing, configuring, and maintaining the Microsoft Project Server repository and suite of associated tools, supporting the user community, and managing Project Server 2003 databases

Making changes to the enterprise global template

Importing resources and schedules

Creating portfolio analysis models

Creating and managing views

Checking in enterprise projects and resources if necessary

Executives

Viewing and analyzing the enterprise project and resource information in the repository from a business perspective by using the Project Center and the Resource Center

Portfolio managers

Defining and deploying project management processes, standards, conventions, and tools

Planning, defining, and entering enterprise project, resource, and task outline codes and custom codes

Creating enterprise generic resources in the enterprise resource pool and assigning enterprise resource outline codes to them

Creating enterprise project schedule templates

Plan OLAP cube generation

Viewing and analyzing the enterprise resource and project information from an organization perspective: uses Project and Resource Centers for analysis

Project managers

Using enterprise templates to quickly generate initial schedules

Viewing and analyzing the enterprise resource information in the repository from a project perspective using the Resource Center

Viewing and analyzing their project information in the repository using the Project Center

Saving schedule versions in the Microsoft Project Server repository

Using the enterprise resource pool via Enterprise Team Builder to assign project generic resource tasks to actual resources

Resource managers

Making sure information about each resource is kept up-to-date in the repository

Reviewing resource assignments

Performing resource analysis, modeling, and forecasting using the Resource Center and Portfolio Modeler

Team leads

Assisting resource managers and project managers with resource and project management

Team members

Entering data about their tasks' progress, status, issues, and risks into the repository via Project Web Access.

Managing to-do lists

Each of the seven groups has unique responsibilities associated with setting up and using Microsoft Project Server 2003. The roles listed in the preceding list are the Microsoft Project Server 2003 defaults. In this book, all examples use the default roles and groups.

NOTE

It's important that you assign people to their proper groups. Keep in mind that people can hold multiple roles. For example, if someone holds both team member and team lead responsibilities, you should assign him/her to both groups.


Planning Enterprise Project Management Processes

In addition to planning the roles that your organization needs, you need to define and implement the key project management processes and deliverables needed to support portfolio management. For example, many organizations are creating a front-door process for projects. The purpose of the front-door process is to make sure that a project does the following:

  • Meets business objectives

  • Has a viable business case

  • Has viable schedules and plans

  • Has a sponsor and customer

  • Has an assigned priority

  • Is not performing redundant work

  • Has an architecture that conforms to corporate standards

Another key process that many organizations struggle with is the project progress tracking. Creating viable plans and schedules through a front-door process is a good start, but a month after a project begins, you need to think about some other issues: How much progress has been made? Is the project ahead of or behind schedule? Is it above or below budget? How is the project doing in terms of resources required and resources actually working?

Reporting accurate project progress information in a timely manner is a prerequisite for providing business leaders with the data required to manage the business. Microsoft Project Server 2003 provides the repository, user interface, reporting, and analysis mechanisms required to support all of these processes and more. However, Microsoft Project Server 2003 cannot improve an organization's project and portfolio management environment by itself. Each organization needs to establish or adjust the infrastructure mechanisms around Microsoft Project Server 2003 in order for the tool to truly benefit the organization.

Planning for Enterprise Projects

The project managers of an organization will create project schedules based on the standards and processes set up by the PMO. It is important that these projects are set up in some consistent fashion so that the data is accurate and reflects similarly across all projects. The best way to do this is to set up enterprise project schedule templates for the various kinds of projects in your organization. Resources should be consistently applied from the resource pool. The project managers need to consistently baseline, publish, and update their schedules as necessary. However, to make sure these schedules reflect the reporting needs of the organization, Microsoft Project Server 2003 uses project attributes, known as enterprise project outline codes, and the project manager will assign these project outline codes to each of their projects. When the enterprise project outline codes are assigned to projects, project data can be viewed and analyzed in a variety of ways, using the Project Center, Resource Center, and Portfolio Analyzer.

Planning for Enterprise Resources

The resource manager and/or the portfolio manager will establish the resources available as team members for projects. They will assign the attributes to each resource (such as rates, employee type, or skill set). Attributes are defined via enterprise resource outline codes. These resources are added to the resource pool, a repository of resources, available in the enterprise global area of Project Professional. The resource manager and/or portfolio manager will also help the organization decide if they want to use only actual resources or establish generic resources (such as a "programmer" or "tech writer" that can be assigned to a task prior to knowing who will actually work on it). Also, they would want to define whether local resources (resources added to a project schedule, but not from the resource pool) are acceptable to indicate contractors or temporary workers in the enterprise environment. They will need to define the processes around proposed (a resource that may possibly be used on the project) versus committed (the resource is definitely assigned to the project) resources on a project. They will also need to decide whether the enterprise should use resource calendars or some other way to account for a resource's non-project related time.

Reporting

The last item you want to consider is the kinds of reports you want to see. Although much of this will be discovered in your analysis meetings as you discuss enterprise project and resource outline codes, you will want to discuss the kinds of problems you want to be able to analyze so that you can decide what kinds of data and reports you need to create. Besides creating project or resource outline codes, you may also need to create custom codes to capture other data important to your organization. Some examples of how you might use enterprise outline codes or custom fields for reporting are

  • If your organization wants to report on resource bottlenecks by skill (for example, programmer [Web, Visual Basic, and C++]) and location (for example, Seattle and Denver), you'll need to define an enterprise resource outline code for each resource skill and location, and then associate the enterprise resource outline codes with each enterprise resource. After project managers assign those resources to their schedules and begin to report actual work accomplished, you can use the enterprise resource outline codes to report on which types of programmer are most in demand, which are least in demand, what the demand peaks and valleys are, and so on, by location.

  • If your organization wants to report on project schedule or budget performance by customer or sponsor, you need to define enterprise project outline codes that identify all possible customers and sponsors. Portfolio managers then assign each project a customer and sponsor from the list defined by the customer and sponsor enterprise project outline codes. When these projects are under way, you can group projects using those enterprise project outline codes.

  • If your organization wants to report on project costs associated with capital and expense, and if you can assume that all labor costs within a certain project phase are either capital or expense, you can create enterprise resource custom fields that tag non-labor resources as either capital or expense. When projects are underway, you can generate custom reports by using the enterprise custom field information that provides all labor and non-labor capital and expense costs for the project. (Make sure that your custom reports meet the capital and expense business rules for your business rather than simply follow the pattern outlined in this example.)

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Special Edition Using Microsoft Office Project 2003
Special Edition Using Microsoft Office Project 2003
ISBN: 0789730723
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 283
Authors: Tim Pyron

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