Evaluate Resource Allocations

A resource review must be conducted at each decision point associated with gateway review phases and at other times as deemed necessary. Resource review activities are generally conducted throughout the project, normally as an inherent responsibility of the project manager. As resource assignment and allocation issues arise during the project, they are elevated to the PMO or portfolio management team and, as necessary, to senior management. However, there should be planned executive-level involvement in resource allocation reviews at every decision point of the project.

These reviews are conducted in conjunction with business plan reviews and enable the executive portfolio owner to evaluate the status of resource allocation for a particular project, as well as the status of resource allocation for the entire portfolio. The reviews described below should be accomplished according to the decision point encountered at project phases.

Conduct project initiation resource review. When a project is offered as a possible opportunity for selection and initiation, resource requirements are identified. At this point in the project, the resource request is at its most negotiable point because the project is uncommitted, and its scope and scale are open. At this early juncture, executive portfolio owners and the project manager have an opportunity to develop pertinent information about resource requirements for the intended project. At the same time, executive portfolio owners have the greatest potential for shaping projects through adjustments to personnel, budget, or schedule. The following items are part of the resource allocation review at project initiation:

■ Skills necessary

■ Skill match to current competencies

■ Staffing plan

■ Number of personnel necessary

■ Geographic requirements for staffing

■ Staffing schedules required

■ Alliances and partnerships available

■ Risks anticipated

■ Project materials list

■ Special equipment needs

■ Space requirements

■ Geographic requirements for anticipated staffing

The collective consequence of these considerations will affect decisions to undertake a particular project as all project opportunities and ongoing projects are reviewed within and among the various classifications of projects.

Conduct solution planning resource review. Detailed project planning begins during the solution planning phase, and adjustments are made to the project business plan and resource requirements based on the refined project scope. Further definition and specificity are provided, and the following considerations should be part of the resource allocation plan review at the project solution planning point:

■ Skills necessary

■ Skill match to current competencies

■ Staffing plan

■ Number of personnel necessary

■ Project organization structure

■ Geographic requirements for staffing

■ Anticipated resource schedules

■ Alliances and partnerships available

■ Risks anticipated

■ Project materials list

■ Special equipment needs

■ Space requirements

■ Geographic requirements for locations

■ Skill and personnel requirements anticipated for implementation

■ Budget requirements anticipated based on work breakdown structure

Conduct solution implementation resource review. The actual performance of project work enables managers to know more about resource utilization. This phase is characterized by more-specific budgets and more-detailed estimates. However, the overall ability to affect a particular project is reduced; the field of decision making is smaller because the resources are already committed. The following considerations should be part of the resource allocation review at the project solution implementation point:

■ Skills necessary

■ Extra skills required beyond current competency

■ Training requirements

■ Number of personnel necessary

■ Geographic requirements for staffing

■ Planned resource schedules

■ Alliances and partnerships committed

■ Budget commitment based on projected versus actual expenditures

■ Project expenses budget

■ Risks encountered and overcome

■ Special equipment budget

■ Space requirements budget

■ Geographic location commitments and budget

■ Additional impacts on current staffing

■ Additional organizational impacts anticipated

Conduct project closure resource review. When a project is closed, the resource reports resulting from all phases become part of the project file. These reports stand as a final record of the conduct of the project, serve as estimating models for new projects, and are a source of lessons learned to the organization. The final resource allocation review should address the following considerations:

■ Final budget and expenditures of the project by fiscal year and WBS element

■ Review of final closeout of all supporting accounts and costs, including leases and other contractual obligations

■ Final staffing budget and resource utilization numbers

■ Development of lessons learned from the resource allocation point of view

Additional project closure activities such as dispersing and releasing team members and returning material resources must be conducted. These activities may be conducted during or as a result of the events of the project management methodology.

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Business Brains

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