Mandated Tools Personnel and Other Resources

It' s important to document any resources that are predetermined for the project. Mandated resources can take on many different contexts. Suppose, for example, that your company has standardized on Oracle as the corporate database software. Then it should not be a wonder that one of your mandated tools will be Oracle for your back-end database.

If your company relies on Bob for all graphics development for its web pages, then Bob is likely to be mandated personnel for any graphics work you' re doing in your project.

Tip As a PM, you should be able to yay or nay a project team member whom stakeholders see as an absolute requirement for the project. Keep in mind, though, that if you nix Bob off of the team, this could be a career-limiting move (CLM) on your part, if the stakeholder that wants Bob has lots of power and visibility.

If all of the corporate software development work is done at your San Jose campus, then your project plan has a mandated resource requirement that your coders will be located in San Jose. An option for this kind of restriction may be to allow developers to telecommute with their work—some companies hesitate to do this, for others it' s a just a routine way of doing business. The reason you want people on campus is so that they can attend meetings and you can keep up with the work they' re doing.

Here' s the problem with mandated resources: They may not be the best choice for a given project. Oracle, for example, while a fine enterprise database program, may be overkill for an application that will run just fine on Microsoft SQL Server, or vice versa. You may require some 3-D graphics that Bob can' t hang with. You may have a developer who works out of her home and has made it clear that she won' t work in San Jose no matter what—but she ' s the best there is for the kind of code you need written. How you manage mandated resources will involve your common sense to recognize what is the best business fit for the project and how to best deal with the politics that prefers one thing over another.

Another important point of note here is that if, as part of your project planning, you opt to purchase an off-the-shelf software solution, you may be forced to go with a hardware or software platform that is not part of the corporate standard. You might have a straight Windows 2000 shop, for example, but the software you ' re looking at for the project is written for and will only run on Sun Solaris computers. Again, the project decisions that are made must be the best decisions both for the success of the project and, more importantly, to meet the business need.

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