Weekly Review – Resource Leveling & Lined Post-It Notes

One Thing I’ve Learned

I rely on MS Project for the bulk of my project management duties. One are that I’ve always struggled with is resource leveling; it just doesn’t do what I want it to. This week I decided to take an hour of time to learn the basics to see where I’m going. Turns out I was completely doing it wrong, I use predecessors heavily, I mean on more than 75% of tasks in a plan, and that in itself makes using leveling problematic. If you’re not sure how to do this either or would like a refresher, Techrepublic has a great post on the basics – Deciding when to use resource leveling in Microsoft Project.

Three Things I’m Grateful For

Lined Post-It notes! Really! How do folks do a physical task board without them?

I don’t think many people would agree with this…but some days I am really happy to be a middle manager. Not only can I delegate when I need to but I also have the option to escalate when issues arise that need a third party.

Webinars! It’s getting harder and harder for me to leave the office to learn new things. I’m becoming more and more reliant on webinars to keep my skill set growing in all the right ways.

Five Things I Accomplished

I recently had an employee quit to take a position out of state; part of the replacement process is to do a detailed impact analysis of what would happen to projects and support if the position is not filled. I spent most of the latter part of this week juggling resources, projects and timelines to come up with a couple of key pieces; the impact of absorbing his support (on call and silo), the redistribution of his projects, the percentage of delay in all scheduled projects and the length of time we’ll postpone accepting new projects. Great exercise, I haven’t had to do this in more than 4 years, and something I really should document better to save time.

The second stage of the mentoring process is now complete. I have my vision fleshed out, resources determined, the process workflow completed and now only have to pull that together into a proposal.

Part of the Agile process is to have a backlog of potential changes or additions to your process. This week I compiled this list from feedback I’ve received from my team, their priorities, and thoughts on implementation and have created a release plan for the items I believe we can and should implement.

I have a long to-do list of items for my non-profit gig that fall into the documentation and automation area. Basically what I’m aiming for is to streamline the repeatable process to the point where it’s super easy for a new person to grab and go. This past week I made some significant headway on this for the sponsorship/fund raising area.

Last but not least, I finished another stage of my Sharepoint 2013 due diligence goal. This week I met with the lead of the enterprise level project to get his opinion on our environments, and an idea of where we fit into their project timeline. Timeline and scope – check!

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