Managing a multi project environment where key resources have to work simultaneously in more then one project is complex. Priority setting is difficult and overload is unavoidable. The current way of project planning is not helping a multi project environment. Creating a Gantt planning is sufficient for one project; it simply does not work in a multi project environment. Projects that are not related are still interrelated because they share resources. If you want to schedule a lead engineer for doing a task in project 1 and after that a task for project 2 is undoable. The uncertainty is too high. Creating a Gantt planning is to deterministic and therefor not usable in multi project environments.
Are there solutions?
In the last 20 years the academic world tries to develop algorithms to deal with a multi project environment. Basically it re-schedules all projects based on their progress and parameters like estimations and availability. Until now it didn’t work in practice. In order to reach their objective we see a development to more detail in planning and control. The project management software companies support this development. It is the wrong direction in our view.
Manage a multi project environment on boundaries. Do not schedule the detail but only build a project network with estimations per task, needed role and milestones. This information is enough. Based on the progress you have to calculate daily the priority based on the pressure to reach a milestone in every chain of activities. The highest pressure determines the priority. Funny thing is that you do not need the re-schedule the Gantt chart anymore.
Secondly. Calculate the load-graphs of the resources based on expected execution date. Delays will be visible in the development of the load graph; it will show you an increment in the load over time. You monitor the progress on resource group level. This is the combined progress over all projects. Any delay in resource progress will create delays in the future in the projects. It is a warning system that you have a bottleneck. The only software that can provide this alternative is FLOW Multi Project Management. Is can be connected to every project management tool.
What happened with the dilemma?
There is no multi project dilemma. You only have to change your focus to the progress of the resources (not only on project progress). Look for bottlenecks and resolve them before they delay projects.
It is a myth that in order to get good priorities and load graphs in a multi project environment you have to create a detailed project plan and actualize the Gantt frequently.
GLOW Management has done a lot of research in multi project environments and found out that the dominant way of doing project planning is not sufficient anymore and extremely labor intensive.
We turned it around. Our main goal was to develop a planning method for a multi project environment which would deliver the best priorities for tasks and actualized load graphs for all resources, with less effort.
With FLOW MPM we are able to do that. You just have to create a project network were, at least, it is sufficient enough to connect summaries (instead of all tasks) with milestones. Secondly, you do not need to put task bars on the right spot in your planning. FLOW MPM is very sophisticated software that creates a Gantt automatically based on the network and buffer time. You don’t have to input and maintain a lot of parameters to run FLOW MPM. We dislike parameters but love agility.
A project manager in shipbuilding said: ”I do not need a planner anymore. Together with my team we created a network. During the project, FLOW MPM gives me the right priorities and actualized load graphs over all projects. We only have to update the remaining work. FLOW gives much better information, resulting in more speed and efficiency. It also saved me a planner. We plan less and get more”.
zuerst einmal möchte ich mich sehr gerne für die aktive Unterstützung im Rahmen meiner kürzlich beendeten Umfrage zum "Strategischen Multi-Projektmanagement" bedanken.
Im Rahmen dessen hatte jeder erfolgreiche Teilnehmer die Möglichkeit, an der Verlosung des Buches "Handbuch Multiprojektmanagement und -controlling" teilzunehmen.
Hierzu hat die Ziehung des Gewinners bereits stattgefunden obwohl ich noch in der Auswertungsphase bin, daher freut es mich sehr mitzuteilen, dass Herr Wolf D. Moggert aus Vaterstetten, der glückliche Gewinner ist und das Buch per Post zugestellt bekommt.
Ich wünsche Allen weiterhin viel Erfolg im Projektmanagement und verbleibe mit freundlichen Gruß
nun ist die letzte Woche angebrochen und Sie haben nur noch wenige Tage Zeit, an meiner Umfrage "Strategisches Multi-Projektmanagement" und dem Gewinnspiel teilzunehmen. Sollten Sie bisher keine Zeit oder Gelegenheit gehabt haben, so freue ich mich natürlich noch über Ihre aktive Teilnahme bis zum 3. August 2015.