Simple, More Practical Approaches to Actual Resource Allocation

Simple is always better, except when it absolutely and totally is not. For a project manager software vendor, simplicity is often the enemy. However, Peter Kretzman notes that simplicity does indeed have its place, especially when it comes to resource allocation:

Project management, at its core, is largely about resource allocation, and this gets tricky when you have multiple projects going on, as most organizations do. Almost as much as I’ve seen organizations drop the ball entirely on cross-project resource allocation (essentially, simply pretending that there will be no contention issues), I’ve see organizations go to the other extreme: they dive into the depths of intense Project Management, in capital letters: taken too far too fast, this approach can spin up to a high level of rigor and overhead, involving often-expensive software packages, precise low-level estimates, diligent collection of actuals, and ornate project calculations of hours burned and hours earned. At the end, there you stand, like Goethe’s Faust, “no wiser than before.”

When it comes to projects, allocating the right things at the right time is vital. This can be much more complicated than it sounds. Kretzman notes that there is no one answer when it comes to simplifying resource allocation, but one way to begin is to focus on the maturity of your overall software development lifecycle process. Finding out where overuse occurs can give a vendor a better idea of what is actually needed.

Kretzman also suggests other tools for resource allocation which include assigning work when people are available, building an approximating spreadsheet, and employment of products and packages. Seeing what works, what doesn’t, what you need, and what you don’t may take time, but it will set the foundation for more simplistic resource allocation down the road.


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