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August 24, 2017 In this edition:
People can't multitask. Not really. This inescapable reality is at the heart of many a broken project promise, and Kent McDonald's column this week explains why. Kent has three suggestions for handling overallocation of "resources" -- mostly by avoiding it. We've collected six more, to help you create realistic project schedules, understand how much capacity you actually have, and decide where (and whether) you can pick up the slack.
» Featured Article
» From the Blogs
» Schedules That Make Sense
» Corporate Subscriptions

Featured Article
How You Can Avoid Overallocation of Resources
Kent McDonald

Kent McDonald Organizations discover something that needs to get accomplished, so they form a team to address that particular need. Except those same people may also be working on three or five or seven other things. On different teams. With different people. At. The. Same Time.

The people who are supposed to get the work done find themselves being asked to work on multiple things at once, introducing the waste that comes along with context switching. On top of that, they find themselves invited to meetings for all of those projects, usually so someone can ask them why they aren't getting their stuff done.

Kent offers three "best practices" for addressing overallocation of resources »

From the Blogs
Start Your Projects Right: PMBOK Tips - Planning
What do you love, the herculean effort of planning or the thrill of starting something and getting things moving? Sinikka Waugh cautions against rushing ahead into project work before you've done the work of planning.

Schedules That Make Sense
In his column this week, Kent McDonald cautioned us to treat our people like people, not resources, and plan accordingly. These resources will help you realistically assess your project capacity and devise realistic schedules that you and your team can believe in.

Estimating Process and Methods – PREMIUM
A realistic schedule starts with realistic estimates. This guideline provides an overview of several methods you can use for various project circumstances. None involve a crystal ball. Most involve talking to the people who will actually do the work. All are better than throwing darts at your Gantt chart.

Scheduling Checklist – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until September 7, 2017
Have you covered all the bases in your project schedule? This checklist will help you review your work thoroughly, with an eye toward spotting the hidden work that often creates traffic jams and bottlenecks for cross-functional teams.

Plan Development: Assign Resources – PREMIUM
There's that word again. Even so, this guideline -- the second in a series -- focuses on identifying resources needed for each item in a schedule, and includes a worksheet for tracking assignments so you can watch for places where you're stretching your resources people too thin.

Project Selection and Controlling Project Starts – PREMIUM
Realism on a project level is good. Realism at the organizational level is even better. Use this guideline to develop an ordered process for proposing, reviewing, selecting, and launching new projects that support business objectives, on a schedule your organization can actually support.

Portfolio Data Collection Letter – PREMIUM
The best way to understand what your people have time for is to understand what they're already doing. This letter is designed to collect input to establish a project portfolio, but you can just as easily (and successfully!) adapt it to find out what various people and teams in your department are focused on or distracted by. It captures both project and non-project work, so you can understand your true capacity.

Introduction to Project Portfolio Management – PREMIUM
Portfolio management might sound highfalutin, but it's really just about understanding what's important to your organization, where people are spending their effort, and whether those priorities are aligned. This presentation provides a solid overview of the business case for portfolio management, whether you're a curious project manager or you want to make the case to the organization.
Corporate Subscriptions and Licensing
Want your team members to have their own access to templates and how-to resources for their project work? Need to share documents and deliverables beyond your project team? We make it easier with affordable corporate subscriptions and licensing. Detailed information regarding corporate options is available online. Give your whole team, or even the entire organization, cost-effective access to our comprehensive online library of resources. You already know how helpful it's been for you. Now it's time to share with everyone else. Find out more »

Not sure if corporate terms apply to you? Check out our licensing terms at the top of our Terms of Service page, in refreshingly ordinary, everyday English.

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