Managing and tracking different project plans, keeping track of your budgets and costs, handling different types of resources and materials, communications with your clients and colleagues, sharing your project related information in a secure way and generating reports that are accurate and meaningful will be formidable without the right solutions to assist you in your project management. Your projects can be varied from different sectors, for e.
The way to get something done is -- quoting the well-known Nike footwear ad -- to "just do it. For those who work in organizations that rely on programs of projects -- multi-project environments where resources are shared across a number of projects -- there are usually a lot of things that need to get done.
An environment of many projects typically generates many priorities for project resources and managers alike and can make that focus difficult to achieve. Division of attention multiplies task and project lead-time In an effort to take advantage of valuable new opportunities, multi-project organizations, more often than not, tend to launch projects as soon as they are understood, concurrently with existing projects, simultaneously with other new efforts, and unfortunately too often, without sufficient regard to the capacity of the organization.
A common result is that the responsibility for sorting out an array of conflicting priorities often falls to project resources and their managers.
One concern coming from this situation is that the resultant locally set priorities may not be in synch with each other or, more importantly, with the global priorities of the larger organization. A common result of trying to deal with this tug-of-war of multiple priorities is the practice of multitasking -- assigning resources to more than one significant task during a particular window of time -- to try to move all the projects along.
In addition, many project teams rely on early starts of projects and their paths of tasks to try to assure and achieve timely project completion.
These early starts -- also driven partially by the desire to see "progress" on all open projects -- often translate to additional pressure on resources to multitask between tasks and between projects.
There is pressure to get started on a new task in the in-box, but we're still working on another task. Multi projects a result, these practices of early starts and multitasking have been recognized as common practice in many organizations, and even institutionalized in project management software tools, which typically default to "ASAP" scheduling, and which offer "features" Multi projects apply "fractional resources" to tasks and to "split" tasks.
The question is, however, whether these early starts actually accomplish their desired effect. When multitasking is the result, the seemingly common sense belief that "the sooner you start, the sooner you finish" becomes questionable.
True progress in a project happens only at the handoffs between resources, when the work completed by one resource allows another resource to start its work.
To the extent that one project's tasks are interrupted by work being performed on other projects' tasks, the first project is delayed.
The common practice of multitasking results in multiplying the time it takes to complete tasks, delaying true progress in projects. And if many resources in the organization become accustomed to working in this manner, then most projects will take significantly longer than necessary, in both their promise and their execution.
The projects will also be impacted by the variability of not only their own tasks, but also of those associated with the other projects that are interleaved within them. The pressures of these competing priorities result in the splitting of attention and energy, loss of focus, and inability to complete tasks and projects in a timely manner, or even within the time in which they were planned -- at least without heroic efforts.
This is not a desirable outcome for projects that want to keep their promises, or for organizations that need to reliably deliver projects in shorter and shorter intervals.
One of the key challenges of multi-project or program management therefore revolves around the avoidance of pressures on resources to multitask and the ability to assess and direct the most beneficial use of resources when there is apparent contention for their attention.
To the extent that these can be addressed, a multi-project program will minimize the pain that is encountered in the interaction of projects fighting for shared resources.
Avoiding pressures to multitask The pressure to multitask comes from the combination of having more than one task in one's in-box and the lack of clear priority for the best use of one's attention.
If there were a way of setting common sense priorities for the maximum benefit of the organization, it would make sense to all that we set aside some tasks to wait for the completion of the most critical. And if there were a way of reducing the queue of tasks waiting for a resource, there would be less need for assessing and resetting priorities.
If we could systematically both provide clear priorities and minimize the queue, then the devastating impact of multitasking on projects and, more importantly, on organizational performance would be minimized.
Applying the management philosophy known as the Theory of Constraints TOC to the realm of project management provides a whole system view of the challenge.
TOC suggests that components of the system being managed subordinate their efforts to the larger system of which they are a part. The management of tasks and the resources that perform them must subordinate to the needs of projects, and the management of projects must subordinate to the needs of the multi-project organization to which they belong.
The TOC-based solution for managing single projects, whether standalone or as part of a portfolio of projects, is known as Critical Chain Scheduling and Buffer Management.
It provides part of the answer for priority aspect of the question "What should I work on? Goldratt, ; Newbold; Patrick A critical chain schedule removes the pressure of artificial task due dates from the concerns of project resources.
It does this by recognizing that a schedule is only a model of our expectations and by aggregating and concentrating the safety that is typically embedded in individual tasks where it does the most good, in a system of buffers positioned to protect the promise of the project.
Buffers are used to absorb that variation without distraction to the resource performing the task at hand, while at the same time protecting the truly critical promises of the project.
The result is the elimination of meaningless intermediate task due dates and the detrimental pressures, behaviors, and practices associated with them.
These include Parkinson's Law "Work expands to fill the time allowed. Buffers also effectively absorb deviations from the baseline critical chain model made up of target task durations from which significant safety has been removed.
As long as there is sufficient buffer remaining, the project promise can, to some degree, be protected from distractions and disruptions, such as those from the need to use a planned resource on another, more jeopardized project or more critical task.
If there is sufficient unconsumed buffer related to a task waiting for attention, a resource can hold off on picking it up and multitasking, and instead, maintain focus on the current task at hand until it's complete.Get notifications on updates for this project. Get the SourceForge newsletter.
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Configuration on demand mode attempts to configure only projects that are relevant for requested tasks, i.e.
it only executes the grupobittia.com file of projects that are participating in the build. This way, the configuration time of a large multi-project build can be reduced.
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Multiple Project Tracking Templates Excel Free Download to Track Multiple Projects. Gantt Chart, Dashboard, Project Status Summary,Resource.