One of the most important roles of the portfolio office is to manage resources efficiently. This means making tough decisions to allocate good resources to projects that are considered high priority, while managing expectations of others.
Similar to other practices, portfolio management does not concern managing resources within individual change initiatives.
This practice is part of the Portfolio Delivery Cycle.
Resources will always be constrained in real life organizations. Excessive resources cause inefficiencies and survival will be extremely tough for an inefficient entity. This is an important task for the portfolio office, but it can have serious impacts towards business efficiency and benefits realization.
The following activities form the portfolio resource management practice:
- Maintaining a resource register and schedule: At portfolio level, a register needs to be maintained for all organizational resources with a mapping to skill set. Most resources will have expertise in one or two areas and working knowledge in a few other areas. By maintaining a resource register, the portfolio office can support projects and programmes to find suitable resources to meet their needs. Resource schedule can be created using business cases that are created for each change initiative.
- Dynamic resource planning at portfolio-level: Resource requirements for projects and programmes are always dynamic. At portfolio-level, forecasting should be done to ensure the current and future demand for resource and their timing is understood.
- Regular review of resources and corrective action: Project and programme managers will inevitably look up to the portfolio office to supply them with resources. When shortages of resources are predicted to occur, the portfolio office needs to take corrective action. Predicting whether there will be resource shortages can be carried out during regular reviews.
Keys to Success
In organizations where change initiatives and Business As Usual (BAU) share resources (including people), the organization must ensure BAU demands for resources are also captured in the resource register, resource planning and review.
Written by Inham Hassen
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