Purpose To provide a simple and transparent paper-based method for setting up an IT project portfolio using Excel.
Why View this Presentation Without having prior experience this can seem impossible to know where to start. Before choosing a tool to do this, working out your method using Excel is a major benefit. It’s the only way to accurately commit to a body of work and know you can deliver on it. Tight FY12 budgets and increased demands require reasoned decisions on projects to do.
Who Should Complete This CIO’s IT Governance Committee – Project Approvers Functional Executives – Project Sponsors Functional Managers – Project Requesters IT Managers – Project Managers Project Management Office – Role Project Managers
What is a Portfolio Aggregates all demands expected of IT for review and approval decisions It’s like a “budget” for allocating staff to projects requiring IT resources A tool for building an “annual plan of work” It’s a workload management tool for seeing the total demand for IT resources
resource capacity How to determine your capacity
Guidelines for Capacity Determine the reasonable capacity a resource has to do project work Be conservative – avoid over committing IT Initially start with generic resources types Network Admin, Sys Admin, App Admin, DBA, App Analyst, Report Writer, Desktop Admin, Desktop Tech, Help Desk When comfortable move to named resources if it makes sense
Portfolio Illustration The following illustration is taken from the actual initial FY11 portfolio for a college Reflects all initial requests for IT support and projects work for FY11 prior to approving or denying decisions were made Actual hours used here are from the 3-person Business Analyst group supporting the Banner ERP and related applications
Determining Raw Capacity Note: 2012 is a leap year with 261 weekdays from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012
Raw Capacity Thoughts Keep it simple Averages are better when first starting out If overtime is taken as paid time off then add an additional deduction as with comp time 1 hour overtime becomes 1.5 hours PTO Illustration reflects sick and personal time being treated like non-contract “vacation” Use historical averages if appropriate
Determining Usable Capacity Note: Nobody is 100% productive with their day. There’s email, phone calls, meetings, breaks ,and birthday treats to hunt down. This approach avoids having to track this in any detail. Can be reconciled in time-tracking if used.
Maximizing Usable Capacity Consider the value of in-service activities HR and IT Governance input on the priority Limit participation to job related activities Manage productivity up to 95% or better Train on time and task management Minimize general team meetings, manager one-on-ones, and committee assignments Don’t use default meeting lengths Instead of 60 minutes use 45 or 30 it adds up
Creating the portfolio Loading the work load and resource demands
Terminology Routine Maintenance: Daily production support obligations. Checking logs, monitoring systems, tape handling, storage management, job scheduling, user administration. Operational Support: This is Incident Management (break-fix) work and standard Service Requests not considered projects.
Project Estimating Avoid getting bogged down on the estimate Use SWAGs for initial estimates on all projects Take multiple passes through to refine Use ranges of hours 25, 50, 100, 150, 200, 500, 750, etc…. Estimating accuracy will improve Review estimates at project completion
Cautions “Research” and “Investigation” Projects Include them in the Portfolio Big capacity drains, often slow burning of hours Evaluating new technologies and software Managing Contingency Hours Decrement the bank as it is used You can’t use it all at the end, its not like cash Revenue generating (billable) projects Consider special treatment if fully funded in FY12
Organizing the Projects Separate projects by importance Most important come off the top Institutional Strategic Plan related projects first Required (mandatory this year) Projects next Required for regulatory compliance – financial aid Required to stay on supported versions – Oracle 11G Means they cannot be deferred without risks Discretionary is everything else in rank order Value-add, nice to do, and projects that might become Required by next fiscal year
Balancing the Portfolio Part 1 Manage down Routine Maintenance Look for activities to automate and free capacity Use Demand Management to reduce Support Target Top 5 support issues Develop Problem Management process Enforce IT Governance process Stop informal requests and drive-bys Manage scope to <10% variance
Balancing the Portfolio Part 2 Scrutinize ALL Required “Mandatory” Projects “Show Me” the requirement Challenge IT’s own Required Projects just as hard It’s discretionary if it van really wait IT Governance Focus on Priorities: The What, Not How Reduce Contingency Bank Percentage Challenge IT Managers to Free-Up Capacity Trim Scope and complexity of Projects Cancel projects instead of tapping contingency
The completed portfolio Approving the Annual Plan of Work
Supplemental Labor Thoughts Backfill labor for Operational work Often cheaper at $60 - $135 per hour More capacity for the same dollar Frees knowledgeable employees for projects Project Labor may be required More costly at $185 - $220 per hour Contract for fixed fee & guaranteed outcome Add contractor resource when it makes sense You have lots of work requiring vendor assistance
Balancing the Portfolio NOTE: Supplemental labor can include limited term employees, temps, contractors, and vendor resources.
Optional Staffing Strategy Staff IT department for normal workload Routine Maintenance Operational Support Use supplemental labor for ALL project work Requires sponsor to account for full cost & ROI when championing the business case Allows flexing up then down as project load surges Maintains minimal overhead run rates Simplifies producing savings and avoids layoffs Add incremental staff FTE as new systems are added
Final Thoughts Portfolio planning takes some getting used to Leave contingency for unplanned projects They always come up Develop good IT Governance Committee Be transparent Publish your process and the Portfolio Train on project management
Questions? Look for others in this series IT Governance Project Requests Jerry Bishop The Higher Ed CIO