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IT Project Portfolio Planning Using Excel

IT Project Portfolio Planning Using Excel



To provide a simple and transparent paper-based method for setting up an IT project portfolio using Excel.

To provide a simple and transparent paper-based method for setting up an IT project portfolio using Excel.

Excel Workbook for this presentation also in my Slideshare uploads.



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  • This was helpful Jerry. I couldn't locate the spreadsheet on slideshare. Do you mind posting a link? Thanks!
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  • This is a great presentation Jerry, thank you!
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  • Nice Presentation! And for managing to the project and task level, check out this Excel based project management template, complete with Gantt chart for stunning visualization of your project... http://www.mlynn.org/2012/09/excel-project-planning-spreadsheet-updated-version-3/
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    IT Project Portfolio Planning Using Excel IT Project Portfolio Planning Using Excel Presentation Transcript

    • IT Portfolio PlanningUsing Excel
      Jerry Bishop
      The Higher Ed CIO
      Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    • introduction
      Foundations for the slides
    • 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
      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.
    • Setting Up the Portfolio
    • 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
    • Loading the Portfolio
    • 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
    • Assembling the Portfolio
    • Download the Excel File
      Download the excel file from SlideShare.net
      Project Portfolio Planning - The Workbook
    • Full Portfolio Worksheet
    • Simple Resource Planning
    • Resourcing strategies
      Balancing the Portfolio
    • 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