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IT Project Portfolio Planning Using Excel


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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.

Published in: Technology, Business
  • 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...
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  • 1. IT Portfolio PlanningUsing Excel
    Jerry Bishop
    The Higher Ed CIO
    Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  • 2. introduction
    Foundations for the slides
  • 3. Purpose
    To provide a simple and transparent paper-based method for setting up an IT project portfolio using Excel.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. 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
  • 6. 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
  • 7. resource capacity
    How to determine your capacity
  • 8. 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
  • 9. 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
  • 10. Determining Raw Capacity
    Note: 2012 is a leap year with 261 weekdays from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012
  • 11. 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
  • 12. 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.
  • 13. 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
  • 14. Creating the portfolio
    Loading the work load and resource demands
  • 15. 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.
  • 16. Setting Up the Portfolio
  • 17. 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
  • 18. 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
  • 19. 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
  • 20. Loading the Portfolio
  • 21. 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
  • 22. 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
  • 23. The completed portfolio
    Approving the Annual Plan of Work
  • 24. Assembling the Portfolio
  • 25. Download the Excel File
    Download the excel file from
    Project Portfolio Planning - The Workbook
  • 26. Full Portfolio Worksheet
  • 27. Simple Resource Planning
  • 28. Resourcing strategies
    Balancing the Portfolio
  • 29. 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
  • 30. Balancing the Portfolio
    NOTE: Supplemental labor can include limited term employees, temps, contractors, and vendor resources.
  • 31. 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
  • 32. 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
  • 33. Questions?
    Look for others in this series
    IT Governance Project Requests
    Jerry Bishop
    The Higher Ed CIO