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.

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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IT Project Portfolio Planning Using Excel

  1. 1. IT Portfolio PlanningUsing Excel<br />Jerry Bishop<br />The Higher Ed CIO<br />Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. <br />
  2. 2. introduction<br />Foundations for the slides<br />
  3. 3. Purpose<br />To provide a simple and transparent paper-based method for setting up an IT project portfolio using Excel.<br />
  4. 4. Why View this Presentation<br />Without having prior experience this can seem impossible to know where to start.<br />Before choosing a tool to do this, working out your method using Excel is a major benefit.<br />It’s the only way to accurately commit to a body of work and know you can deliver on it.<br />Tight FY12 budgets and increased demands require reasoned decisions on projects to do. <br />
  5. 5. Who Should Complete This<br />CIO’s<br />IT Governance Committee – Project Approvers<br />Functional Executives – Project Sponsors<br />Functional Managers – Project Requesters<br />IT Managers – Project Managers<br />Project Management Office – Role<br />Project Managers<br />
  6. 6. What is a Portfolio<br />Aggregates all demands expected of IT for review and approval decisions<br />It’s like a “budget” for allocating staff to projects requiring IT resources<br />A tool for building an “annual plan of work”<br />It’s a workload management tool for seeing the total demand for IT resources<br />
  7. 7. resource capacity<br />How to determine your capacity<br />
  8. 8. Guidelines for Capacity<br />Determine the reasonable capacity a resource has to do project work<br />Be conservative – avoid over committing IT <br />Initially start with generic resources types<br />Network Admin, Sys Admin, App Admin, DBA, App Analyst, Report Writer, Desktop Admin, Desktop Tech, Help Desk<br />When comfortable move to named resources if it makes sense<br />
  9. 9. Portfolio Illustration<br />The following illustration is taken from the actual initial FY11 portfolio for a college<br />Reflects all initial requests for IT support and projects work for FY11 prior to approving or denying decisions were made<br />Actual hours used here are from the 3-person Business Analyst group supporting the Banner ERP and related applications<br />
  10. 10. Determining Raw Capacity<br />Note: 2012 is a leap year with 261 weekdays from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012<br />
  11. 11. Raw Capacity Thoughts<br />Keep it simple<br />Averages are better when first starting out<br />If overtime is taken as paid time off then add an additional deduction as with comp time<br />1 hour overtime becomes 1.5 hours PTO<br />Illustration reflects sick and personal time being treated like non-contract “vacation”<br />Use historical averages if appropriate<br />
  12. 12. Determining Usable Capacity<br />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.<br />
  13. 13. Maximizing Usable Capacity<br />Consider the value of in-service activities<br />HR and IT Governance input on the priority<br />Limit participation to job related activities<br />Manage productivity up to 95% or better<br />Train on time and task management<br />Minimize general team meetings, manager one-on-ones, and committee assignments<br />Don’t use default meeting lengths<br />Instead of 60 minutes use 45 or 30 it adds up<br />
  14. 14. Creating the portfolio<br />Loading the work load and resource demands<br />
  15. 15. Terminology<br />Routine Maintenance: Daily production support obligations. Checking logs, monitoring systems, tape handling, storage management, job scheduling, user administration.<br />Operational Support: This is Incident Management (break-fix) work and standard Service Requests not considered projects.<br />
  16. 16. Setting Up the Portfolio<br />
  17. 17. Project Estimating<br />Avoid getting bogged down on the estimate <br />Use SWAGs for initial estimates on all projects<br />Take multiple passes through to refine<br />Use ranges of hours<br />25, 50, 100, 150, 200, 500, 750, etc….<br />Estimating accuracy will improve<br />Review estimates at project completion<br />
  18. 18. Cautions<br />“Research” and “Investigation” Projects<br />Include them in the Portfolio<br />Big capacity drains, often slow burning of hours<br />Evaluating new technologies and software<br />Managing Contingency Hours<br />Decrement the bank as it is used<br />You can’t use it all at the end, its not like cash<br />Revenue generating (billable) projects<br />Consider special treatment if fully funded in FY12<br />
  19. 19. Organizing the Projects<br />Separate projects by importance<br />Most important come off the top<br />Institutional Strategic Plan related projects first<br />Required (mandatory this year) Projects next<br />Required for regulatory compliance – financial aid<br />Required to stay on supported versions – Oracle 11G<br />Means they cannot be deferred without risks<br />Discretionary is everything else in rank order<br />Value-add, nice to do, and projects that might become Required by next fiscal year<br />
  20. 20. Loading the Portfolio<br />
  21. 21. Balancing the Portfolio Part 1<br />Manage down Routine Maintenance <br />Look for activities to automate and free capacity<br />Use Demand Management to reduce Support<br />Target Top 5 support issues<br />Develop Problem Management process<br />Enforce IT Governance process<br />Stop informal requests and drive-bys<br />Manage scope to <10% variance<br />
  22. 22. Balancing the Portfolio Part 2<br />Scrutinize ALL Required “Mandatory” Projects<br />“Show Me” the requirement<br />Challenge IT’s own Required Projects just as hard<br />It’s discretionary if it van really wait<br />IT Governance<br />Focus on Priorities: The What, Not How<br />Reduce Contingency Bank Percentage<br />Challenge IT Managers to Free-Up Capacity<br />Trim Scope and complexity of Projects<br />Cancel projects instead of tapping contingency<br />
  23. 23. The completed portfolio<br />Approving the Annual Plan of Work<br />
  24. 24. Assembling the Portfolio<br />
  25. 25. Download the Excel File<br />Download the excel file from<br />at<br />Project Portfolio Planning - The Workbook<br />
  26. 26. Full Portfolio Worksheet<br />
  27. 27. Simple Resource Planning<br />
  28. 28. Resourcing strategies<br />Balancing the Portfolio<br />
  29. 29. Supplemental Labor Thoughts<br />Backfill labor for Operational work<br />Often cheaper at $60 - $135 per hour<br />More capacity for the same dollar<br />Frees knowledgeable employees for projects<br />Project Labor may be required<br />More costly at $185 - $220 per hour<br />Contract for fixed fee & guaranteed outcome<br />Add contractor resource when it makes sense<br />You have lots of work requiring vendor assistance<br />
  30. 30. Balancing the Portfolio<br />NOTE: Supplemental labor can include limited term employees, temps, contractors, and vendor resources.<br />
  31. 31. Optional Staffing Strategy<br />Staff IT department for normal workload <br />Routine Maintenance<br />Operational Support<br />Use supplemental labor for ALL project work<br />Requires sponsor to account for full cost & ROI when championing the business case<br />Allows flexing up then down as project load surges<br />Maintains minimal overhead run rates<br />Simplifies producing savings and avoids layoffs<br />Add incremental staff FTE as new systems are added<br />
  32. 32. Final Thoughts<br />Portfolio planning takes some getting used to<br />Leave contingency for unplanned projects<br />They always come up<br />Develop good IT Governance Committee<br />Be transparent<br />Publish your process and the Portfolio<br />Train on project management<br />
  33. 33. Questions?<br />Look for others in this series<br />IT Governance Project Requests<br />Jerry Bishop<br />The Higher Ed CIO<br />