High Level Planning: Project & Scenario

Project is a separate work item that picks out activities taking more than 200 hours of work, monitored by business leaders and maintained following project methodology. All these activities are passed through special survey and those who were determined as projects proceed using all points of project methodology, others are called significant changes and proceed using only main points of project methodology. But all of them have their own Project work item which has the following properties:

  • Title – the name of the project.
  • Assigned to – project manager.
  • Status – current status of the project:
    • Draft – project has not passed through initiation phase. Indicates long term plans.
    • Active – project is ready to start or already has started.
    • Closed – closed ones.
  • Project Rank – determines using Playing Poker and shows how complex the project is. Also influences the amount of prize points that can by divided between project milestones.
  • Milestones 1-5: name, planned date, rank and fact date of each project milestone. I decided to put down here only those milestones that affect business. So you cannot find here such dates as publication of design, start of UAT test etc. Only activities that change or improve the production environment. Other milestones are tracked using MS Project and every week project updates.
  • Close planned date, Close rank, Close fact date – parameters devoted to project close, when project sponsor approves that everything is ok, stabilization is over and project can be marked as closed.

Scenario is a separate work item that gives me an opportunity to reserve resources for the next several months. As I said before I’m not planning real tasks for developers more than for two weeks, but I want to see what everybody is going to do in the nearest two, tree months. Also I want to reserve no-name resources for projects that I know we will start for example in four months. Scenarios are following the described below rules:

  1. The list of scenarios is reviewed on weekly basis.
  2. The scenario shortest period is one week.
  3. Scenarios are used for high level planning for future periods (from 2 months till 1 year).
  4. Scenarios include not only projects but support and internal activities (such as vacations).
  5. Scenarios are not used for small activities – this is high level resource booking.
  6. They also can be used to reserve activities for the next several years.

The form of the Scenario work item:

  • Title – the name of the scenario.
  • BU RU Projects: business unit of task requester, if scenario covers several business units the field stays empty.
  • Assigned to – human resource.
  • Project role – has two values: Developer and Manager.
  • Status – current status of the project:
    • Active – scenario is opened and active.
    • Resolved – scenario is out of date or cancelled – can be returned to active status.
    • Closed – closed ones.
  • Start Date – start date of the scenario, can be only Monday.
  • End Date – end date of the scenario, can be only Sunday.
  • Units – shows how many percent of time the resource is planning to be spent working on the Scenario. This value is rounded and resource must be booked for 100 percent always.

In the next post I’ll describe the main reports that I show to my director and to business that are based on Project and Scenario work items.

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