High Level Planning: Main Reports

As promised I’m going to describe main reports that are based on Project and Scenarios work items and give me possibility easily to analyze my projects portfolio and resource workload.

Of course you can say that these reports can be easily received from MS Project Server, but it rather expensive and if we speak about team of 20 developers it’s really not worth it.

So the main report which is called “Scenario Capacity” has the following features:

  • Based on Scenario work items, projects are used only for highlight purposes (in the example projects are marked by yellow color).
  • By default shows the period for six months (from current date).
  • Not actual for past periods – looks only into future.
  • Reviewed on weekly basis.

The first form of report “Scenario Capacity” starts from activities, then goes to roles, and then to resources. So you can in one look get information on what project team is working at present moment, where the resource involvement is maximized. Also looking on total row I can easily understand whether we’re overloaded.

I also use this form when discussing with business project portfolio for the next year. In this case the report is formed from 01.01 till 31.12. As I booked resources for all projects for the next year on special “NO-NAME” account, I have the estimated workload for each project, total workload for my department and workload I can pick out. So business just has to choose the projects for the next year to fit my resources.

The second form of the report starts from Developer and then goes to projects. This form is used to quickly identify that all developers have work to do. I’m trying to have a workload for each developer minimum for two month period. This form is also used by developers if they are interested in what projects they are planning to participate.

The next report, which I’ve mentioned in previous posts, “Main Report” has two forms – one shows only projects, other not-projects activities.

Due to the project form of this report it can be easily seen when we miss projects milestones or running a high risk of missing them. It analyzes two main project’s properties:

  • Project deadline – when scenarios for the project have finished date larger then project deadline – it marks as red.
  • Project capacity – when remaining hours for the projects (is calculated from tasks) is larger than amount of hours team is planning to spent in scenarios – it also marked as red.

Scenario form of the report is used to see when developer starts to performed not planned activity. This is possible as all tasks are linked to scenarios and projects.

Also we have the chart that shows percentage of time the team is spent on projects activities and support activities. From the next year I’m planning to allocate 25% to support and 75% for projects. It the chart below Projects are colored green and Support are colored blue.

In conclusion I would like to repeat two main advantages I’ve got from High-Level planning repots:

  • Can track and analyze workload for developers on long term basis, when I do not even have technical designs and tasks for planned activities.
  • Can see the pool of not assigned projects and analyze their planned amount work – so I can plan what projects I can take next year due to my resources capacity.

In the next series of posts I will focus on Everyday/weekly planning (support only, not projects).

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