In this video, learn about the combinations of pairs (for example, by project and time for each resource). This video addresses the pros and cons of each 2D view, including Gantt view, diary view, and team view. This can differ depending on how many people and projects you have, and how long the projects last.
- We've talked so far about simplifying the problem of resource interdependency management by looking at just the bottleneck resource, but what if you have several scarce resources, or everything is scarce at different times? So you have to keep an eye on everything. This is the dreaded cube of projects, resources, and time. You could also call it what, who, and when. Although remember that a resource could just as easily be a room, or a piece of equipment, or access to site or a crane.
But anyway, the cube of projects, resources, and time is what we're going to look at now. You might want to view this video more than once. So, the problem with a cube is that you can't view it in two dimensions as a table or a spreadsheet. So if you change one thing, it's hard to work out the effect on all the others. If a project starts to run late, what effect will that have on everyone's diaries when they're scheduled to be working on somebody else's project next? If a person leaves, what effect will that have on the various projects? What if one more project is squeezed into the mix? And we've all had that done to us.
What some people do is just feed everything into some sort of computer database and see what the computer says. But I think this is a really bad idea because A, you don't know what the computer is doing, you don't know if it's doing something stupid. And B, it probably will be doing something wrong and stupid because it can't possibly know whether you'd rather take longer or work overtime, or move work from Fred to Sally, or reduce the quality of the job.
And it probably won't be clever enough to move a task forward and do it slightly sooner, rather than pushing it out into the future, to the next available resource time. So you'll end up with a hugely extended time scale. So instead of all that, let's try to understand what's going on with our cube. First, there are three possible views you could have of sides of the cube. The first one is what I call Gantt view. And this is the people and the time, who and when for each project.
By the way, I'll be using people as the most common example of a resource, but it could be any other type of resource in all of the following examples. And I've chosen to use the measure of days of a person in each month, but you might prefer hours for your projects. Perhaps hours of each person in each week. Whatever feels best for you. So we've got people and time. This view is great for planning the one project, but it doesn't show all the other projects that those people are working on at the same time.
It's only one slice of the cube, the slice for one project. The second view is what I call diary view. And this is the projects and the time, what and when for one person. It's great for planning what you're doing, but it doesn't show everybody else. It's the slice of the cube for just you. The third view is what I call the team view. And it shows people and projects for a given month, it shows who and what for one month.
It's great for seeing all of the team and who is working on which job that month, but the snag is that it only shows one month, so you can't see a whole project, and you can't see the effect of lateness this month on the situation next month. So it's obvious that all three views have their advantages and that they're all connected, but the question is which one to use? If you're going to use just one, then Gantt view is best if you only have one or two projects, maybe three at the most, because they can all be shown on the one Gantt chart.
If you have only a small team of one, two, or three people, then the diary view is probably best. It shows the projects and the dates for you and your small group of colleagues, and you can compare notes with each other pretty easily. And if you only have short projects, or you're working in an agile environment, then team view is probably the best for you. The fact that it doesn't look very far ahead isn't much of a drawback, and you can all see who's doing what.
But what if you have a big cube? What if you have quite a lot of projects? Quite a lot of people involved? And quite long projects to track? Which view should you use? I reveal the answer to that in the next video.
- What is program management?
- Planning from the bottom up vs. top down
- Resource planning
- Managing projects, resources, and time
- Getting the staff you need
- Self-organizing teams