How to manage your team's workload from afar using PPM

Micro Focus Frequent Contributor
Micro Focus Frequent Contributor
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The current worldwide pandemic is disrupting businesses and their employees across the globe. Unlike other scenarios typically represented in contingency and business continuity plans, like natural disasters or political unrest, this pandemic is not contained to a single location or industry. Even more unsettling, from a business perspective, is the fact that the recovery timeline depends on so many variables, making it difficult to plan for the future.

Now more than ever, companies need the three things that Project and Portfolio Management tools provide:

  1. One central system with up-to-date information about projects, resources, and initiatives
  2. A way to easily make adjustments based on changing business needs
  3. The ability to see what’s coming and make sure resources are in place to meet the demand

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help managers use the Team Management features in our Micro Focus Project and Portfolio Management product, especially through this time of uncertainty.

Team Management

In addition to traditional resource management tools, in the past 18 months our product team has added the functionality to allow you to set up teams in PPM. This way, you can compile a prioritized backlog and assign work to a team instead of to single resources. Teams can then be staffed with cross-functional members who work together toward a common goal, assembling the correct roles needed for each task. The team owner can then plan work, monitor team utilization, and understand team costs across all their assignments. Click here to learn how to set up a team.

Team Overview

Team Workflow.jpgSome of our customers have had to quickly adapt to shut-down and quarantine rules by transitioning to a remote workforce or temporarily closing facilities. As initiatives change and resources are impacted by the global pandemic, it’s vital to be able to quickly assess which teams are over- or under-utilized.

The team overview tab gives you key information about the number of resources on your teams, team capacity, and running costs. Using these charts, you can monitor things like resource turnover, how much it costs to run your team, and how much of those team costs are recoverable with billing.

Team Heatmap

team heatmap.jpgThe Team Heatmap offers a quick snapshot of all the supply (team and resources) and demand (requests and on-going projects) so you can easily see how your teams are being utilized. The color-coded table provides a visual way to see all the information you need in one place and find gaps in your team planning process for a selected time period. You can also change the view to analyze your team: the team/resource view, the project view, and the role view.

Team Heatmap provides 3 different views for you to analyze your team.

  • Team/Resource view: Help analyze whether your team is fully utilized.
  • Project view: Help analyze whether the demand resource from entities (projects, proposals, and assets) are fully fulfilled by your team. In the Team Heatmap context, "project" does not only refer to projects—it refers to all kinds of entities, including projects.
  • Role view: Help analyze whether the demand and supply for each role are balanced.

Team Gantt Chart

Team Gantt chart.jpgThe Team Gantt Chart also gives you information about whether your team is fully utilized, but within the context of what your team is assigned to work on and which strategic theme that work aligns with. The chart shows all the projects your team is working on with their start and end dates using pipeline visualizations. Here, you can use filters to view only a certain type of entity, like projects or proposals, so you can ensure you have enough bandwidth for new or upcoming work.

The Gantt chart is color-coded to show whether an initiative is aligned with a portfolio strategic theme. From the pipeline colors, you can quickly tell which strategic themes your team is working for, and whether you are putting your team on the right work. If a team is assigned to an initiative that is not aligned with any strategic theme, you might consider removing or reducing assignment when balancing assignments among sub-teams.

Conclusion

In a time of unprecedented uncertainty, keeping your people focused on the right work without overloading their capacity is not only good for business—it's good for your team. In fact, protecting your people from disruption is the easiest way to whether this storm. PPM gives you the ability to stay on track today and know what’s coming down the pipe tomorrow. As people head back to the office or other circumstances change, you can continue to monitor progress until things get back to normal (whatever that looks like!).

Stay well, stay safe, and let us know how we can help you!  

About the Author
Melissa Juarez is a Product Marketing manager for Micro Focus PPM and Dimensions RM. Her previous work as a marketing project manager and software product manager gives her great insight into how project management, portfolio management, and requirements management help solve problems for today's biggest enterprises.
The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of Micro Focus. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation. Certain versions of content ("Material") accessible here may contain branding from Hewlett-Packard Company (now HP Inc.) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company. As of September 1, 2017, the Material is now offered by Micro Focus, a separately owned and operated company. Any reference to the HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise/HPE marks is historical in nature, and the HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise/HPE marks are the property of their respective owners.