Benefits of Multi Project Schedulers

Schedulers provide executive sponsors with projects that are properly planned and tracked, reporting that is reliable and on time, and cost savings from economies of specialization and scale.

Project managers vary in skills and the way they manage their projects.  Getting them to plan and report consistently across multiple projects is like herding cats.

The rise in popularity of the Project Office or PMO promised to solve this problem by defining and enforcing standards for project managers to follow.  But there are problems with this approach: 1) the definers of standards are often chosen for their availability rather than experience, 2) experienced project managers resist change and usually perform better with their own methods, and 3) its expensive.  The result is project offices have a reputation for bureaucracy and training and policing overhead, and average being shut down in about 3 years.

A scheduler in the project office would take it from

(PA=project scheduling and administration)

reducing its cost and reviving its justification.

The scheduler provides an interface between executive sponsors and their project managers that satisfies both their needs. It ensures properly constructed and maintained schedules and complete and timely reporting while enabling project managers to do what they do best without the bureaucracy of unproductive training and policing. The project manager experiences the scheduler as a secretarial service helping them build and maintain their schedule as if they were an MS Project expert, even without MS Project training and experience.  The scheduler provides the content and reporting standards for them.  Project managers are responsible for schedule content, but their only reporting responsibility is to provide update information at status meetings.  The scheduler then provides the team and executive sponsors the reporting they require.

Relieving project managers of the scheduling tool manipulation and reporting functions provides them more time for managing their project and eliminates the herding cats dilemma.  Project managers who have MS Project and would like to examine their schedule or make changes receive a copy of the live schedule after each status update meeting.  If they make changes they must return the changed file before the weekly status update meeting for their revision to be used in the meeting.

The tracking and reporting process we provide relentlessly drives a project to completion with a continuous cycle of weekly to do’s and status updates.  It supports agile and waterfall methodologies, earned value and dashboard reporting.  Each status meeting addresses the to do’s from the previous week plus slippage and changes.  Our unique MS Project views, tables, filters and programmed custom fields animate changes in the schedule enabling executive sponsors and project teams to see the effects of changes together, collaborate on schedule adjustment decisions, and avoid future surprises and disputes.

Savings are outlined here:

    1. Fewer PM scheduling tool licenses and less tool training is required when a Scheduler supports multiple project managers.

    2. Project managers are freed from the need to become project management tool experts or create reports and can concentrate full time on managing their projects.

    3. A Scheduler ensures that planning and reporting are consistent in format and terminology and conform to organization standards thus eliminating the need to provide PM training and enforce compliance.

    4. Higher quality planning, tracking, and reporting because the Scheduler works with the project management tool full time compared to the project manager who would use it no more than 10% to 15% of their time.

    5. The Scheduler provides a single a focal point for executives to understand their portfolio status and eliminates the need for an administrator to provide the roll up function.

    6. Scheduler mentoring improves the performance of inexperienced project managers.

    7. New project managers become effective more quickly because the Scheduler can help them begin their planning, tracking, and reporting immediately.

    8. In multi-project environments the Scheduler provides cross plan and cross organization dependency resolution and resource loading reconciliation.

    9. Slippage information is less likely to be filtered by the project team’s incentive to only report good news, thus improving early warning of missed targets.

      1. The Scheduler provides the project executive with early warning of areas that may need their focus or intervention.

      2. The PAI scheduling service via remote screen sharing incurs no travel or office expenses and is well suited to geographically distributed teams.