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Work Management

Definition

This capability supports the planning management of all work types, whether project-based or business-as-usual work (i.e., keeping the lights on).  

It provides work managers with the ability to view and manage all work details. They are able to:   

  • Develop the schedule (plan), defining the timeline, milestones, activities and resources required to deliver the work.  

  • Manage the financial information associated with the work.

  • Define and classify change requests, risks and issues and track any subsequent actions, approvals or escalations. 

Business Outcomes

  • Project Planning and Scheduling

    • We can implement a standardized work planning and scheduling process for projects.

    • We can plan project milestones and categorize these milestones to drive project status reporting. 

    • We can define the phases of work/activities required to deliver the project at a level of detail that supports resource forecasting and planning. 

    • We can forecast the effort required to deliver the project, expressing this demand against the relevant organizational and resource role/type. 

    • We can use schedule templates to apply planning standards and to drive consistency and efficiency. 

  • Other Planned Work

    • We have the ability to define “other planned work” (often referred to as business-as-usual work or “keeping the lights on”) and categorize this work to support our organizational reporting need. 

    • We can assign named resources to this work to understand the remaining resource capacity to deliver project work. 

    • We can collect and monitor the effort and cost associated with delivering this work. 

  • Financial Management

    • We can manage project financial data in a structure that aligns with our organizational financial data model. 

    • We can forecast the costs and effort required to deliver each project, and the benefits or revenue that the project is anticipated to generate and use this information to calculate investment key performance indicators (KPIs) and inform the project business case.

    • We can manage the actual costs and effort consumed in the execution of a project and forecast the remaining costs and effort to complete the project.

    • We can monitor project financial performance against an approved baseline, identifying projects due to significantly over- or under-spending and take the appropriate remedial actions. 

  • Change, Risk, and Issue Management

    • We have the ability to analyze a portfolio of investments against a time-phased financial budget or target and to understand the impact of trade-off decisions on our ability to deliver the portfolio targets within that budget or target. 

    • We have a standard and consistent method for capturing and managing project change requests, risks and issues. 

    • We have a single, organization-wide, repository of change request, risk and issue information, which can be automatically consolidated into project status reports.

    • We can measure the volume of project risks and group and categorize them to understand the potential impact of project risks on the successful delivery of projects.

    • We can measure the volume of project issues and group and categorize them to identify projects that could deliver late or over budget or outside scope or quality.

    • We can understand the impact of change requests on project schedules and financial plans, and approve or re-baseline accordingly. 

Process Flow

           

           

Click a process step shape for more information; hover for a quick view of the definition

           

           

           

Define Project / Work Breakdown Structure Determine Durations and Relationships Plan Resources Baseline Schedule Assign Resources

Work management process flow

                      

Work Management Process Steps

Process Step Description
Define project / Work Breakdown Structure

Define the project by building out the Work Breakdown Structure to form the basis of the project schedule. As part of this step, you should also add dates, durations, dependencies, and assign resources to the project. The project schedule consists of any elements in the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) that exist below the project level in the hierarchy, such as phases, tasks, and activities as well as dates, durations, and categorizations. You can add the relevant associated resource assignment information to produce a full project delivery plan.

Determine durations and relationships Determine the duration of work tasks and establish logical relationships between work items in the project schedule that you defined in the previous step.
Plan resources Plan which resources will work on tasks and activities and populate the project schedule with an accurate and realistic role-based forecast in the form of resource requirements.
Baseline schedule Take a baseline of the project schedule to capture a snapshot of the project's schedule as it proceeds into execution. This schedule baseline provides a record of the planned work phases, tasks, milestone dates, and durations as of the end of the planning phase to track any variances as the work progresses.
Assign resources Assign resources to work on tasks and activities. Resource assignments built out in the project schedule in the form of role-based Reserves and Allocations provide a method of capturing the short-term planned resource effort for named individuals who will be working on projects.

           

           

Best Practices for Defining the Work Breakdown Structure

Defining a High-Level Project Schedule

The first action in creating the schedule is to define the high-level project phases and milestones to start building out the skeleton of the project. You can do this either by using a lifecycle template or by manually entering the components of work in the schedule, as follows.

  • Use a lifecycle template to populate the schedule – The work owner can use a lifecycle template to automatically populate the schedule with a predefined template to form an outline of the project upon which you can build. Any attribute can be used as a signifier in the lifecycle to trigger the population of various different predefined WBS templates within Planview Enterprise One – PRM, meaning any one of a number of predefined templates can be automatically populated dependent on the earlier categorization of the work to be done. This drives consistency between work items, saves time creating schedules, and defines standards for analysis and comparison throughout a project's lifespan.

    The WBS template acts as the starting point in the schedule which can then be edited to form a high-level plan, including the dates and duration of the work to be done, and the subsequent phases. The work owner should modify, extend, remove, and add additional components of work in the schedule wherever necessary to define the high-level work schedule. Use requested start dates to drive the start date of the predefined schedule template.

    Templates can be also be configured to include role-based resource demand in the form of requirements. 

  • Manually create the work schedule – The work owner can manually create and modify the components of work in the schedule to define the high-level work schedule. High-level milestones can be added to the plan and classified accordingly (and these can also be included in a template).

Detailing Project Activities (Mature Planning)

  • After defining a high-level project schedule, add detail to the Work Breakdown Structure by adding activities. A detailed plan provides a more granular view of the tasks and milestones that need to be completed so the project can progress. These can then be used to forecast the resource demand necessary to complete the outlined work in the next step of the capability map.
  • Any unwanted activities from the template should be removed, renamed, or moved to a more suitable location in the schedule; the schedule should be populated with a more granular level of detail by adding activities under the phase level. Based on the template as a starting point, give each activity a name and assign the relevant attributes and categorization.

For more information, see the product help on building out the Work Breakdown Structure.

           

           

Best Practices for Determining Durations and Relationships

Adding Durations

  • The three core columns in managing schedule durations are Schedule Start, Duration, and Schedule Finish; filling in two of these will populate the third. These attributes are used to define the duration and timings of each task in the project and will roll up the Work Breakdown Structure to show a combined duration for each phase (parent branch). The purpose of adding durations is to record the estimated length of work tasks, which are based on the critical path that is determined through relationships, which then provides the total scheduled duration of the project.
  • Scheduled dates are soft bookings and may vary when actual costs are figured into the project during execution.
  • When using a lifecycle template to populate schedule start and finish dates and durations, make sure the initial populated template is updated with the project-specific dates and durations.       

Creating Relationships Between Work Items

Relationships—also referred to as logical relationships—are a method of capturing the relationships between work tasks or phases where the order of completion is critical to their delivery. The schedule elements can be a successor or a predecessor of any other work task or phase in the schedule. Building these relationships ensures the work activities are delivered correctly in the context of any other parallel tasks.

Relationships are created against a task using either a successor or predecessor to link to another task in the project. See establish logical relationship to learn more about relationships.

The relationships that are created between tasks and phases (using predecessors and successors) will form the basis of the critical path, and once scheduled will roll up to give the project a total schedule duration. The Work and Assignments screen's Schedule button uses the application's critical path management functionality to calculate and update the project schedule accordingly. See Running the CPM Scheduling Engine for more information.

           

           

Best Practices for Planning Resources

Creating Requirements

  • Requirements are used to plan long-term, role-based resource effort for a project to act as a placeholder before the named resource who will be carrying out the work can be identified. This allows a project manager to understand and manage the effort and costs of the resources they require in advance of named individuals being allocated to their project. The types and granularity of the resource roles are configured for each organization. The Org-Res primary structure is used to define the roles available for selection. To learn more, see the product help about Requirements.
  • It is possible for a Schedule Template to be automatically added during the planning and scheduling phase of a project. This can be pre-populated with high-level, role-based resource demand in the form of requirements. This pre-populated demand should then be adapted and profiled to accurately reflect the high-level estimated resource demand of the project. These templates are organizationally-specific and are usually controlled by the PMO or application administrator.

Where Do the Requirements Go?

  • In a matrix organization, requirements are sent to the resource managers responsible for the appropriate requested resource roles so they can assign a named resource (or resources) to meet the demand.
  • If the resources are owned by a project manager, requirements can provide a method of forecasting demand and then subsequently be replaced by assignments later at the project manger's convenience.
  • The responsibility for resource management and approval is organization-specific and is configured to meet your specific needs during your implementation. 

           

           

Best Practices for Baselining the Schedule

Capturing the Schedule Baseline

  • Capturing a project schedule baseline is achieved by taking a copy of the schedule plan, effectively saving a record of the schedule at that point in time. This essentially takes a snapshot of the current work phases, tasks, and milestones with their associated resource demand and assignments (and expenditures if relevant) to reference at a later point. This information can then be used for comparison at the project or portfolio level to track any differences in dates and durations as the project progresses.
  • Project schedule baselines can be taken manually on a weekly basis as part of a cyclic project management process or triggered during a workflow as part of a project's planning phase or at gates in a delivery lifecycle.
  • If capturing the project schedule baseline is performed as part of a lifecycle step following the initial population of data on the Work and Assignments screen, then the lifecycle step can be accessed via the Active Lifecycle Steps tile. This step allows the user to review (and edit, if they have the appropriate grants) the schedule before committing the current state to the baseline. Lifecycle-driven schedule baselines are usually subsequently locked after initial creation to ensure the baseline remains true and accurate to the state of the project at the time it was taken.
  • Manual baselines can be taken at any point after the creation of a schedule, as described in Creating a Baseline for a Work Item.

           

           

Best Practices for Assigning Resources

Resource Assignments

Once resource assignment information is built into the project schedule in the form of role-based reserves and allocations, it can be loaded from the schedule into the financial plan in conjunction with a rate card to see the forecasted cost of carrying out these allocations. In addition, resource managers can see these named resource bookings in the context of the organization's capacity to make well-informed decisions about maintaining effective and balanced utilization levels with their teams. This aspect of resource effort and cost planning requires a project manager to accurately create and maintain the resource assignments in Planview Enterprise One – PRM.

Creating Resource Assignments

  • The purpose of this step is to populate the project schedule with the resource assignments that are required to deliver the project.
  • Allocations and reserves are used to plan the short and medium term resource effort for a project and provide a record of the named resource and effort of the individual who will be performing the work.
  • Allocations and reserves can be used depending on the configuration and process of recording resource effort within the organization. The Resource primary structure is used to define the resources available for selection, and a user will be able to select these resources dependent on the grants they have to the Resource structure.
  • Allocations provide a way of hard-booking named resources to carry out work; these can only be made for tasks/activities in the project schedule. In addition to being able to create allocation for a work task or activity, you can also create allocations by filling a reserve from an existing requirement.
  • Reserves provide a way of soft-booking named resources to work on projects and provide a method of provisionally reserving a resource to work on a particular activity or phase of a project but cannot be booked to through timesheets. Similar to requirements, reserves are a method of capturing resource demand against work, but are instead against named resources. As such, reserves feed directly into a resource's overall utilization to support the ability for resource managers to successfully manage their workload.
  • Reserves can either be created from scratch or by filling the generic, role-based demand from an existing requirement.
  • If timesheets are implemented, allocations will provide resources with the ability to book time to that activity.
  • For more information about reserving, allocating, or assigning resources in Planview Enterprise One – PRM, see Making Direct Assignments.

Where Do the Reserves Go?

  • In a matrix organization, allocations and reserves are sent to the resource managers responsible for the requested resources so they can provide approval of the resource's ability to meet the demand.
  • If the resources are owned by the project manager, reserves and allocations can provide a direct method of reserving and assigning resources respectively to the phases or tasks. Allocations can be booked to through timesheets and reserves can be filled with allocations later at the project manger's convenience.
  • The responsibility for resource management and approval is organization-specific and is configured to meet your specific needs during your implementation.

Authorizing Resources for Time Reporting

  • Authorizations give a resource (or a group of resources, such as a department) permission to report time to a work item without defining specific effort. Resources report time after they perform the work as opposed to being scheduled to do the work at a specific time. This provides an alternative for the detailed effort planning using allocations but still provides users with the ability to report time to a project. However, there is one very large disadvantage of using authorizations and as such they should be used sparingly. Authorizations do not affect a resource's planned availability or utilization. Because of this, authorizations do not provide insight into roles and individual resources and doesn't allow for the proactive management of over- and under-utilized resources in the same way.
  • Authorizations are best used for work where very little is known about the amount of effort required by an individual such as support work and should not be used to replace detailed effort planning.
  • If an authorization has a start and end date, time can only be booked inside of the dates.  All time bookings are work status dependent and the activity must be open in order to record time. Authorization date restrictions can be removed by selecting ‘clear dates’ on the action menu.  This will allow time to be booked against the activity outside of the start and finish dates.
  • The use of Authorizations and other assignment types will differ between organizations and depend upon your internal processes and Planview Entrpise configuration.
  • To compare the differences between allocations and authorizations, see Allocations vs. Authorizations.

           

           

Outputs, Reports, and Analytics

This solution capability is supported by the following outputs, reports, and analytics.

Type Associated Outputs, Reports, and Analytics Description

Analytic

WRK05 - Schedule and Effort Variance Portfolio exception based analytic that compares the schedule baseline effort and duration to the forecast (scheduled) effort and duration and identifies projects that are forecasting to deliver late or require additional resource to complete.
Analytic WRK06 - Work Portfolio Effort Provides summarization of project/work effort, with drill down to detailed project and resource hours.
Analytic WRK15 - Milestone Status Work portfolio based report that counts and categories milestones across the portfolio. Milestones are categorized according to a milestone type (for example, Governance Milestone, Project Milestone) and grouped as either On Time/Early or Late, compared to the active schedule baseline or as Dates Not Set, meaning they have not been planned.
Analytic WRK17 - Portfolio Gantt Chart Work portfolio timeline visualization
Parameters to determine the level of detail shown, Gantt bar coloring rules and time horizon.
Analytic WRK02 - ​Work Portfolio Balance Project or work portfolio based report that provides project count analysis of projects in the portfolio by a primary and secondary work attribute.
Analytic WRK53 - ​Work Portfolio Balance Dashboard A work portfolio dashboard providing a count of projects in the portfolio based on different project attributes to aid analysis of portfolio balance.