Next on the agenda was the project requirements document. Mary Carol, the project manager was more than a little concerned. Sandy, the functional manager for the business analyst team was more than a week late in assigning the resource to the project. Although the team had been able work with the project proposal, some provisional estimates and to create the charter, it was now time to prioritize and identify the requirements. The discussion was not attended by anyone from the business analysts team.
Mary Carol mentally prepared to postpone the remainder of the meeting. Sandy suddenly appeared. Sandy stated that she would be the business analyst for the day, as she hadn’t yet assigned a resource to the project. She would then transfer the effort to one her own team members. The good news is that Sandy was an expert on the system. This was why she was the manager for the business analyst team. Mary Carol said that she appreciated Sandy’s attendance and that it allowed them to continue with their work. Sandy assured Mary Carol it was no problem and that she was sorry she was late in assigning a Business Analyst. Sandy had in mind a particular resource, someone who had worked on similar projects and was well-liked among the team. Unfortunately, this resource was not available until next Monday. Mary Carol’s heart was broken.
Sandy could see that Mary Carol was unhappy from Mary Carol’s expression. She tried to make it better, saying, “What?” It will be fine. Mary Carol said, “Sandy. Today is the 28th. Month end is on the 30th. The document is due on Thursday, the 4th.” Sandy gulped and opened her planner. Mary Carol realized that Sandy had a realistic goal. She was still weeks away.
Mary Carol wished that all managers knew the basics of project management. It would make life so much simpler. However, her colleagues were mostly business or technical professionals with little to no planning experience. Mary Carol would love to be able to train with the technical team in exchange for all project managers being able to spend time as project managers. Sandy was a respected leader and well-intentioned. Silently Mary Carol thought about the project management skills that could have prevented this difficult situation.
Resource planning – Sandy was behind in allocating a resource to the project. Because all of her resources were already over-allocated, she was late. Sandy was known for moving resources from priority to priority. She didn’t keep any kind of resource planning calendar or table. She believed that a resource was always available when it was necessary to complete an important task. This led to multiple resources being charged overtime for work that was not completed on time. Sandy was fortunate that her organization was more concerned with dates than budgets.
Time management – This was not her first time taking time out of her day for business analysis. She was a frequent guest at meetings and worked on projects. She found that she was able to work after dinner every night and for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday. This was the way it was for her peers. Sandy could have avoided a lot of this overtime if her attention was focused on managing her team’s priorities. She could be a manager if she spent her time on the basics (resource planning and budgeting, scheduling), but not as one of her team members.
Estimating- Sandy delegated the task to her team members. Sh