Is Resource Planning Like Making Plans With Friends?dragging and dropping tasks for people. Now, you saw the title. Your resources as your friends? Well, Tim from accounting is my friend. What do you mean? Right? Tim is great. But let’s dehumanize him. Look at Tim as a row in your planner. Let’s forget that the resources are someone you know. Let’s forget that the resources are essentially your team. Think of the resources as rows. Now, imagine those rows are your friends. What kind of friends would they be?
1. THE ONE WITH THE BUSY SCHEDULE
No doubt, there would be the one that’s always busy. The resource that’s somewhere in the beginning of your resource list. Every time you start making a resource plan for a new project and think you would need their competence, you see that they are already booked. Every. Time. If this resource would be your friend, they would be the friend that you are trying to have lunch with but they can never find an opening in their calendar even if they scroll a month ahead. They are the one you see on the streets rushing somewhere. You promise to get together but you never will. They are the one that has a full-time job and somehow they are still volunteering for that nonprofit organization. The one that’s in great shape but you’d think they have achieved it in some inhumane way since there no way they have time to exercise. The one that’s posting on Instagram about the fun stuff they are doing like hiking, birthday parties or the concert they went. How is it possible? How are you guys even friends if they never have time? Well, because on those special occasions when you manage to drag a Gantt chart in their busy schedule and you actually can hang with them, you are reminded how great they are. You’ll understand why all the other project managers grab them every chance they get. Until the next time you busy resource, you!
2. THE ONE THAT’S NEVER TO BE FOUND
Kind of like the busy friend, the one that’s never to be found is hard to reach. You start planning your project. You know the resource is somewhere. Even if you create a custom order for your resources, that resource still manages to find their way to the middle of the resource list. Every time you need it, you have to filter it out. There is no other way around it. Thank God for filtering. But boy. Why are you hiding? That resource is the friend that never answers their phone. You don’t even bother to call them anymore, really. You never ever send them an email. You know there won’t be an answer. Who sends their friends emails anyway? Even if you happen to be at a mutual friend’s housewarming party, they manage to get lost from the horizon. Where could they be? Are they petting the dog somewhere? Are they hanging out in the shed alone? Did they already leave? You text them and you hope for the best. If you are lucky enough, they’ll appear. If you are using the filtering feature and the resource still doesn’t appear, it’s gone for good. Maybe it’s archived. Maybe it’s deleted. If your friend doesn’t appear after the text you have sent, they are probably petting the dog. I mean. Can you really blame them?
3. THE ONE THAT’S NEVER ON TIME
Now, to the resource that’s slower than a turtle climbing Chomolungma. There’s no way writing one line of code really takes a week. There is no way. The resource that always marks their task status as “In progress”. The one that for whom Used Time is never the amount of time that was planned or less. The one that’s probably always booked like the busy resource but at a project status meeting they say they are still working on the task that was supposed to be ready last week. If that resource was your friend, it would be the friend that’s always late. The friend to whom you’d have to say that the concert starts at 9:30 not 10 so that they’d actually show up on time. The kind of friend that says they are on their way when actually they don’t have pants on yet. The kind of friend that suggest having a beer during a work lunch. The kind of friend that has the highest probability of having their shirt on backward. The kind of friend that you dearly love. If they get to you 20 minutes later, you’ll still have a great time even if you were annoyed at first. They are still the one you’d ask advice about relationships or whether you should take that job offer that you got. They deliver. They just take time to get there.
4. THE ONE THAT’S MYSTERIOUS
If your organization has a general resource pool for the whole project portfolio, you have probably stumbled across a resource that’s as mysterious as it gets. Do we really need someone or something like that you might ask yourself. You can’t decode their tasks either. Nevertheless, the resource always seems to be booked by one department or the other. You have viewed their skillset but that’s as vague as it can get. That’s the friend that you can’t quite figure out. You probably know them from college but you can’t remember how you guys met. Or maybe they are just a friend of a friend of a friend? They are awfully talkative when you happen to hang out in the same group but you still don’t know much about them. They are always out there but somehow still private. If you try to pinpoint them they’ll give you an ambiguous answer. Despite it, you feel happy that they are there. Sometimes a little mystery is a good thing. Even if a little means a lot.
5. THE ONE THAT’S NOT THERE
A resource that’s not there is a problem all of us have faced. You could make a perfect resource schedule with no delays if only there were that one missing resource. But no. The resource isn’t there. You are going to add the task to the resource that’s always busy or to the one that’s never on time. You must postpone the milestone you have already set. Maybe reallocate some resources. Why can’t there always be enough resources for every project manager? Just why??? That missing resource is the kind of friend you wish you had. The friend that would send you links to cool songs on Spotify. The friend that would invite you to that fitness class that they heard about. The friend that would recommend you books that they enjoyed. The friend that would spontaneously ask you out for drinks from time to time. The kind of friend that would a bit better person just for being there for you. The kind of friend that would enable you to reach your personal milestones.
Did you recognize any of your resource or friends? Did I miss anyone?