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How do you allocate resources to your projects? Do you pick whoever is available? Do you try to match skills and expertise with project objectives? Do you assign your proven "home run hitters" to your most critical projects? Do you rely on enthusiasm as the gauge for assigning the most critical projects?

Successful resource allocation relies on three critical steps:

1. Prioritizing your project portfolio,
2. Inventorying your resources, and
3. Following a repeatable process for matching resources to projects

In my article, Put Me in Coach!, I lay out more details on how to prioritize projects using an evaluation grid, how to build your resource inventory, and how to allocate resources.

Successful resource allocation is critical for successful technology change management. You can't rely on availability, enthusiasm, or "gut feel" as your primary criteria.

An important measure of the effectiveness of your resource allocation process is whether the right resources are working on projects that have the highest impact (tangible benefits), mitigate the greatest risks, and are the most complex.

Ensuring resource and capacity management discipline at your company, especially if you’re starting from scratch, can be demanding and complex at first. However, the end result of having a repeatable and comprehensive process is not only worth it, it is absolutely necessary. Once you have a robust resource management system in place, when you can make objective, data-driven resource allocation decisions, you’ll love hearing your people say, “Put me in Coach, I’m ready to play today!”

Philip Thomas is the founder and President of Kripa Consulting. He led a Resource & Capacity Management program at Bank of America that used PDWare to manage over 18,000 resources.

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I'll be speaking at the Resource Planning Summit in NYC, May 23-24, 2016, on taming the complexity of resource and capacity management. The conference is being held on the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (former US Aircraft Carrier), with an event night on a rooftop in Rockefeller Center. It's a great opportunity to learn about the topic, glean best practices, and build your portfolio project management capabilities. When registering for the event do let them know that Philip/Kripa Consulting sent you! 

Philip Thomas, President 
Kripa Consulting

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Taming the complexity of software development requires a project/development methodology that is readily understood, comprehensive, and able to deliver results. Agile, and its most popular form, Scrum, have quickly become the "go to" methodology for many companies. The principles of Agile - team collaboration, continuous planning, continuous testing, continuous integration, and incremental vs. "big bang" solution delivery - are applicable for any kind of project, not just for software development. 

Implementing Agile can seem complex and daunting. But its value comes from stripping away what’s complex and allowing software developers (and project teams) to focus on what customers truly require. 

For more on this topic, including five insightful observations based on personal experience, check out this article by Scrum Master Byl Cameron - technologist, FinTech proponent, Agile advocate, aspiring writer, and Kripa Consulting guest author: http://www.kripaconsulting.com/Blog/entryid/76

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In his Wall Street Journal op-ed, The Big-Data Future Has Arrived, Michael Malone states that big data inititiaves are "beginning to show big results" that are transforming our understanding of a wide variety of topics. He argues that metadata, "data that derives from, and provides information about, other data" is "big data’s real destiny: to teach us to see both ourselves and the natural world around us in ways we never could before." 

I agree. Companies of every size can't wait any longer to launch data projects. But if you want to keep your data project from suffering the fate of most other data projects... you must know why they fail and be ready to work differently.  

Data projects fail because of wrong decisions stemming from faulty thinking, hubris, and lack of domain knowledge. It’s not primarily about the technology tools, skills of those involved, or network congestion. You can select the right tools, train your staff, or increase network bandwidth. But sound decision making requires patient analysis, humble leaders, and connecting the dots.
    
Understanding your data and deriving your metadata requires a clear focus on connecting the dots of business and customer needs. Clarity of purpose, defining what you need and why you need it, has to precede commitment for action. Once it does, you're well on your way to developing and delivering a successful data project!

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According to Star Trek: The Next Generation data management in the year 2364 will look totally different from how it does today and yet be totally recognizable. In the popular TV series, Captain Picard of the starship Enterprise has all the information in the galaxy available to him in the form of a sentient android with a positronic brain. And yet, in what would be completely familiar for anyone dealing with data today, Captain Picard has to evaluate the data analysis results, consider the options and recommendations, and ultimately make a decision that affects his ship and crew. Big Data solutions, new tools, the latest analytics engines, and sophisticated reporting options in the 21st century cannot subsitute for change management oriented leaders who understand their data, manage their data, and leverage their data to grow their business. For more on this topic, and a call to action to launch data projects, check out my article, Analysis, Mr. Data.

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Technology change management has to address a number of complex areas. One of the most complex is managing project funding. I contend that change managers have to improve how they vie for project funding before the change (BC funding) and how they account for project benefits after the change deployment (AD funding). A lack of accountability for post-deployment return on investment, for AD funding, has led to unrealistic estimates before the change, for procuring BC funding. For more on this topic, check out my article, Follow the Money, and join in the discussion.
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