Saturday, November 24, 2007

An Interesting week ahead

Next week looks to be very interesting. I've not written much in the last month because I really haven't done much PMO work. I've been writing Plan documents, so you can imagine how much I want to come home and write more. One of the reasons I'm falling behind on the Accord project - more on that later.

So, next week we are going to begin our installation of Project Server 2007. We have some consultants coming in to help us with the setup and some training. I've got a little experience, but not enough to want to jump off that ledge alone. I have been reading up - bought a book and pulled some papers down from the MS site. We have been slowly building a schedule (I use that term loosely).

Our schedule (which everyone calls a plan of course) is running about 2000 lines right now. Probably somewhere on the order of 250 resources. I know that's too big, so we have to figure out how to manage at the level of detail we must (per the contract no tasks >80 hours) and still be able to give some meaningful management information. We have a couple of really interesting challenges ahead:

Size/complexity of the project: This really just a technical challenge, but one that will be with us throughout the entire project. The solution right now for this is a full time scheduler.

Politics: I am not really sure that everyone has bought in to the 80 hours deal, so there may be some work there trying to get the right informaiton into the schedule.

Earned Value: Another contract promise - yikes! MSProject has a the tools, it's collecting the information that is going to be a challenge. Right now, I'm struggling to figure out "value." Is it the value assigned by the client or the value assigned by the contractor? We have a fixed price contract so to the contractor value = bid - cost (or profit). If it costs more to produce something that was bid, that's a problem. But the client has a whole different value proposition based on rate of return, net present value, payback, etc.

Scope: This is tied with the politics too - what isn't. How much of MS Project Server do we want to implement - it's a pretty robust tool - what's enough and what is too much. I'm a minimalist and so is my counterpart, so I think we will go with as little as possible. I just hope that is enough.

Off to read more, check a few blogs, etc.

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