Many organizations use MS Project for planning individual projects. However, MS Project on the desktop is not well suited for resource management across the multi-project workload. Migrating to Project Server or other enterprise project management software can be too large a step, particularly when Innate addresses this with a simple database architecture and superb integration with Microsoft Project.
As new projects arrive, you can prepare the initial plan either in Innate or MS Project. Within Innate, new work can be defined in the most appropriate way:
- The Innate web based spreadsheets handle simple simple projects or operational tasks such as support, maintenance etc, without the need for Microsoft Project. Work breakdown structures, such as project, phase & task, can be accommodated.
- High level estimates of major projects can be scheduled around the existing commitments with the Innate web based spreadsheets before being copied into Microsoft Project for more detailed planning.
Views such as the one shown below then help the project manager to keep the detailed planning within the agreed date and budget parameters. This top down planning approach ensures that authorized budget and time constraints remain clearly visible.
The Design task from Innate is being broken down into greater detail within Microsoft Project; time and budget overruns are clearly identified.
Once resources have been assigned to tasks within Innate, the names are synchronized back to the MS Project plan, and the tasks automatically appear on that resource’s timesheet.
Plans requiring more complex task structures or logical dependencies can be scheduled in MS Project and kept fully synchronized with the Innate database, to provide resource management with MS Project.
Managing Resources with Microsoft Project and Innate
Innate’s support of resource management with Microsoft Project also enables project managers to prepare their schedules using Microsoft Project in the normal way. Innate provides an add-in to Microsoft Project so that plans can be synchronised with the database, as required.
Once the initial synchronization has been made, project managers can:
- Search for who has the required skills, grade etc and is available to work on selected phases or tasks. They can assign the work, if they have permission. Otherwise, assignments are treated as requests and automatically communicated to the appropriate resource manager(s).
- See when a specific individual would be available.
- Understand what assignments including non project work are making a specific individual unavailable.
- A “Traffic Light” system highlights tasks that have a resource conflict – whenever they synchronize with the database.
- Update their Microsoft Project tasks with names assigned by resource managers.
- Convert browser-based plans into Microsoft Project plans.
Resource planning with Microsoft Project – Innate shows over allocation of resources across projects.
With these capabilities, resource management with Microsoft Project becomes feasible for quite large organizations, without the need to migrate to Project Server, or other enterprise systems. These are much more complex, expensive and risky alternatives.
Resource management with Microsoft Project struggles in a multi- project environment. Innate provides effective resource management with Microsoft Project.