Resolving Resource Bottlenecks

How one organization overcame fixed scope, resource and time constraints.

The Client

The Client is one of the world's largest automotive manufacturers with global sales of more than 6.5 million cars and annual revenue exceeding US $170B. The company has over 245,000 employees and 100 facilities worldwide.

The Challenge

The Client managed multiple releases (projects) of an enterprise manufacturing software application. The program was global in scope and involved multiple business, IT, and vendor organizations. Even though this was one of the most complex IT initiatives ever undertaken by the Client, the challenge they were experiencing was not unique : Performing work with a limited amount of resources without visibility, insight, and control.

The Product Development Group (PDG) recognized that all project constraints, scope, cost (resources), and time, were mandated by senior management. The group started to see the dates slip and moral plummet, while the organization was in a state of 'no hire'. A solution to escalate and resolve issues based on facts as opposed to feelings was required.

The Pcubed Solution

Pcubed performed an assessment to determine the state of the current situation. Pcubed consultants scheduled interviews with key stakeholders and examined the various program and project management tools and processes used at the time. The assessment resulted in a recommendation that the organization should enhance its schedule development practices and move to an enterprise project management solution. Pcubed developed an innovative scheduling solution called The Staffing Model, which is based on Microsoft Office Project Standard and Microsoft Office Access. A solution based on a server application was considered, but was not allowed due to architecture regulations.

The Results

With The Staffing Model, the organization could make decisions based on facts instead of emotions, using three reports:

  • The first report showed the current state of the organization : Given the current scope of work and the targeted delivery dates, what is the size of the workload of the resources?
  • The second report was a what-if report : Given the current scope of work and the fixed number of resources when could these releases realistically be delivered?
  • The third report was also a 'what if' report : Given the current scope of work and the targeted delivery dates, how many resources (by role) would be needed in order to be successful?

The end result was that during a time of no-hire, the PDG was given the permission to hire 24 more associates into the organization. The Staffing Model was looked at as such a success that all groups within the Program were added to the model, and the tool and processes were leveraged throughout the life of the program to help drive resource, scope, and time decisions.