Balancing Run the Business with Projects
So now that you know how to define work, you’re ready to balance RTB with projects. Organizations often struggle with achieving this balance because they don’t understand the importance of RTB activities and/or don’t make resources available. In an effort to continually grow and change the business, organizations sometimes flood their project portfolio with too many projects and not enough resources for RTB. While RTB work might not be as exciting as projects, it needs to be properly prioritized.
It’s helpful to make a list of all RTB activities that are absolutely necessary for your business to keep running. Once you have this list, allocate resources to these activities before allocating resources to projects. It’s important that these allocations stay in place. It may be tempting when you are in a pinch to pull workers off RTB work for other projects, but this should not be done (unless you are experiencing truly unprecedented circumstances).
Once you have determined and allocated your RTB activities, the rest of your resource capacity can be devoted to projects. If you feel like you are allocating too many resources to RTB activities, it could mean a couple of things. First, it could be that senior management or other stakeholders want more projects in the project portfolio than you can reasonably deliver with the available resources. When this happens, you can consider hiring more resources (including external ones) to meet the project demand or you can reschedule projects to a time when resources are available. Alternatively, you could consider projects that might reduce RTB capacity by automating certain activities or creating more efficiencies. Second, it may be possible that some RTB activities are not absolutely crucial. Regularly review RTB activities and make sure they only include things that are necessary. If there are RTB activities that aren’t crucial, but you’d still like to have, you can keep them in your project portfolio but you should consider evaluating and prioritizing them alongside projects rather than other RTB work.