The Requirement Range
Perspective Based on Organization, Roles, People, or Teams
For initial resource planning, it is necessary to be able to allocate people, including those with a certain skill set, teams or several individuals at the same time. This simultaneous initial allocation occurs, for example, by means of the decentralized project initiation for each organizational area. This is also the case when the attempt is made in agile organizations to define teams heterogeneously and to hold them together constantly.
Stacking the Requirements of Projects and Plans
A histogram creates a consolidated view of all allocations from the perspective of the resource (Resource 1 in the figure). This means that all projects to which Resource 1 is allocated in a given week will be stacked on top of each other like a mountain range. The height of the project boxes represents the requirement per project and Resource 1; the combined area of all projects is an indicator for the total planned effort for this resource.
In the figure, Project C needs Resource 1 for a constant 80 man-days/week for three weeks between W2 and W4. Resource 1 could be testers, for example, to support planned integration tests during this period. The total effort for the testing has been estimated at 240 man-days.
Stacking Order as a Parameter for Priority and Criticality
The projects of the requirement range in the histogram are stacked from bottom to top. On the bottom are the “set” high-priority projects whose implementation delivers the greatest goodwill or strategic contribution, or for which there is no longer any time buffer.
The Contour of the Capacities as a Basis for Comparison
To enable comprehensive resource planning, the requirement range needs to be compared to the available capacities. Displayed as a contour, the following aspects are made visible at a glance:
- When more or fewer capacities are available per organization, team or individual resource. This can be influenced by planned absences, hires, and fluctuation or by external reinforcement at certain times.
- Which projects are affordable at the planned time and existing constraints.
The contour is defined in the same unit as the requirements displayed in the histogram and is in relation to the same resources. This means that the height of the graph represents, for example, the sum of all tester capacities in one calendar week.