Majority of projects/programs manage critical project-related live data via project registers, known as DRICA, RAID, etc.
Each letter represents a type of project metadata: R – risks, I – issues, A – assumptions (or actions), D – dependencies, C – change requests, etc
The list of registers varies based on:
- Nature of the portfolio
- Type of project
- PM delivery methodology
- PPM tool
- PMO experience
Apart from traditional registers there are other types of registers which could add value to each project team…
If your Sponsor asks you to speed up your project and complete it earlier, could you present a list of project limitations and explain how the project could be sped up if additional resources and/or financials are available? If not, you may consider this additional type of register to manage your project.
“B” for Bottlenecks
Project bottlenecks is a list of project limitations which prevent the project from earlier completion.
Project bottlenecks could be build based on project resource critical path.
“Bottleneck” register typically includes the following fields:
Name of project activity on resource critical path.
Physical duration of the activity.
Limited by: process/resource/contract/financial
If applicable, “Resource” limit type could broken-down to:
Resource: resource name (or role)
Critical skill: type of skill
Is it possible to apply fast tracking technique? If yes, how many days (hours) could be saved?
Amount of time that an activity or constraint on the critical path is adding to the project duration.
Amount of time that could be saved by optimising resource allocation.
Project bottleneck optimisation recommended best practices:
- Ideally, we want all bottlenecks to have technical or contract types. It means that project resources are fully optimised. In that case project resource critical path and project critical path will include the same activities.
- Not all bottlenecks are bad. Some projects use planned bottleneck to smooth project delivery. For example, we do not want to spend all funds until the next financial tranche is available. Or we limit the number of changes per release.
- Activity DRAGs help to select the best way for the schedule crashing while activity FLEX helps to optimise project resource assignment.
- DRAG can be positive or negative. Negative DRAG shows the amount of time that could be saved if activity duration is increased.
- FLEX can be positive or negative. Negative FLEX shows the amount of time that could be saved if the number of assigned resources is increased.
- It is valuable to understand vendors bottlenecks and whether they could be removed by additional funds.
- Agile projects always have bottlenecks, otherwise, the whole backlog could be delivered in one sprint. Usually, Agile projects are constrained by a particular type of skill. Often it is not obvious as everyone is working hard which creates an illusion of productivity.
- Some project managers prefer to keep an eye on near critical path activities and to be aware of a type of resources which could be critical.
- Some projects use criticality index in their “bottleneck” register or directly in the schedule (if their scheduling tool supports it). Criticality index takes into account project risks data. It informs how often a particular activity was on a critical path during risk simulation calculation. Non-critical activities may have a higher chance of becoming critical during project execution and need special attention.
- DRAG, FLEX and Criticality index for Primavera and Microsoft Project schedules could be calculated with a schedule optimisation tool, like Spider Project. Spider Project supports resource critical path, DRAG, FLEX and Criticality indexes.
- Project “bottleneck’s optimisation” is a repetitive process. After the current project bottlenecks removed, the analysis gets repeated until all possible and desired “bottlenecks” optimised.