1: Managing resources

IT project teams are made up of knowledge workers categorized by skill types or job functions, and finding the right person to assign to a project or task can often present challenges. Typically, quality staff is scarce and therefore heavily sought by competing projects. Project managers often don't know when IT workers will be taking vacation or spending time on non-project work, making it nearly impossible to schedule projects effectively.

In this case, they need real-time access to team member schedules, tasks and available time. The system must also be web-based, since the team is probably not all in one workspace 24 hours a day. This is why spreadsheets don't work very well. Not only are they unable to be audited, but they don't allow for global access from various participants.

Tomorrow we'll talk about planning...

Curt Finch is the author of a project management book and lives in Texas.