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MS Project for Program Management

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    About seven years ago the state government IT organization that I remain employed in decided against a Microsoft EPM solution implementation because funding was not available.  As a work-around to support scheduling multiple projects that needed to be integrated into a five-year IT improvement program (ITIP) in planning at the time, I turned to Project Pro 2003.

    Each scoped ITIP project required a set of three to four supporting schedules necessary to do the following:

    • Manage campus level IT site surveys.
    • Manage the re-purposing and re-positioning of about 3,300 PCs between two large state government departments (avoiding several million dollars in new PC purchasing cost in the process).
    • Manage the training of thousands of users transitioning from IBM AS/400 terminals to modern Dell workstations.
    • Manage the upgrade of network infrastructure equipment along with the upgrade of wiring to Cat5e level and selected wireless network deployments at the 23 institutions for the department gaining the Dell computers.

    Each set of project schedules for each institution was inserted into an institution master schedule to support IT campus level management.  Additionally, each institution master schedule was inserted into an ITIP master schedule to enable centralized, highly flexible sequencing and compression of schedule elements across all institutions in the program.  Such scheduling made complex cross-project dependency setting and integration possible among all site survey projects and among each of the several other recurring project types.

    If I had it all to do over again, I would have also created and maintained a resource pool schedule using Project Pro, and would have assigned project managers and all other program resources from the pool in order to take advantage of the software’s more advanced human resource management functionality.

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