Tip for the Week: Plan for Time Away from the Project

I attended a conference this week and presented 2 sessions on the new enhancements for PeopleSoft HCM 9.1.  While it was a great experience and I was able to meet many people also in the planning stages for a PeopleSoft 9.1 HCM upgrade, the work back home on the project did not stop.  Often as a Project Manager, you focus on the “work” to be performed during a project and you forget to schedule for absences during the project time frame.  Be sure to gather actual time planned away from work and anticipate some absences during the project.  Look for vacations, holidays, and part time schedules.  If you don’t plan for these, you are sure to overrun your schedule and budget.

Our first big task on the PeopleSoft HCM 9.1 Upgrade project is to perform a Current State Assessment.  The first challenge is to schedule all the interviews we need to accomplish with the business owners.  This is another area where knowing the schedules for all relevant parties (both Customer team members and Consulting team members) is important.  Many times a customer will rely on a small team to accomplish day to day tasks.  One person may wear many hats in your organization. Trying to include that one person in 8 to 10 different interview sessions can turn out to be impossible and will certainly increase the length of time you need to complete a task.  In the planning phase of your project, be sure to:

1)      gather a list of all team members to be included

2)      proactively ask for all anticipated time away from work that they are aware of

3)      factor in the amount of time needed from each resource and what is available based on current work responsibilities

Our original estimate included 2 weeks to conduct and document the Current State Assessment.  With resource limitations from both BTRG and our client, we have determined we will need 3 weeks to accomplish this task based on everyone’s schedules.

Deliverables: PeopleSoft HCM 9.1 Upgrade Current State Assessment Interview Schedule and Participant List

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