Most internal departments that manage multiple projects operate within fixed resource and budgetary constraints. As new projects arise they need to be scheduled around spare skills capacity and budget availability. Each project's budget and time constraints are best agreed, before it is planned in detail. This is the top down planning approach.
Bottom up planning is fine for preparing a plan and estimate of the required work and skills – or for billable projects to external clients that can fund contract staff. However, internal departments cannot treat any project in isolation and new plans need to be considered alongside existing commitments.
It is common for new projects to arise unexpectedly, particularly within IT departments. These can have high priority and require that other work be delayed to free up the required resource. New rulings from regulatory authorities are a common source of such projects.
Innate resource management software supports top down planning.
The ability to create various scenarios that show the resource and commercial consequences of alternatives are very helpful, not only in re-balancing the workload effectively, but in communicating to both clients and internal staff the reasons for any changes that have to be made.
Innate resource management software enables projects to be planned with the most appropriate tools, either spreadsheet or Microsoft Project. Innate’s web based spreadsheets have a similar look and feel to Excel, but with a single click can:
This approach is very suitable for the top down planning of major projects that will have detailed schedules developed in Microsoft Project.
The Design, Build and Test tasks have been planned in Innate. You can see how the top down planning for the Design phase is breaching the date and budget guideline.
Top down planning establishes and enforces the resource and time constraints for detailed project planning. Innate resource management software fully supports top down planning.