DON’T YOU WISH YOU COULD JUST PUT YOUR PROJECT PORTFOLIO ON RAILS?
Managing resource capacity across a portfolio of projects can be a real hassle. Top-down estimates tend to be too inaccurate, while detailed bottom-up estimates are time consuming to put together. To make things worse, a portfolio manager often needs to rely on their project managers entering data into expensive, top-heavy portfolio management systems before they’re able to make annual budget estimates.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were something in the middle?
Now there is! Introducing the annual project portfolio capacity planner. Designed specifically for project portfolio managers to use during budget time, this tool helps you juggle resources across all of your different projects, using something you likely already have on your desktop: Microsoft Excel.
Here’s a video showing you how it works.
- Up to ten different resource types
- Up to twenty-five different projects
- Up to five phases per project
- No macros of any kind. This interactive workbook is fully functional on any level of security.
- Clean tabs designed to be logical, easy to read and still contain all your data.
- Extreme ease-of-use.
- This is just Excel? Really?
- Slick GUI lets you slide your projects back and forth against one another just like they’re on rails.
Although I normally give my Excel tools away for free, I put a lot of love into this one. However, times are tough. People don’t have money to burn on tools the way they used to. That’s no excuse for sloppy portfolio organization!
To help you, I’m offering this tool on a “Pay What You Want” basis. I’m suggesting a price of $40 if you think this tool will be useful to you. However, if you don’t have $40, you can pay $20. Or $5. Or, if this horrible economy is sucking for you just a little bit more than for other people, you can take this tool for absolutely nothing and still get 100% of the functionality that people who pay full price for this little gem will get!
- "WOW! IT'S JUST LIKE USING AN ABACUS!"
- "SUPER IMPRESSIVE" (@journeymanpm)
Disclaimer: If you choose to pay for this workbook, I will support you as best as I am able. However, there are limitations built into this file that I won’t be able to alter without extensive rework. You can have unlimited resources, but a maximum of 25 projects, 5 phases per project and 10 resource types. Also note that this workbook uses a special “alternate half” rounding to calculate project phase start and end dates from percentage estimates. Alternate half rounding is far more accurate than Excel’s default (arithmetic) rounding, but may still result in very slight drift. This workbook does not replace the need to maintain detailed project plans.
And now, without further ado,
YOU CAN PAY HERE (NOW OR LATER)...
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Why do you offer “pay what you want”? Aren’t you afraid you’ll be taken advantage of?
A: To the second half of the question, “yes and no”. Every once in awhile I think about forcing payment but to the first half of the question, this tool is meant as a giveback to the PM community. Some people really can’t afford a tool like this but still need one. Some people might find that the tool isn’t to their liking and they don’t want to make the investment. Really, I only feel taken advantage of when I get technical support questions from people who intend to just grab the file and run.
Q: Can I add more projects / phases / resources to this file than those provided?
A: Not at present. It’s important to remember that this is still just a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. I find if I build too much complexity into this workbook, Excel’s performance starts to degrade (i.e., becomes slower, less responsive, screen refresh becomes choppy, etc.). Periodically I open the hood on this file to find ways I can make it more efficient to improve the depth of the different dimensions but for the moment this feels like a good balance of analysis for performance.
Q: Can you tell me how your calculations work?
A: While I’m happy to share details with customers who paid for the workbook I get a lot of requests to provide information about my logic from people who I never hear from again (and who take advantage of the “pay what you want” feature to get free technical support). This makes me feel a little uncomfortable. Once you’ve paid for the workbook I’ll feel a little bit better telling you whatever you’d like to know. No disrespect.
Q: Can you add more features to this workbook? I love it but there are so many more things I’d like to do with it.
A: Sadly not at present. I’d love to make this workbook even more fabulous but it’s important to remember that this isn’t software-as-a-service and isn’t driven by a relational database. It’s just a spreadsheet that has some pretty neato functionality, and is limited by it’s parent software (Excel). If your needs are more rigorous that what I provide here I strongly urge you to consider a more robust capacity management solution. They’re a lot more money, but they’ll likely have the features that you’re looking for.