What’s the best way you’ve found for resource allocation tracking for creatives time (To assess current bandwidth and forecasting.). I won’t be able to use any paid software and will just be using google but I am more interested in learning what methods you find best for getting the info itself updated. Anything useful besides daily standups?

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If you don’t have a tool, you can create a manual google sheet. Add each person in Column A on the left and weeks across the top and allocate their hours WoW. Throw some formulas in there that counts their total hours allocated against their total hours available for whatever timeframe you need (1 mo, 1quarter, etc). Make it a % if you want (to show “Dan is 110% allocated”, for example). Weekly resource meetings to ensure it’s updated by project PMs, account, and creative leads.

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It's unfortunate that PMs end up doing RM rather than getting support from a proper Resource Manager. This further dilutes their ability to actually manage projects. I agree about the simple tracker idea described by Program Manager 1 as a starting point. Whenever possible I use sheets or Excel to learn my requirements and make initial progress. Very easy to chart or eyeball trends over time.

Keep in mind, you need to also make sure that actuals are tracked to understand Estimate v Actuals (EvA). Hopefully the creative team you are assisting will cooperate in exchange for the help you are providing. We all know how much creatives (and other humans) love timesheets.

IMO the most valuable thing you can do (should?) do re: RM, that's truly in the PM realm, is to appropriately estimate level of effort (LOE) with the creative lead(s) and teach them to do so - hence the need for EvA, this will make whatever tool you use that much more valuable.

I'd also suggest estimating in larger rather chunks rather than smaller - stages and steps rather than tasks and subtasks. weeks vs days. It's not an exact science.

And, to your original question the frequency of your meetings depends on how acute the problem is, how many moving parts, and how good the estimated and actual data is. I would prepare myself for daily standups and a weekly deeper dive to begin with. Don't under do it or it will fail. You can pull back once things begin stabilizing and norms begin developing.

helpfullike

Super helpful, thank you.

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+1 to everything head of PM said and I’ll add a few things I’ve found to be helpful in my experience (6 years in ad, currently managing a web design + dev team of 41 working for a massive tech client):

Make sure your team leads are doing 1 on 1s then add a weekly leads check in and the resourcing check ins to your weekly cadence. 30 min each. And your standups should hopefully be 15 min at the beginning of the day. I usually do a leads meeting Wed then RM Mon or Fri to recap the last week and plan out the next week.

Getting on the same page for level of effort of tasks with your leads is CLUTCH and will help make sure everyone is inherently on the same page.

Last, airtable is sick. Lots of ways to manage not only allocations in a simple way but track project and smaller task progress in gantt, calendar, list and spreadsheet-like form.

likehelpful

Thank you!!

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