During my weekly PMO meeting I apologized to my team for allowing them to be criticized by the CEO for not being prepared. I promised I would stick up for them in the steering committee meeting.
During the first part of the steering committee meeting I spent the first few minutes insisting that the chain of command be followed and that nobody criticizes my people but me. It was tense but my CEO trusts me. I reminded him of what I told him during my interview when he asked: "What am I going to find out about you two weeks after I hire you that I wish I knew now?" I told him: "I'm blunt." And I've proved that to be right many times since.
After the dust had settled we got back to the agenda with one added item. Our big software program: Rock Python, had many elements that people wanted prioritized. On opening this file up, we saw that some of the projects were actually sub-projects of others. But the people were not showing how many resources were needed on a weekly basis because they didn't understand how the system worked. I was very frustrated.
Once again we looked for completed projects and once again, none quite got there. I reminded the steering committee that these projects were supposed to last 2 - 4 weeks and many should have completed by now. We all agreed that this system was really highlighting this deficiency.
The CEO asked for something out of the ordinary. Could he please pull the non-IT projects out of the list and make them their own separate list. I told him this was OK as long as they did not require resources from the other projects. He agreed and pulled about 12 projects out of the main list. We re-prioritized these and moved to resourcing.
The rest of the steering committee was getting frustrated at trying to figure out how many hours people would need to spend over how much time. (Duration vs. Level of Effort) So the CEO asked for another new thing. Could we place all the IT projects on one Gantt chart and track level of effort there? I was dubious but, since the Excel sheet wasn't working, I decided to give it a try.
He asked how you do this. I showed him one of my projects' Gantt charts showing how I break out Work from Duration and allow MS-Project to calculate % of resources required per task. I showed how this allowed one to see the resource graph and highlight where resources were scarce.
He was excited and asked that my team create this master Gantt chart. I asked for two weeks for them to perform this work. We argued back and forth but I got my team two weeks. Let's hope they pull it off. The CEO promised to do the same job by himself for teh non-IT projects over the weekend.