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Daisy

Project Portoflio Scenario Advice and using Meisterplan in an ever changing environment

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Where I work, we are fairly new to Project Portfolio Management and Meisterplan. We have set up our portfolio's and processes now, but we are looking for the best way to use the Scenario planning. I am hoping someone may have some advice on how you have found these work best for your business?

Also, we will soon be having Windows365 rolled out across the business and I am aware that there are portfolio dashboards and other Project Portfolio tools which are available. Has anyone had any experience on how you might use these with in conjuction with Meisterplan and any pros and cons for these.

Look forward to any wise words or advice :)

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Scenarios, and the way that you use them, are probably at the heart of Meisterplan. There isn’t one definitive way to use scenarios, we find them very flexible and easy to use. The most common applications for scenarios that we have seen are:

Evaluating Options - use a scenario to model/simulate the effects of potential changes in the portfolio e.g. adding new projects, delaying work, changing resource availability levels or adjusting priorities, without changing the current, approved plan. You can also choose an existing scenario as your base, rather than taking a copy of the Plan of Record (PoR). This method allows you to prepare multiple possible scenarios, for your programme board (or whatever your decision-making body is), so they can decide on the best fit for the next planning period.

Taking a backup – we always recommend creating a new scenario from the PoR, before either committing a planning scenario as the new PoR or loading new data to the system from an external data source. If anything goes wrong, this means that you can restore your data to a known baseline by setting the backup as the PoR.

Would other users agree with these approaches?

On the Windows365 roll-out, what sort of tools are you thinking about?

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Hello !

 

We are quite new liek Daisy. I already feel comfortable with what you can do with the Scenario / scenario comparison / scenario report, even if I just "playes" with it without really having to decide anything for the time being.

I am wondering if there is a possibility to have a best fit : a scenario arranged by the system himself to best fit the portfolio of projects regarding the actual capacity and the actual ranking of projects (the "when") ? Our portfolio contains a lot of project and sometimes, arrange one project make another one impossible to happen...

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This is quite a tricky issue - as you say, ‘moving one project makes another impossible’. So, we have to be careful with our expectations from the software.

As you may know, MS Project has a ‘resource levelling’ feature that does something like this, in that It reschedules the project tasks, based on resource availability, with a choice of settings to run the algorithm behind it. However, this often seems to result in the project finish date being pushed back beyond a reasonable date. I think many users would agree that, while it’s a great concept, it’s actually quite difficult to get acceptable results.

Meisterplan has a feature called ‘Auto-schedule’, details for which you’ll find in the Help Centre (https://help.meisterplan.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004399153-Auto-Schedule). This, in theory, is the ‘magic bullet’ that you’re looking for, but it works to a set of rules, all of which are logical but need to be understood:

•             It won’t auto-schedule ‘in-flight’ projects (you need to insert a split to schedule the second part of the project)

•             Dependencies are crucial! Remember to set them before trying Autoschedule.

•             It will only consider existing resources. It may be that the best option to complete all of your projects in an acceptable timeframe is to bring in some temporary staff, Autoschedule will not show that.

We find Autoschedule to be useful. We recommend that you generate a new scenario to try it. It will give you interesting results to consider for possible alternatives, but it’s not a substitute for management thought. Try experimenting – I think everyone would like to know your experiences with it. 

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Thanks a lot Kevin, I'll try that feature in the future and let you know my impressions.

I am happy that softwares cannot make critical management decision (yet), it allow us to have jobs :)

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Hi @Daisy & @Alexia

Would you be interested in having a learning session where we can share best practices and maybe improve the way we use Meisterplan?

I would definitely see some benefit! Let me know if you have time and I can schedule a session.

Best Mihai

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Hi @Daisy, @Alexia & @Mihai.Rotariu

Great to see you sharing your experiences.

How about I join your session as well? I am mainly being curious about your experiences with Meisterplan and eager to learn more about your specific use cases. At the same time I might be able to answer a question or two if needed.

Since I have your contact detail, I could invite you to a web session in September via email - what do you think?

Regards

Manuel

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Hi Manuel, sounds good ! You can send me the details.

 

Kind regards,

 

Alexia

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Hi Manuel, this sounds great, please do invite me too.

Regards,

Daisy

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