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How to get projects under control even in the face of resource shortages

Excerpts from the previous article

1.      Resource shortages are not harmful on their own. They only generate many options, but the impact is constant. E.g. If there are 3 tasks A, B and C and only 1 available resource to execute them, then they can be executed in ABC, ACB, BAC, BCA, CAB, CBA sequences but the time impact is constant – the sum of durations of A, B and C.

2.      However, in projects there exists Integration Points and together, they act as partners in crime. Together, they produce many possible outcomes.

What are we trying to observe?

What we are trying to do here is sort of reverse engineering – isolate the best solutions by enumerating all possible prioritization combinations and try to look for clues that can get us to a general prioritization rule that can be applied in any real resource constraint situation

In the following part, we will try to compare good and bad impacts of prioritization on multiple examples and see if we can spot some cause and effect relationship

I will let the following pictures speak for themselves.

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Simple examples showing the interplay of Resource Shortages and Integration Points
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A more complex example showing the interplay of Resource Shortages and Integration Points

What are the pointers for an effective innovation that can reverse the trend of time-overruns?

The ray of hope is the following idea:

Even if there is resource shortage in the project, it is possible to execute it in a way that Resource Shortages never get to meet the Integration Points till the very end.

And if they cannot team up, they cannot multiply delays

So all we need to do is to figure out:

  1. A Planning Method that sets the project up for facing real-world constraints
  2. A uniform Prioritization Mechanism that can keep resource shortage and integration points separate, during execution


To summarize, we need a new method that is simple yet resilient to all real-world constraints/ challenges and can deal effectively with whatever reality eventually throws at us

In the next article, we will work out a new method to make this happen

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