Powerful rolling wave planning with LibrePlan

Introducing rolling wave planning

Rolling wave planning is a project planning technique that basically consists of elaborating progressively the project plan over time. It is common that on starting to plan a project the project manager does not have all the information needed to make an accurate and realistic planning. This usually happens with projects that have a significant duration.

Therefore, to plan the whole project with a high level of detail in a first stage maybe is not the best idea:

  • It is likely that as time passes the circumstances change because of intermediate results. For instance, it could happen that some activities, belonging to the first work packages to deliver, are delayed.
  • New requirements and priorities can be set once the project has already started and this can trigger the need of a new planning process.

With the rolling wave planning technique these inefficiencies and time penalties are avoided, the project manager can save time and, as a consequence, he can be focused on the activities that produce real value for the success of the projects. Actually, it can be seen that this practice is aligned with the principles advocated by project management agile methodologies, as Scrum.


How to make the most of rolling wave planning with LibrePlan

One option, on applying rolling wave planning, is not to plan the future beyond a certain point in time at all.

An interesting alternative approach is to make the decision to plan the future, but with a lower level of detail than the short term. This sounds really well but, however, you can think: and how can I do it regarding to task allocations? With my project management software I can allocate specific resources but I do not have a clue of how to do it with less detail!

Here is when LibrePlan comes to rescue and how LibrePlan makes it possible is what I want briefly present in this post.

In LibrePlan there are two types of resource allocations:  specific allocations, which are the standard ones in which you choose the employee you want to do a task and, generic allocations, where you define a set of criteria that the eligible resources must have configured. With LibrePlan you can define the custom criteria useful for your organization and classify the workers according to them. Once done, the planning engine, on applying the generic allocations, looks for the free resources satisfying the required criteria for a task and assigns them. The global load of the different criteria can be analyzed and the project manager is able to know if he has enough free resources per criterion over time. He can also make corrective decisions according to it.


So, as can be seen, you can do rolling wave planning with LibrePlan using the generic allocations. They allow you to know if you have enough resources in the future with the skills needed (or with other criteria). Besides, it is a light and course-grain way of allocating resources that makes possible to apply powerfully rolling wave planning without the penalties of having to spend time in detailed planning that you have to redo.

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