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  1. I've posted about this before, albeit a long time ago, but the problem is getting worse now that my department is growing. Currently, I have over 130 projects that my team and I are keeping track of. Most of the projects (around 120 of them) are either on hold (waiting for information), stuck in internal review (our teams are reviewing the drawings for accuracy), or waiting for our customer's approval. The number of projects that we can actively work on is very, very small, to the point of deciding on whether or not to start sending people home. The information we need to continue trickles in at times, but there is always the possibility that everything can come in at once, putting us into a panic as to which project(s) should be done first. When this happens, it usually requires that I get approval for overtime since we end up having more work than can be done in a normal business week. When I need to justify the overtime, I am asked to provide a schedule showing who will work on what and for how long. The problem is that I have no idea when we will be able to work on any specific project since it largely up to our customers as to when they can, or will, give us the information we need. Also, especially with one "highly custom" customer, it is nearly impossible to say how long their projects will take because we've usually never done anything similar to use as an estimate. My opinion is that it is completely pointless to make a work schedule since it can change at a moments notice (and it has), requiring me to rework the schedule. Instead, we've been keeping a list of the projects and just taking them on a "first come, first serve" basis. However, I'm still being asked to provide a schedule with a lot of unknown information. If anyone else is in, or has been in, a similar situation, I'd really appreciate it if you could share a tip or two on how you handle it. Even if you don't experience this kind of situation, I'm open to any suggestions that you may have.
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