Employees work on different projects under multiple reporting channels. In such a complex Reporting structure, Critical resources are engaged for performing critical tasks and functions, sometimes exceeding their Capacity Utilization. Contrary to this, other resources with matching skillset may remain underutilized, due to lack of visibility. This impacts the billable utilization, primarily because competent resources may keep working on non-billable projects due to the lack of visibility. Such a scenario may lead to unplanned hiring, as project leaders face a crunch of Resources when their Requirement arises. When the projects end, rolled-off Resources end up serving a bench time or even facing a layoff.
There are several scenarios where a talented workforce could not achieve project success due to inaccurate planning. With effective Resource Management Best Practices, you can increase business profitability by optimizing the utilization of the existing resource pool. Let’s have a look at some of the ways to make the best use of resources.
Abolishing Silos With Integrated Resource Scheduling
An organization functions with a diverse workforce in different departments, teams, locations and projects. It often creates silos that lead to a lack of visibility. In this case, Resource Managers have to search every hierarchical channel when the need for a specific skill arises. The Resource Managers may not be able to see how resources are allocated. As a result, they will be unable to allocate resources to the project at the right time despite having a good talent pool. Having a 360 degree view of resources, with details like their departments, location, skill sets, competencies, years of experience, Project Experience, and their Availability will enable the Resource Managers. Also, it will establish transparency of resource allocation, task ownership, and engagement period. It will create a bird’s eye view of the Resource Pool for the Resource Managers, assisting them in quicker decision making.
Facilitate and Ensuring Bench is Optimally Utilized
When a project ends, Employees are transitioned to the Bench, while the RMG looks for a new opportunity for the resource. Lead time to find a new assignment adds to the Bench cost, which directly impacts the bottom line of the organization.
Visibility of a Project Release Date enables the Resource Manager to look for opportunities in advance. It helps reduce the resources’ Bench Time. Also, the organization can conduct Employee training programs for the resources that are available partially or in full capacity. This way, companies can invest in helping Employees acquire additional skills. Training the existing workforce to align with opportunities on a billable project further enhances Bench Engagement.
Focus on Upskilling and Reskilling
Employees may need to wear multiple hats and work on multiple projects simultaneously. These projects can be aligned to either one of the multiple skill that the employee possesses. Every employee in the resource pool may not have the requisite skills needed to take up different roles. Secondary skills can be acquired and mastered on the job ,with some strategic Learning & Development interventions. Having a ability to view Employee Skills & mapping them to L&D allows the RMG to effectively maintain a Skills repository of employees, and effectively plan the mapping of employees to new projects with new skills.
Managing Resources with Better Visibility to Demand Pipeline
One way of increasing productivity is accurately forecasting and addressing the demands coming from the pipelined projects. Whenever the pipelined project reaches a certain probability of closure, the Resource Manager can start resource planning. One should conduct accurate Workforce Capacity Planning by measuring the available capacity against the project demand. It helps identify the excesses or shortages and helps mitigate the same, with necessary measures. In the case of resource shortages, Hiring a contingent workforce addresses the short-term project demand. For long-term demands hiring permanent employees can be a solution. If resources are in excess, then adjustments can be made to project timelines to manage the underutilized resources effectively.
Retaining Top Talent through Succession Planning- Before Opportunities Are Won!
Collaboration between Sales and Resource Management teams helps train and retain top talent and assign them projects during the initiation stage. Since deals usually take a few weeks before they’re finalized, this time could be utilized to make significant progress on Resource Planning and Allocating the right ones to the project. Resource Managers can plan and build a team that’ll work well together, creating an optimum mix of Experiences. This maximizes Resource Utilization and margins while also training junior employees. It also helps in optimizing the costs of the project. Having a Succession Plan in place, to efficiently manage employee movement helps maintain the velocity of work on Projects. Services professionals value working in a more planned environment to see what projects they are likely to be working on.
Resource management is transforming from an ad hoc, reactive basis within teams and departments, to now being managed on a global scale through an Integrated System. Resources form the primary cost in a services business, and managing them effectively directly impacts revenue and profit margins. With the advent of Project Management tools, the allocation of resources has become less challenging and more manageable. The resource management tools offer:
- Complete visibility of availability and skills across the entire business landscape
- Accurate, up-to-date resource utilization rates including a breakdown of billable utilization (based on billable time) along with the effort being put into the tasks
Resource management tools have empowered organizations to drive improvements that increase profitability, improve employee engagement & increase employee happiness. Through relevant data, resource managers can effectively manage resources by monitoring real-time changes, evaluating risks, and identifying best fitment for Resources.