Effective resource management is about allocating the right resources to the right place at the right time. This means you can match resources to projects, ensure projects run on time and budget and improve customer and employee satisfaction - among other benefits.
But where do you start?
- Have full resource visibility
- Enable cross-departmental collaboration
- Be able to access accurate, reliable data
- Match resource requirements against forecasted work
1. Have full resource visibility
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If your projects are going to start and complete on time and within budget, you need visibility over:
- Which resources are available
- Which resources have the right experience and skillset
- And if your desired resources aren’t available, you should be able to see when they’ll be available
And all of this information should be readily accessible so you can quickly make decisions.
Additionally, you should be able to see resource utilisation and how in demand they are. This can help you maximise utilisation, improve the chances of project success, reduce the likelihood of delays, boost productivity and enhance customer satisfaction.
And don’t forget about the resource market…
As well as resource availability, you should be able to cross-reference this with the resource market. What skills are becoming more valuable and relevant? On the flip side, what skills are becoming less relevant? What is your business doing to upskill employees? Can you accurately forecast which skills you need and when? Are you recruiting soon enough?
This can help your services organisation stay competitive.
2. Enable cross-departmental collaboration
When the sales team are selling the time and skills of your organisation’s people, the project management team must be aligned with the sellers. You don’t want to overcommit resources, you want to maximise utilisation across the board.
So, ensure the lines of communication are open between project management and sales. Sales need visibility of resource availability so they know what to sell and when. Project management need visibility of which resources are being marketed so they can plan resource allocation ideally before opportunities are won.
3. Be able to access accurate, reliable data
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If you want complete resource visibility, in-depth forecasting data and seamless cross-business collaboration, your data needs to be accurate and reliable.
- Time tracking
- Expense management
- Billable hours vs non-billable/admin time
- Current and future resource allocation
- Current project demand (e.g. whether a project will overrun or finish earlier than expected)
The above are just a handful of the vital data you need to ensure smooth project delivery - not just for the projects your resources are currently assigned to but for future ones too.
4. Match resource requirements against forecasted work
Do you know which resources have been allocated to projects and which are available? Great. Do you know when the allocated resources will become available? Great! Now do you know whether you have enough resources to support upcoming work?
You should be able to review forthcoming resource requirements against forecasted work. The sooner you can do this, the sooner you can predict when/where you're running short. Then you can scan the marketplace (e.g. via LinkedIn Recruiter) to see the availability of suitable resources.
And this is another testament to why you need cross-departmental collaboration. It's not just the sales team who need access to project information - your HR and recruitment team will too.
Is your PSA tool delivering?
Siloed data and disjointed methods of working are no good within a services organisation. Your sales, resourcing, project management and financial teams need to be streamlined if you’re going to:
- Manage complex projects
- Stay ahead of customer expectations
- Maximise billable hours
- Improve resource utilisation
You can read more about the challenges professional services firms typically face here.
What you need is a professional services automation (PSA) tool that’s capable of giving you:
- A deeper understanding of upcoming projects, their resource requirements and expected costs
- A complete overview of the customer market - such as what customers are looking for, their expectations of an ideal experience etc
- The ability to maximise billable hours via improved resource management, and time and expense tracking
- Access to real-time, accurate business intelligence so you can improve decision making
Give your business a competitive edge when you invest in a solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations, the centralised application designed with project-based organisations in mind. Learn more about the solution by clicking on the button below.