If you read our previous post in this “crawl, walk, run” series, you’ll be acquainted with the early process of incorporating resource management into your organization. In part 2, we’re going to guide you from the basics of resource management right through to advanced levels of resource planning in your project management solution.
In our first post, we focused on the ‘crawl’ stage of adding skills and coupling resources to those skills in your project management solution. In today’s post, we’ll begin to ‘walk’, by looking at the importance of getting the correct resources to the right projects. This includes three essential factors:
Planning your project resources is a crucial step that allows project managers to organize their project schedule, the available resources and the other cost details. That project schedule could include numerous projects, both new and current, that need to be balanced to make sure that tasks can be completed, objectives met and over allocation avoided.
Over allocation happens when there is a lack of information available to team leaders and project managers. To make sure your organization is making the most of your resources for every project, you need a method of inputting and updating resource data.
Tempus Resource supports several methods of adding and updating resource data while also integrating with existing PPM tools, meaning your can more effectively assign resources in Microsoft Project and Project Online. Direct data-entry means you can bring together imported data from different areas, integrating the tool with your other PPM solutions; alternatively, you can use the solution as an individual resource management tool.
Project management is impossible to predict. Projects that have been scheduled for months get cancelled at the last minute, your resources change all the time, as do budgets. So, a key component of good resource management (and overall project management) is the ability to ‘roll with the punches’ and adapt to new circumstances. Therefore, the ability to conduct ‘what-if’ analysis is so important. If such analysis is not available an organization risks over allocation, which can be a killer for your projects’ success.
What-if analysis enables your project management team to see the ideal deployment of your resources, flagging up areas of potential overallocation or under allocation, meaning you can put in place the right schedule to that gets the most efficient use of labor. You can also test and ask questions of your data and your project positions. With what-if analysis, you can run simulations to see what effect certain choices will have on your resources and projects. Seeing the impact of certain decisions ca n help you make the right choices in an often-mercurial area of your business.
Capacity planning is, in effect, the joining together of the resource need for your project and the available supply of resources. In other words, figuring out who is available at a particular time for work. Knowing the capacity of your resources is beneficial because it allows you to:
- Use your resources more efficiently – get more done with the same amount of resources
- Leverage real time data for team availability
- Plan for resource demand
- Avoid task overlap and work overload
Early capacity and demand management
Managing capacity and demand relies on a framework that brings together demand, resources and workload management. One of your first steps should be determining your organization’s current and future resource needs based on project demand. That means ensuring resources are acquired and implemented ahead of time. Another early step is to identify usage patterns in the short and long term, while translating customer/client demands into workloads.
Resource modeling and forecasting capabilities allow you to approach resource capacity planning in the best possible way, helping you avoid many of the challenges we’ve mentioned. By taking a single project or a whole portfolio, users create a model where they can test, in real time, the effects of changing or modifying their projects, to help them maximize their resource forecasting. You can see how a project would change if you added an extra employee or changed people around to better utilize their skills. And you can see this without committing the time and money until you’re certain it will benefit the project. This is what we believe is at the heart of successful and effective resource management.
Tempus Resource, from ProSymmetry, uses state-of-the-art resource planning capabilities to give project and resource managers the best tools to manage resources. Effective resource and project management is not an overnight implementation. But by following the right steps you can soon learn to crawl, walk and run. Don’t forget to keep checking back to blog for updates on the latest tips and best practice resource management.
For more information on resource management or to get your free trial of Tempus Resource today, get in touch with us today.