Crawl, Walk, Run, Resource Management – FTE or Hours? Part 1

Crawl, Walk, Run, Resource Management – FTE or Hours? Part 1

Every year, Gartner publishes a very popular research article entitled “Resource Management for Project Portfolio Management: Walk Before You Run.”  As its name implies, the research article focuses on the various levels of resource management maturity and the associated challenges and benefits faced along the way.

Tempus Resource – named as a Cool Vendor by Gartner – is a solution that specifically aims to solve the resource management challenges faced by organizations of all types, shapes and sizes.  In this multi-part blog – this being part 1 of 3 – we will focus on how Tempus Resource helps organizations at all levels of resource management maturity and – more importantly – helps them advance to higher levels of maturity.

Part 1: The Crawl

Crawling is about basic as things can get.  If you have children or spend any time around kids, you know that when a child progresses to crawling, life gets much more complex for parents but still mundane for the child when put in context of the types of challenges they’ll be faced with while growing up.  In fact, it’s not uncommon for a child to get frustrated while crawling – especially if their older sibling is already running.  Of course, and at the same time, to the child, crawling is pretty darn awesome.  I mean, you can do things you’ve never done before!

Drawing a parallel to organizations implementing Resource Management, crawling is exciting.  You can start to understand the basics.  In fact, at this elemental stage, effort is generally directed at the most basic forms of planning and resource pool construction.

At this Crawl stage, Donna Fitzgerald and Robert Handler’s “Resource Management for Project Portfolio Management: Walk Before You Run” research note is essential reading. Pointing to several common characteristics including the beginnings of a transition, from FTE-based planning to named resource planning along with a standardization of roles and skills to couple demand for skills and roles with resources, the research note covers the essentials for basic resource management.

Tempus Resource at the Crawl

Let’s focus on three elements of the Crawl stage and look how Tempus Resource helps organizations achieve success.

1. Standardized Roles and Skills

This first, crucial stage is about creating an inventory of skills, roles and other relevant attributes used to describe demand for resources. Generally, organizations need to run exercises to narrow down the attributes that are most important for planning, but the key factor is understanding how your organization requests work.  When effort is planned, or requested, in what form is Demand expressed?  Does your organization think in terms of skills?  Titles?  Roles?  There’s no right or wrong answer and – in fact – this process will likely change over time.  However, at this stage, it’s critical to ‘just do it’.  Pick an option and start Crawling!

Tempus Resource makes creating and managing resource-attributes as simple as possible.

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Attributes can be manually created using Tempus Resource’s simple and easy to use HTML5 interfaces.

resource management solution

Attributes can also be imported from other systems like Microsoft Excel, Smartsheet as well as other PPM/ERP/HCM systems.

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Once in place, Tempus Resource makes mapping attributes to resources simple.  Attributes can be adjusted by editing resources directly or by using our in-line editing capabilities from which resource attributes can be updated and applied to thousands of resources in seconds. So, if you ever change your approach, Tempus Resource makes data updates and re-organizations a snap!

2. FTE Based Planning

For organizations in the Crawl stage (and many in more advanced stages as well), FTE-based planning forms the cornerstone of their resource management process.  FTE-based planning at this stage enables an organization to answer the most essential questions around supply and demand. Since named resources should be married to skills or roles which are tied to generic or demand planning resources, rolled-up demand can be accurately compared to rolled-up supply.  In other cases, FTE-based planning may be part of the early stages of a planning process where named resources cannot be specified.

In any case, Tempus Resource fully enables FTE-based planning as well as planning by hours.

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Tempus Resources includes a generic resource planning capability using what are termed “Demand Planning Resources.”  These resources allow organizations to plan using aggregated skills, roles, or any other attribute.

resource management solution

Tempus Resource permits planning by FTE, FTE%, Work and even Cost.  You can choose to mix and match or to standardize.  Organizations in this Crawl stage, may choose to standardize on FTE and/or FTE%.

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Complex interfaces and processes will undercut any burgeoning resource management process.  Tempus Resource makes it simple for users to edit data in bulk.  Our Bulk Project Allocation interface not only allows for edits across multiple projects but also enables concurrent editing capabilities by performing assignment-level check-out.

3. Coupling Demand with Named Resource Supply

At this Crawl stage, named resource planning is not the imperative.  Measurements are made using an aggregation of Demand by skill/role/title/etc. and Supply is formed by aggregating named resources by their association to the skills/role/title/etc. Tempus Resource makes forming and managing these associations that enable aggregation an easy task.

resource management solution

Populating the resource pool with named resources can be achieved by synchronization from other systems including Active Directory, Microsoft Excel, Smartsheet as well as various other PPM/ERP/HCM systems.  Resource pools can also be constructed manually through our simple HTML5 interfaces.

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Attributes defined earlier in this process can be quickly applied to resources using direct edits in Tempus Resource, bulk-editing via our in-line editing functionality or synchronized with external systems and applications.

4. Generating Immediate Value at the Crawl Stage

With these very basic elements in place, Tempus Resource comes to life and provides an array of powerful reporting, analytical and what-if analysis functions. Even at this very early stage, Tempus Resource provides incomparable resource management insight.

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Quickly construct powerful visualizations of your resource management data.

resource management solution

Instantly identify supply and demand imbalances.

resource management solution

Perform sophisticated what-if analysis at the aggregated resource level.

Evolution to the Walk

In our next post, we’ll dive into the evolution from Crawling to Walking with resource management and Tempus Resource.  Stay tuned!

Next Steps

How are you managing your resources?  Interested in learning more about implementing a Resource Management Framework and the associated best practices? Contact ProSymmetry today to learn about Tempus Resource – the resource management solution named as the 2016 Gartner Cool Vendor.  Let us show you how our customers are attaining resource management success.

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