Resource management has always been a thorn in the side for organizations looking to optimize precious resources. For one educational institution, adopting a new process has literally meant the difference between night and day. Here’s a before and after look at how they improved it…
A very sticky situation
During their quarterly planning process, the team conducted a two-day planning meeting to work out their resource requirements. Project managers wrote projects on a white board and used sticky-notes to represent user stories/phases with story points/LOEs on them. Star stickers were used to represent milestones and string was used to link dependencies.
Inefficient process stuck in the past
Extremely manual and time consuming, this process required a couple of days to prepare for the meeting, and then another day after to enter the information in the PPM tools. Everyone approached the meeting and extra work associated with it with reluctance. Reports were not available to review data prior or after the meeting. Needless to say, it was not ideal.
Adopting a digital solution
The team decided it was time to bring this process into the 21st century, adopting UMT360’s resource management capabilities. Now, projects can be submitted by requestors during a quarterly planning window, with project managers entering estimates in advance of the planning meeting. Reports showcase the planned and in-progress work across functional areas and teams, and team capacity is applied to calculate over/under allocations.
A breakdown of projects and demand by program, initiative and role is now readily available, as well as capacity by team or role. The quarterly planning meeting was reduced from 2 days to a half day and because the data is visible in the report it can be refined before, during and after the meeting. As a result, planning discussions during the meeting are more focused on the work, the demand for resources and solving capacity constraints rather than on information gathering.
Success inspires broader roll-out
The team can now make quicker decisions as resource requirements change, and allocate the right resources to the right initiatives, secure in knowing they have the data they need. Initially rolled out to support the planning needs of one cost center, the team now has plans to also apply the progress they’ve made to manage planning for the profit centers it supports.