Optimizing Resource Utilization

Intelligent resource management is essential to help your organization maximize ROI

Optimizing resource utilization is essential to helping your organization maximize ROI

Resource Management has long been the thorn in the side of PPM that no tool or associated process has fully addressed. A mix of execution techniques and tools makes gaining visibility across all resources an even more daunting task. Mastering resource management requires the right top-down and bottom-up controls to provide each stakeholder with the tools they need.

Greater Accuracy in Resource Demand / Forecast Data

Project Managers and demand authors have varying levels of sophistication – some are experts while others may be “accidental” participants. Not all have the scheduling savvy to maintain and accurately generate resource estimates and forecasts from the detailed schedule. In fact, many spend more time wrestling with the schedule to generate accurate resource estimates than actually managing projects. And with a variety of execution styles being used, it’s difficult to capture initial estimates and ongoing forecasts. As a result, spreadsheets or similar tools outside of the PPM system are used to create simple resource plans, introducing even more uncertainty around the integrity of the data. Integrating the resource plan directly into the PPM system is critical to ensure that project managers of all skill levels can easily capture accurate resource estimates and forecasts.

Allocating the right people to the right projects

Resource managers are ultimately responsible for ensuring the right people are working on the right projects. They need to know about each new resource request, quickly identify the right resource and availability, and communicate the resource commitment to the project manager. Allocation methods need to support the execution technique – for Agile, it’s Team-based, while waterfall allocation is driven by individual and associated skill or role. Resource allocation also needs to be aligned with the right investment planning approach (project, program, capability or product). And of course, quickly and easily identifying and addressing resource over- and under-allocation is critical. Finally, for proactive capacity planning, all stakeholders must have a real-time view into resource supply and demand so they can maintain the skills inventory needed to find the right people and the best fit.

Model the Impact of Portfolio Decisions on Capacity

Historically, when asked to model the impact of portfolio decisions on resource capacity, Portfolio/Resource Managers and their teams had to stay late and crunch the numbers in a disconnected excel spreadsheet. They lacked a tool that could quickly and easily help them answer common questions, like “what’s the impact of adding, dropping or delaying projects?” or “what’s the immediate impact of this decision on the portfolio and resource capacity”. With the advent of drag-and-drop analytical capabilities, they can now model a wide variety of scenarios with assess the impact of any portfolio change on resource capacity. Those tools also address the logistical nightmare of capitalizing work, and make it easier for portfolio managers and financial analysts to generate estimates and forecasts.