When it comes to automating pieces of your professional services practice, Resource Management is one that isn’t always top of the list. Well, it should be if it isn’t. Resource management is the lifeblood of getting the right people at the right time on the right projects. Here are some tips on how to implement a successful resource management tool.
Identify Your Staffing Processes
Depending what type of projects you work on - or even what type of industry you serve – will help determine how you staff your projects. Are most of your projects full-time assignments? Do staff normally become part of multiple projects concurrently? Are staff named members of projects or does the project draw on a pool of resources at any given time? Identifying, documenting, and reviewing your staffing processes are a key first step to implementing a level of automation and tool introduction to support resourcing your projects.
Who Makes Decisions?
No level of resource management automation should include automating decisions that a human should be making. Resourcing projects is just a series of decisions (albeit sometimes challenging ones) and one aspect of productizing your resource management needs to take into account the decision makers in the processes that you have identified. Remember that decisions are an input to the process – not the entire process itself.
Data Points for Decisions
To make the right decisions, the right information needs to be presented to the decision maker (see Decision Making 101). This is often times the most challenging aspect to productizing your resourcing processes – how do you surface the ‘what if’ data of the impacts of making one decision over another. Especially since resourcing is such a key aspect to getting your projects off to a good start, you need to ensure that this is done right. By putting person X on project Y – what impacts does that have to other projects that person X is working on? What about the sales pipeline? You need to see what is coming down the pipe in 3 months, 6 months and beyond so that you are well equipped to deliver on commitments. Surfacing these data points to key decision makers is probably one of the single most important aspects of any resource management system.
These are some key tips when determining how best to productize your resource management process. Staffing your projects properly is one of the most important aspects of getting your projects off the ground and into a successful rhythm.