Since the vote for Brexit, the business press has been predicting an economic slowdown in many sectors and a corresponding postponement to investment decisions. Services businesses that bid for these investment projects will see increased cost pressures if they are to be successful, and face the need for their teams to do more with less resource.
Their challenge is to achieve the highest levels of resource usage, when each project has its own timeline, priority and skills requirements. Striking the right balance can be difficult. Whilst there must be enough spare capacity to plug the gaps, too many resources just sitting on the bench will reduce utilization levels and can cause profitability to evaporate.
Innate’s resource management tools have a big role to play. For example, you’ve just managed to balance your teams’ capacities with the demand, when a new project arrives, creating new bottlenecks or periods of under use. Whilst forward loading reports will identify each skill bottleneck, you will likely need ‘What If…’ analysis to rebalance the workload. This is where scenarios can be generated to show by how much lower priority work must be delayed to free up the required resource, or how many contractors will be required over what period.
As project plans are approved, requests for resource must be dealt with in good time. Whatever your resource allocation process, there must be effective collaboration between project and resource managers if individual projects are not be impacted.
As the project gets underway, the prudent project manager will want early warning of cost or schedule overruns, in good time for corrective action to be taken. It’s not really good enough just to compare effort spent with that planned; there must be an objective assessment of the progress that’s been achieved if the forecast to completion is to be realistic.
And whenever a project plan is updated, new skills bottlenecks can be introduced!
Innate’s updated website at www.innate-management.com discusses resource utilization issues in a multi-project environment, and explains how it’s software helps to address them.