Building World Class Resource Management Capabilities: A 6-Part Process Improvement Plan

Posted by Deltek on August 19, 2019

Most project-based services teams today are struggling with project performance failures exceeding 35%, and under-utilization problems resulting in high labor cost. Customer satisfaction is also negatively impacted as a result of project and resource management failures.  Many organizations have reacted in tactical ways like pushing labor off-shore or installing a new Professional Services Automation (PSA) or Project Portfolio Management (PPM) tool hoping a software tool will solve the problem. While these actions and others can certainly be helpful elements of a resource management solution, development and implementation of better resource management processes are also needed to address the Resource Management (RM) needs of a project-based services team.

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Creating world class resource management capabilities in your company requires six key elements to achieve what we at the Resource Management Institute (RMI) call Just-in-Time Resourcing® (JITR).  Similar to how Just-in-Time Manufacturing focused on getting materials and plant capacity aligned just-in-time, JITR focuses on human capital deployed in a project-based services environment to get the right people in the right place at the right time.

 Building World Class Resource Management Capabilities:  A 6-Part Process Improvement Plan

For this blog post, I will describe each of the first three elements of JITR, so that you may begin thinking about how to optimize resourcing at your firm:

  1. Skills Inventory:  It starts with knowing what and where the capability and capacity of your delivery team is and keeping this information current and accurate. The skills inventory is ideally enterprise wide, unlocking any potentially siloed resources. The inventory would contain information (at a minimum) on who (e.g. consultants) we have, what skills they have, where they are located, current project commitments including roll-off dates, development needs, and employee career plans and aspirations. When combined with forecast data, a forward-looking gap analysis can be developed to identify shortfalls or surpluses for management attention and action. This information is ideally managed in a PSA/PPM solution.
  2. Staffing Process:  Staffing is the continuous process of matching available resources for all active and potential projects. Ideally this process views all resources in a centralized manner, in lieu of all too common decentralized approaches which are often labor intensive and sub-optimized. The assignment process should incorporate the ability to best match available capacity to project needs, while also advancing opportunity for the employee via assignments also in line with the employee’s desired project types and development needs. Hopefully the company’s services automation tool automates the vast majority of these staffing choices, leaving unfilled needs for management attention.
  3. Forecasting:  Few organizations really ever develop a good forecasting mechanism for human capital needs. But yet, knowing human capital takes time to locate, train and deploy, how do you manage proactively without a good forecast? What is the resource requirement (capacity, location and skills) outlook for the next 30 days? How about in the next three to six months? Lead times for recruiting, hiring and retraining human capital do not always coincide with project needs. Forecasting is essential to proactively preparing for future business cycles. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog, in which I will cover the remaining three key elements of your 6-part RM plan, and some tips and techniques to help guide your organization in working to build world class RM capabilities.

 

About the Author

Randy Mysliviec is Managing Director of the Resource Management Institute (RMI). Acknowledged by industry sources as an expert in Global Resource Management (GRM), Randy is the author and innovator of the Just-in-Time Resourcing® brand of human capital management solutions. Randy holds a B.S. from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California where he majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Management Information Systems.

 

 

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