Smaller budgets and reduced time-to-market has made resource management more complex in the modern world. While a large number of companies still continue to use traditional management methods for managing organisational resources. A report by TSIA, showed that 59% of the service organizations have a dedicated resource management function.
What can an organization struggling with resource management do to improve utilization? Here are a few popular resource management trends and strategies:
- Invest in a Resource Management Software
An increasing number of businesses now invest in resource management software to effectively manage their resources. Some of the top solutions come with a host of valuable features that can significantly boost the resource management of a business and also improve the overall productivity and performance.
Some of the top features of such software solutions include-
- Resource Scheduling
The solutions allow businesses to profile, identify, and schedule resources based on the requirements of the project. By simply scheduling the resources smartly, businesses can witness a considerable improvement in overall project completion rate.
- Centralized Resource Pooling and Project Lists
As mentioned above, when working at multiple locations and with multiple resource management teams or managers, it is very important for the teams/managers to have access to a pool of available resources for efficient management. Similarly, a centralized list of projects can make resource and project planning easier.
- Utilization Report
It is also very important to consistently monitor the usage of resources in order to optimize management. Resource management solutions offer utilization reports which are created with the help of proprietary algorithms to provide you with a clear picture of how your company resources are being utilized.
- Control User Access
You’d definitely not want all of your employees to have complete access to the resource management data. As a result, many of the solutions allow you to control user access at different levels. This allows you to easily manage the information that you’d like to share with the team members.
- Anywhere, Anytime Access
Resource management solutions which are built on the cloud architecture ensure that you can easily access the software anywhere and anytime. You can easily work on your resource strategy and make changes to the same irrespective of your physical location.
- Resource Scheduling
- Work on Improving Collaboration
Communication is key when it comes to managing organizational resources more efficiently. Improved communication can be achieved with improved collaboration among different departments and people involved in a project.
By working with a collaborative approach, your team will have much better visibility of the resources. This will also make it easier for them to share resource-related information among the team members. Ultimately, this will enable your business to use the resources more effectively and efficiently, allowing you to complete projects sooner with minimum delays due to unavailability of resources.
- Hiring a Resource Management Team
In most small companies, it is generally the CEO or someone in the senior position who works as the resource manager. It is their job to make sure that the available resources are used in the best way possible. But while this can work for businesses of smaller size, bigger businesses need a dedicated solution.
This is because larger businesses often have their operations and resources spread across multiple locations. A growing trend among such larger businesses is hiring dedicated resource management teams or dedicated managers for each of the locations.
This will ensure that you have a dedicated team or person handling resources of each of your branches. But while doing this, make sure that each of the team/managers have access to a centralized pool of all your resources for transparent management throughout the organization.
- Effective Resources Forecasting
Your employees are one of the most important assets of your business. As per a report by PMI (Project Management Institute), 40% of the strategy implementation efforts are hampered due to talent deficiencies. In order to achieve long-term business goals, it is important to estimate or forecast the future quality and quantity of required people.
Even while working with your current employees, their requirements across different phases of the project should be estimated beforehand in order to use them efficiently. Get the forecast wrong and you will have unproductive, unhappy and over-utilized employees which will negatively affect the day-to-day operations of your business.
- Use the End-to-End Resource Management Lifecycle Approach
The majority of the traditional resource management methods only address a small part of the lifecycle of project development and delivery. The remaining mostly relies on the competency of the people working in your organization. However, the needs of businesses change as the business grows.
Note to forget the fact that employee performance can be highly inconsistent too. This makes using end-to-end resource management lifecycle an ideal option for modern businesses. With multiple phases such as estimation, planning, execution, analyzing, and optimization, this approach addresses the resource complexities that can arise throughout the project cycle.
Moreover, it also offers adequate time for businesses to make changes to the resource management strategy or improve it further as per their requirements.
- Focus on the Compatibility of Existing Systems
It is not uncommon for businesses to now use many different types of technologies and systems for a host of their business operations. For improved resource utilization, it is very important for a business to work on the compatibility of their systems.
A lot of businesses now use one tool for planning the resources, another tool for scheduling, and multiple other solutions for communication and collaboration. As the information is spread across multiple systems, it is often difficult to get access to important information for taking effective resource decisions.
Constantly switching between systems also negatively affects the engagement of the employees which in turn affects their productivity. As per a report by the Workplace Research Foundation, employees who are highly engaged are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity.
With systems that are compatible with each other, it’ll be easier for you to access important information for taking resource-related decisions. Moreover, this can also help in keeping the employees engaged and more productive.
- Track Non-Project Time
When planning your resource management strategy, make sure that you also consider non-project time such as paid time off, administrative time, etc. Apart from this, work on a mechanism for tracking time spent on unexpected activities of the project. Such activities reduce the productive capacity and can go unnoticed if not monitored efficiently.
Also, know that no matter how solid your project planning is, there will definitely be considerable time loss due to everyday things like administrative tasks such as meetings, replying emails, etc. Leave some extra time for such activities to be better able to meet the resource management goals.
Improving Business Efficiency with Resource Management
While resource management is known to be a complex on-going process, the availability of modern technologies and solutions make it feasible for businesses of every size. Most of the technologies eliminate the need for a business to have an extensive team simply for managing the resources.
A single dedicated resource manager or even a senior employee of a small or mid-sized company is adequate to manage the resource with the help of such advanced solutions. This not only makes resource management considerably easier for the businesses but also makes it more affordable by eliminating the need to invest in specialized management employees.
Once put in place, an effective resource management plan can benefit a business in multiple ways by improving its productivity, performance, and efficiency. It will allow you to complete projects faster and enable you to work on a higher number of projects with the same resources.
Use the strategies discussed above if you are serious about resource management in your organization and you are sure to witness positive changes with time. Additionally, if you do know any other strategies that helped your business improve resource management, do share them in the comments section below.
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