Client organization is a multi-national engineering and electronics company, one of the largest in the world. It has production & research units across different countries. These units supply electronic appliances all over the world and are also responsible for product development. Organization’s revenue is in the range of 15 – 20 billion USD. More than 50,000 employees are spread across the globe between different regions, offices, departments and teams.
Client organization handles large number of development projects simultaneously in different offices. Resource coordinators are responsible for coordinating with project managers and allocating the right resource to their projects. Resources are allocated to different projects for a certain number of days and once the project is complete, resources get reallocated to a new project. In this matrix environment, resource coordinators face the following issues…
- Resource coordinators do not have a central database of resources by ‘office’ and hence need to have weekly meetings with office / department managers to know resource capacity / status.
- Difficulty in finding the right resource as resources are not profiled and their skill sets and attributes (e.g. languages, qualifications, preferences etc.) are not centrally available. Resource coordinators have to communicate via emails to office managers and ask for resources with specific skill sets and experience. This often leads to miscommunication.
- Resource coordinators have to act as middle men communicating with project managers for their requirements and allocations and office managers. This is time consuming and simple allocations can take days if not weeks.
- Office managers are not sure when their resources will get released from their ongoing project commitments and hence have visibility issues of their own.
- Project managers often don’t have medium and long time visibility of allocations on their projects as resources can be pulled-off from their projects for other high priority assignments.
All of the above resulted in project delays, miscommunication and underutilization of resources.
Solution: New Resource Scheduling Process
Client organization undertook trial of our resource allocation software ‘eResource Scheduler’ in September 2012 and installed the production version in November 2012.
All resources were uploaded in our allocation tool along with their applicable office, team, managers etc. This import was done using excel template generated by application itself. In addition to already provided fields, administrator defined custom attributes / fields such as ‘Educational Qualification’, ‘Language Skills’, ‘Software Skills’ and ‘Experience’ among others. These additional fields allowed capturing all possible information about all resources in a central database.
By using access rights feature, office managers were given rights to view resources in their own offices (Berlin, Frankfurt etc.) and their allocations (not other offices). Resource coordinators were given the rights to view and allocate resources from all the offices from a particular region (e.g. Germany, France etc.)
New Scheduling Process…
- Resource coordinator receives resource request from project managers.
- Resource coordinator uses resource filters in eResource Scheduler to identify the right resource on the basis of required skills, experience and other requirements.
- Once resources with required skills are identified, resource coordinators are able to view their existing commitments on other projects.
- Available resources are allocated to projects by a simple drag and drop in eResource Scheduler.
- Office managers used eResource Scheduler as a tool to get a real-time view of their resource capacity and utilization.
- Project managers used eResource Scheduler to see resources allocated on their projects.
- Other departments like ‘Human Resources’ get a view of medium and long term resource forecasting and know when and where additional resources will have to be hired.
- Proper profiling of resources.
- Easy identification of resources.
- Effort less allocation of resources on projects.
- Real-time visibility and effective communication among resource coordinators, project managers and office managers.
- Facilitates proper resourcing of projects.
- Allows for more accurate hiring plans.