Organizations are under increased pressure to deliver more with less. As a result, resources must be utilized in the most effective way on the highest priority value-delivers. Obviously, the term ‘resources’ may refer to a number of different assets, but here we’re focused on your people – the most important type.
Unluckily, suboptimal or ineffective resource management will certainly lead to negative repercussions like low morale, missed opportunities, increased costs, decreased quality, delays, and reduced productivity.
But how can resource management be improved? What more can we do if our teams are already at capacity?
An important component of the challenge is to recognize that high resource utilization isn’t an indication of great resource and program management. The key lies in ensuring that your resources are working on projects aligned to corporate, strategic goals where they have sufficient bandwidth and match their skillsets. Indeed, enterprises can continually overcommit their people resources, restricting innovation and growth. Determining what demand or work to undertake next and when resources are available are tremendous challenges as well.
Also, it needs to be mentioned that the resource management challenges also comprise an array of methodologies that disparate teams employ, including collaborative, iterative, and milestone-driven methodologies. Each of them has a benefit when applied to the appropriate type of work, but each comes with its nuances complicating the process of resource management.
By fusing disparate methodologies across an array of organizational maturities, organizations find that there isn’t any single answer to these challenges. Therefore, the following resource management practices must be acted upon.
1. Understand that resource management is a continuing process
Know that conflicts will occur because changes and unexpected events are inevitable (and more often that we would like!). So, based on your downstream and immediate priorities, work together to resolve resource conflicts.
2. Embrace diverse ways of working across resources and organization
Different types of groups doing different types of works may benefit from a certain methodology. Therefore, ensuring that the tools and chosen approach align and create efficiencies is important. At a higher level, a more standardized roll up may offer the metrics required for an in-depth view of your firm. This will allow your firm to plan, administer, and deliver work – making use of methodologies like collaborative, agile, iterative, and even milestone-driven work.
3. Agree on a mutual approach to prioritizing work across shared resources
Instead of falling victim to the ‘squeaky wheel’ problem, create a mutually agreed-upon scoring or evaluation process beforehand to facilitate objective decision-making. You can do this by monitoring unplanned work that may create hidden delays and steal from your capacity. Remember that overcommitting people may not just lead to an overall reduction in throughput, it may give rise to a plethora of quality problems as well.
4. Understand which resources are in limited supply and focus on them
Often, the 80/20 rule won’t disappoint you. According to this rule, 80% of the resource constraints (or effects) come from just 20% of the resources. These people are expected to do most of the work. Thus, by focusing on the limited resources and planning around their availability, unnecessary delays and bottlenecks may be avoided.
5. Manage resource assignments
Use high-level buckets at the phase or project level as an initial point if resource management is something new for your firm. Note that one-size does not fit all and differs in usage based on constrained, specific groups or resources. For instance, DBAs may be over-utilized and shared, so you may want to increase the level of detail to mitigate conflicts. Because challenges and needs change over time, ensure that your resource management usage decisions continue to evolve.
6. Keep your most valuable resources and assets happy and productive
Since turnover causes a huge loss in productivity or capacity, try to take care of your resources. Do this by offering training programs and not over-utilizing your resources to lessen burnout.
7. Limit multi-tasking
While the idea of multitasking sounds like efficiency, it usually results in lower overall productivity. Try limiting the number of parallel tasks to see your resources perform better.
If you are looking to Increase team productivity and deliver projects on time, then come and take a look at OpusView.