Resource Management – 3 Key Questions


From having been involved with implementing multiple PPM solutions focusing on resource management, I have discovered six critical rules and questions that all organizations should be able to answer before you start implementing. These are questions that consulting companies can help identifying, but surely, they are also questions that organizations could start looking at themselves. Regardless, having clear some clear answers will certainly drive the implementation with a much lower risk of failing.

In this post, I will introduce you quickly to the most important rules and questions that you need to deal with. Several others obviously exists but are some that would be shared in a workshop. Should be interested in this kind of assistance feel free to contact me.

Question 1: How much transparency is needed?

Have an executive sponsor define the business requirements for resource planning and transparency.

An example could be the rule of 18/6 – 18-month demand forecasting on roles and 6 months ahead on the actual people allocated to the Projects.

Illustration:

rule1

Being able to have this “rule” defined by the CXO/Top level will be the most important driver for defining the rest of the resource management processes needed and regardless of the IT Tool chosen for the task.

Question 2: What is the definition of resource capacity?

What formula can be used to calculate availability for projects and operational activities? To answer this question top-level management must once again step up and create a uniform understanding of the term resource capacity.

Illustration:

rule2

In the above example, the FTE is set to have an 8-hour capacity every day x the amount of days within a month. Subtracted from this are the operational/non-project related activities. This leave you with a base project capacity that can be subtracted with the amount of hours already allocated to running Projects. This would leave you with a resource having 50 hours of capacity for new Projects. You could deal with this in many different ways but you simply need the uniform formula and understanding to be implemented for all project managers and resource managers.

Question 3: Which roles are used to calculate capacity?

Having defined the capacity is just half of what is needed to succeed. You also need to make sure that all capacity from an organizational standpoint is based on a 1:1 relationship. This means that each resource can be associated with one role and role only. You might have resources with multiple skills and competencies, but still they have one role that you would calculate your capacity on. As an example, I might be good at .net, java, speak German and have 10 years of experience. However, I can’t calculate my capacity on these skills as they are all available at random points in time.

What is needed instead would be to define me as a Developer thereby calculating my capacity on the Developer level. The problem is that many organizations have resources who would find it hard to accept to have just one role. In some rare cases, a solution for that could be to use the corporate titles instead e.g. Senior Project Manager etc.

Illustration:

rule3

The above illustrates the differences between the role based capacity view and the competencies.

As a final remark, having answered the questions would still be just the beginning of some hard work ahead with the tool implementation. The good thing is that you would now be able to save a lot of “discussion” time and have the change management path cleared for some of the toughest obstacles. Good luck with your implementation.

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