Professional services firms and departments regularly face resource planning and scheduling issues. Staff are expensive, highly skilled and not suitable for every task, but their effective utilization is important to the organization’s financial performance.
Effective resource utilization can be difficult to achieve, particularly where new work requests arise unexpectedly from major new projects, planned departmental work, or system crashes and unexpected upgrades that tear resource away from planned work. Resource management software makes an important contribution to managing this.
Effective Resource Planning and Scheduling involves:
Managing the demand. Requests for departmental resource can arise from a wide variety of sources. Work profiles need to be estimated and approved before the work can be scheduled
Adding new requests to prior commitments enables the overall demand to be seen against the skills capacity. If requests cannot be accommodated then alternative dates need to be suggested. Without seeing the skills bottlenecks, unrealistic commitments can easily be made
If the new request requires urgent attention, the skills bottlenecks may be unmanageable. Unless appropriate contract staff are available, something will have to give, and lower priority work must be delayed.
Demand management meetings need 'What if' analysis to assess alternative courses of action. Once the workload has been rebalanced, the live data can be overwritten to incorporate the changes made. Communication using change reports or email alerts is necessary.
With the overall workload in balance, the allocation of staff to tasks can proceed. Resource planning and scheduling software helps to match the required skill set with appropriate staff and identifies the extent to which they are available.
Listing suitable candidates in order of best fit across a range of criteria can help resource managers with this step for quite significant size resource pools.
Innate’s Resource Management Software for Planning and Scheduling:
In todays dynamic business environment, resource planning software needs to respond easily to changes in priority, work profiles, and re-assigning tasks between staff.
Innate’s unique web based spreadsheet interface is eminently suitable, and its comprehensive facilities support project and resource managers through the most complex of resource planning and scheduling processes.
Many departments struggle with spreadsheets and Microsoft Project for resource scheduling and planning. Check out Innate’s resource management software for resource planning.