7 Qualities of An Effective Resource Management System

Qualities of an effective Resource Management System

Resource Management Systems are your starting point to ensuring efficient resource allocation and optimizing utilization. Successful companies are always focused on achieving high customer engagement & satisfaction, technologically advanced products & services and increased profitability.

And resource management sits right at the core of these 3 priorities with human resource management being the key focus point.

Numerous resource management challenges lead companies to deploy integrated project and resource management system for holistic execution.

Project and resource managers’ #1 challenge is to ensure resource productivity and timely project delivery.

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Having the right resources assigned to the project based on skills is most important. And an effective resource management system can help achieve that.

Let us take a quick look into the 7 key qualities and benefits that an effective resource management system would add to our organizations.

1. Centralized Resource Management

Having a clear view of all your resources is the first step towards making a resource plan. Without a system in place you wouldn’t have the required visibility for efficient resource allocation.

A centralized system will enable identifying resources by skill, resource availability and their utilization in one single view.

Now this serves well to take a look at your top priority projects and begin with resource allocation for maximum return on your resources.

In addition having an inbuilt leave management also enables in resource scheduling and forecasting which directly feed into your resource management plans.

2. Proactive Resource Conflict Management

We all know that highly skilled resources are always in high demand and in short supply. Each project manager would want a lion’s share of the best resources for his project.

This leads to allocation conflicts and becomes more territorial with inter-department issues if the organization doesn’t have a robust matrix culture.

Resource managers have a tough time addressing project manager needs across business functions.

Hence, it is important that resource allocation is done based on project priority. By priority, I mean not urgency but impact. Which project will fetch the maximum $$ or lead to a significant rise in market share, customer satisfaction or brand building.

Integrated project and resource management will help to iron out such issues proactively and ensure efficient resource allocation across the organization.

3. In-built Time Tracking

You cannot measure resource utilization without robust time tracking practices. And, the universal challenge is we all hate tracking our time. Why? That is a discussion for another time.

The key metric to track and improve resource utilization is the planned vs actual. And the second one being billable vs non-billable hours.

These 2 metrics help identify our resource productivity and project profitability.

Also, as project managers you know how your resources are performing w.r.t the project schedule.

Most project and resource management systems offer non-intrusive time tracking capabilities with automated timers, time entries, timesheets and approvals for improved time management.

Tracking spent hours also helps us to see how well are we aligned with the delivery deadlines as well as where are we spending most of our time.

Identifying and reducing time spent on non-billable activities is a must practice to improve our processes, increase resource productivity and scale our operations.

4. Task Categorization and Tracking

There are going to be 100s of activities within a project. Some are value add, some are necessary evils and some are of very little value.

Unless you are able to do proper task categorization you wouldn’t know your low value activities, followed by time spent on such tasks.

Once you have a proper view of your tasks, you are well placed to identify bottlenecks either due to skill, resource constraint or process bottlenecks.

Resolving these bottlenecks with permanent solution goes a long way in making your task management practices more robust.

Note, everything rolls back to resource productivity and profitability.

Hence, having a handle on how your team is spending their time and what is their utilization rate is must for project success.

Not only that, proper task categorization will need to better skill based resource mapping and allocation.

5. Project Prioritization and Resource Scheduling

As stated earlier, identifying high value projects linked to the company’s strategic vision will help you to prioritize your resources effectively.

Visibility of the overall project plans with go-live or launch dates followed by task breakdown and delivery schedule can highlight resource requirements at every stage of the project.

From thereon, focus on resource skill to task mapping for proper allocation.

Having a single view of project milestones, progress and resource utilization can help in proactive identification of resource needs.

This leads to breaking silos and enables a more collaborative matrixed resource sharing culture within the company. And more so with the rapid adoption of agile transformation efforts across companies globally.

Resource management and tracking is a continuous process and not a one-time activity. Hence constant monitoring of project progress, resource availability and allocation must be done periodically.

You will prevent last minute resource crunch and not end up booking contractors that will certainly hit your project profitability. Plus getting contractors is also a knowledge drain as an organization and the next time you need similar skills your search begins again.

Hence, proper resource forecasting will help you make robust hiring and training plans to boost your company’s capabilities and offerings.

6. Enable organization wide Collaboration

Collaboration is the life-blood of project planning and execution. Many things can go wrong if the teams aren’t able to collaborate meaningfully leading to execution chaos, delivery delays and misunderstanding of assigned tasks and goals.

Moreover, meeting in person to discuss resource needs or calling up for every other resource conflict is not a productive use of your time.

Collaborating seamlessly on a single platform can help prevent conflicts altogether. Project and resource managers can share their resource requirements or challenges in advance, discuss assignments and prioritize holistically.

This will save a lot of time, streamline the overall resource allocation process and eliminate scope of conflicts.

Secondly teams too can collaborate at the task level, request time for brainstorming and issue resolution from expert resources. Thus reducing non-billable activities and prevent reworks.

7. Comprehensive Reporting

Generating automated reports in real-time is a must for an effective resource management system.

Some of the most sought after out of the box reports include:

  • Resource Utilization
  • Resource Availability
  • Resource Allocation
  • Planned vs Actual hours
  • Billable vs Non-billable hours
  • Task Aging report
  • Time spent by task type report
  • Consolidated time sheet report by project and users
  • Project Overview

First of all report generation doesn’t have to be manual and cumbersome. These systems come in handy in providing readymade reports in real time.

Reports serve as the basis for further deep-dive analysis to identify root causes leading to delivery delays, resource conflicts and low productivity rates.

Also, having certain metrics in place helps set the right goals w.r.t to resource utilization rates, resource planning etc. at an organizational level.

Conclusion

Integrated resource management tools offer comprehensive strategic and tactical benefits.

  • Task & time tracking
  • Real-time status monitoring
  • Resource pool management
  • Leave management
  • Resource availability, allocation & utilization views & reports
  • Central collaboration across departments and project teams
  • Help break silos
  • Productivity tracking

Resource management systems are a great way to manage your most important assets – your resources and optimize their utilization and obtain maximum return on investment.

End of the day, the primary objective of a company is to deliver value to its customers through exceptional products and services. And resource planning tools are a major contributor to this objective. Start a free trial to Orangescrum and do efficient resource allocation

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