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4 Resource Management Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

4 Resource Management Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

UPDATEDJun 19, 2024

Services businesses are built on the strength of their resources and their ability to effectively manage them. Long term success depends on a firm’s ability to adapt to changing business and economic signals, client needs and even the resource management processes and technology they use. After all, resources are the lifeblood of professional services firms.

As day-to-day work becomes more complex and the demands of both clients and team members begin to change, it can be difficult to realize what processes and tools need to be updated and when. These four pitfalls should be considered when assessing the need to fine tune your resource management strategies and align them with today’s tools and best practices.

1. Rigid Planning

Are you locking in resources and schedules at the onset of a project with little possibility to change once allocations have been made? Today’s business needs require faster, more adaptive resource management to keep up with shifting client needs and narrow margins that demand better optimized teams. Without the ability to react quickly and accurately, the resource management processes of old are less effective than ever. While today’s companies often rely on either Agile or Waterfall project management, Hybrid project management can provide the long-term preparation of Waterfall and the immediate flexibility of Agile to help move past the rigid planning of the past.

2. Manual Invoicing

The invoicing process is a crucial part of every services business’s effort to protect margins and deliver profitable projects. However, many companies still rely on outdated manual and even paper-based invoicing processes, which take up unnecessary time and effort. When these processes are widely used throughout an organization, whether in receiving invoices from contract employees or providing invoices to clients, the amount of time they carve out of the work week can quickly add up. By embracing automated invoicing processes and tools that integrate time entry directly with financial departments, a huge amount of time and energy can be redirected to other high value work.

3. Unconnected Tasks Within Projects

Projects are made up of many different tasks, each with their own resources attached to provide the work necessary. And while not every task depends on another team member completing his or her work, successful projects depend on cohesive teams. However, resource managers may see the tasks they assign to employees as standalone. The result can be a jumble of work that creates bottlenecks and unnecessary complications when individual assignments are left unfinished or become overdue. Gantt charts can create a highly effective flow between tasks and the many different resources assigned to a project. The result is a better optimized plan for a project that lets each team member pass their interdependent work to one another until they hit the finish line like a baton race.

4. Managing Without Regard to Utilization Rates

In the past, resource managers simply filled up their team members’ schedules with as many tasks as possible to keep projects moving forward. But this “one size fits all” approach to resource assignments not only lacks in insights that can make the most of each resource’s skills without overwhelming them to the point of burn-out. With data-driven insights you are able to understand current utilization rates, predict future project needs, and effectively change resource assignments to keep your team members well utilized without burning them out.

Whether your firm needs to tune-up one or all of these potential resource management pitfalls, embracing modern solutions and processes can have a major positive impact on all aspects of your organization. As a result, the teams you already rely on will become even stronger elements of your long-term success.

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