Help Your Team Stay Up to Date on Projects With Accurate Project Resource Planning
Your business can find itself in trouble if, in the middle of a project, you realize that you are short on people to finish it. Many companies have found themselves in this predicament, but despite this becoming a common occurrence across the professional services industry, the only true way to prevent it is to improve upon your project resource planning.
Resource planning involves identifying and organizing the resources (people, time, supplies, etc.) needed to take a project from start to finish. Resource planning can be done in something as simple as a spreadsheet or managers can use more comprehensive tools. Regardless, managers need to consider each resource available to them and utilize previously acquired data insights for successful projects. Follow these three tips to help your team stay up-to-date on projects using accurate project resource planning.
1. Allocate the Correct Task to the Right Team Member
One of the best ways to maximize your project resource planning is to delegate tasks according to your team members’ strengths and weaknesses. Take note of what specialties each of your team members offers, determine the specific skills that are needed for each task, and divide all of the tasks accordingly.
Once you assign tasks to your team, try not to micromanage. When you assign the right tasks to the right people, you can trust that they’ll do the job correctly. If you give team members too many suggestions, you’ll impede their creative flows, and it may make them perform worse. On the other hand, if someone isn’t getting the job done without constant oversight, then they may not be the best person suited for the task. When combined with accurate due dates for each task and larger project timeline management tools like Gantt charts, you can ensure that your team members are executing on their own according to your vision for their work.
2. Help Teams Manage Utilization Rates, Capacity, and Progress
You not only need to consider the skills people have, but also how to properly utilize those skills in project resource planning. Reporting tools can help you pinpoint the specific ways to utilize your team members’ individualized skill sets, and help you identify actionable changes you can make to improve their performance. There’s a fine line between strong utilization rates and overworking your team members to the point of burnout – being able to accurately calculate utilization rates and make adjustments to assignments to hit your ideal rates will keep this balance.
Resource managers also need to know their team’s resource capacity, both for today and well into the future. Most professional services organization team members work on more than one project at the same time and, as such, resource managers will benefit from project management software with a dashboard that lets them monitor everyone’s tasks at once. This gives managers clarity on the big picture capacity of their team so they can best allocate tasks and projects according to looming deadlines.
Last, you need to be able to quickly check in on projects to ensure they’re running on schedule. Use team collaboration software to create workflows and assign tasks to your team at the start of a project. Check in on the software’s dashboard to see if bottlenecks are forming and solve problems before they become a headache. Instead of having to check in with people individually for project status (which can take hours), you can monitor progress in minutes, which frees you to focus on other important tasks at hand.
3. Stick To Project Budget and Deadlines
The worst thing that can happen to a project budget is seeing it get to a place where no amount of resource juggling or task refinement will maintain the critical balance of cost and revenue needed to achieve margin goals. To avoid this, be sure your teams are creating an accurate resource plan for a project before it starts – if they don’t, the budget and schedule resources are working towards will be unrealistic and teams will end up spending way too much money and time on certain areas or make promises to your clients that you can’t keep.
Always save all of your old project data and study it when making a new project budget and resource plan. Pinpoint the areas that needed improvement on previous plans so that you can make adjustments and better allocate resources for the future.
And always remember, even as projects start to deviate from the plan (as most projects do), that deadlines are critical for client satisfaction. If you say you’re going to deliver by a certain date, you need to stick to your word. Always keep tabs on employees close to deadlines to ensure delivery by the promised date.
Boost Project Resource Planning With the Kantata Professional Services Cloud
Kantata’s resource planning software offers robust tools to make the most of your company’s resources, including capabilities that maximize client outcomes through reduced staffing times, streamline forecasting through real-time changes to demand and supply, and align the skills of your team with demands and identifying gaps before they become a problem.
Make the most of your project resource planning, and request a demo of the Kantata Cloud today.