Improve Predictive Accuracy with Resource Forecasting Tools
We all wish we could predict the future. Whether it’s wanting to know the outcome of a football game, the weather forecast, or even the lottery numbers, everyone has fantasized in some way or another about knowing what’s to come.
The same is true for project management. Being able to predict a project’s timeline, possible roadblocks, and outcome are all important skills for a project manager. Unfortunately, project managers have to do this with the added pressure of an entire team relying on them. Resource forecasting tools can help relieve this pressure by providing data-backed recommendations and predictions for a project.
Before a project officially starts, one of the main duties of a project manager is to provide a reasonable project timeline. This acts as a roadmap for future work and dictates when certain tasks should be completed and in what order. Most project timelines include some room for error or other setbacks, so the project has time to get back on schedule.
Resource forecasting tools provide project managers with insight to make more accurate predictions for these timelines. The more accurate the timeline, the easier it is to stay on schedule. Additionally, accurately predicting possible issues allows project managers to create solutions to problems before they occur, either preventing them entirely, or limiting negative impacts.
Once a project has started, project managers need to keep an eye on overall progress and possible complications that can cause delays, confusion, and compromises to project quality. As data comes in, project managers should be able to anticipate and account for trends that may affect the project’s completion. This data can include information about task progress, but it can also contain important information about resource use and availability that can affect the project’s deadline.
Resource forecasting tools analyze this real-time data to provide predictions that are as up to date as possible. Project managers can then use this information to counter negative trends, make changes to resource allotment, and adjust the project timeline as needed. Being able to make these changes in real-time increases the project’s flexibility and makes it easier for project managers to meet their goals regardless of obstacles.
After a project is complete, you may think it’s safe to assume that the forecasting role in the process has ended. In reality, the end of forecasting for one project is critical for the forecasting of the next project. Project managers need to analyze their last project’s performance in order to gather data for how they can improve future projects.
Resource forecasting tools can analyze data from past projects to improve predictions for similar projects down the road. By organizing all this data in a singular place, project managers can see if there are common issues between projects and if their efforts to correct these issues were successful. Comparing past projects like this can also help managers anticipate the most likely roadblocks for different types of projects and what solutions can be prepared in advance.
Forecasting for Simultaneous Projects
More often than not, organizations have multiple projects occurring simultaneously. This means that project managers need to account for their own resources both in terms of individual projects and in terms of the larger company portfolio. Managers need to know how their use of resources will affect other projects and the overall resource pool.
Great modern resource forecasting tools allow managers to see resources as a whole as well as their allocation across projects. This allows managers to make informed decisions about how to best use their given resources without negatively impacting the rest of the organization. Likewise, if a project manager is struggling, resource forecasting can show which projects can redirect some of their resources to ensure projects stay on schedule.
Forecast with Confidence
Don’t let the future get away from you. Kantata offers a full suite of forecasting tools designed to maximize your future-readiness.