Resource planning

Resource management is also important in smaller companies, too 

Toni Uimonen
Toni Uimonen

It is often said that resource management is only a problem in large companies and that smaller companies do not need to spend their time on it. This is not true. People and projects in small businesses are also important and deserve the best possible care.

Resource management is more than just allocating people to various tasks. More than anything, it is about ensuring that people and projects succeed and about preparing for the future. We have listed seven important reasons why resourcing benefits all organisations that work on projects.  

1. Skills requirements must be covered by fewer people in small teams

In small organisations, it may be difficult to bring project requirements and team members’ wishes together. Ensuring that the right skills are available at the right time can determine the success of a project, especially if only a certain person has the required experience. This is often the case in small businesses. Allocating people’s skills to projects in an appropriate manner is crucial, but often also difficult and, as a result, may not be done systematically.

2. People’s well-being is always important

Regardless of the size of a company and the scope of its project activities, people’s well-being should always be a priority. Successful resource management can also be used to monitor each person’s total workload and not just from the perspective of project activities.

It can be used to answer questions such as who has too much work, whether certain people always take care of certain tasks, whether some people have had too little to do for a long time, and whether people are being nominated to projects that meet their skillsets or learning requirements.

3. The billing rate is the fuel for project work

A project organisation that carries out invoiceable jobs must be able to monitor its billing rate. It is also essential to be able to predict the billing rate for future jobs. In smaller organisations, even a small change in an individual’s billing rate can significantly affect the company’s situation.

A predictive scheduling system that takes into account billing prices and different future project requirements is able to provide a forecast for the billing rate. It can be used to direct sales, recruitment and, potentially, any necessary cost adjustments.  

4. A forecast for production activities should be supplemented with a sales forecast  

Successful resource management also takes into account sales forecasts, in which staff members for new potential projects are allocated according to the requirements and scheduled for the future.

By predicting project sale successes at the level of roles and probabilities, it is possible to refine the forecast for the billing rate and monitor the adequacy of the staff’s skills in relation to future requirements. It is important to combine project sales and allocations into one centralised system.

5. Project portfolio prioritisation and utilisation rate

The implementation of a project portfolio is often a balancing act in terms of costs, project personnel and schedules. By combining project prioritisation and resource management, it is possible to optimise the implementation and budget of business-critical projects.

Project activities are not always about the billing rate, in which case resource management must also be able to support calculations about the actual utilisation rate, related forecasting and the optimisation of all elements. If the order of scheduled projects is determined on the basis of available skills, it is possible to achieve significant benefits in terms of both project activities and personnel.    

6. There is no such thing as too much communication

Communications and transparency – cited by many companies as one of their values – can be improved by concentrating resourcing and providing access to sufficient information.  

It does not suffice to simply allocate resources to a scheduled project; this must be supported by recording and forecasting holidays, leave and any internal tasks. This also ensures that everyone’s total workload can be monitored and does not just consist of a certain subset of tasks carried out by an individual.

If information about everyone’s holidays, leave and total workload and schedule is clearly communicated, it is possible to predict the actual supply of skills for the entire operation and to manage the expectations of both people and projects.

7. No pain, no growth

Recruiting new people is always a significant risk, especially for smaller companies – but it is, of course, also an opportunity. Risks can be reduced and projects can be carried out more successfully with the scheduled personnel allocations if decisions are supported by up-to-date forecast data.

Resource management allows various analyses to be carried out, including estimates of the sufficient availability of certain skills in the future. Based on a predictive analysis of requirements, recruitment operations can be proactively initiated or it is possible to assess the role that subcontracting might play in the near future. It is essential to constantly collect and analyse information.  

In conclusion

Managing with information requires just that: information – even in small companies. It is good to have the essential processes in place well before the lack of these processes causes significant problems as operations expand.

A well-thought-out and implemented, successful resource management system will not only support companies in the growth phase, but will also speed up the process of getting to this phase. Resourcing activities are supported by a comprehensive resourcing tool that also helps to make operations more efficient than before. Test Silverbucket here.  

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