Resource planning

What is effective resourcing?

Toni Uimonen
Toni Uimonen

We have seen numerous customers who think that resourcing is “just another mandatory task” among others. My dear friends, please do not treat it that way! Take it seriously. Resourcing is one of the cornerstones of project business – in fact, it’s the key to everything.

Resource planning is not the same as that one certain Excel in one of the random folders on your computer. Every now and then, the project managers fill in the Excel. Sometimes, the Excel may be up to date – or it may not. However, resourcing is so much more than just updating allocated hours.

Effective resourcing is about caring about people

What if a resource planning tool could also help take care of employee wellbeing? In Silverbucket, the total workload of the employee is visible in real-time – both to the supervisor and to the employee himself. When a person sees his own workload openly, it gives him a peace of mind. Effective resourcing is also recovery. The resource planning tool knows when an employee is on vacation or has any other long absences.

Firstly, the workload section in Silverbucket shows the hourly situation. Secondly, it also shows whether there are too many projects going on at the same time. Is the employee using most of his time to change from one project to another without being able to orientate or focus properly? With a proper resourcing tool, the organization is able to take care of its experts so that the workload does not become too much to handle.

Effective resourcing is about understanding different skills

When it comes to sales, efficient resourcing is extremely important. After all, in a project organization skills and know-how are being sold – in other words: the future resources. Therefore, it is important for the sales team to understand what kind of skills are available or not available and what kind of skills exist in the company in the first place. There will be problems for the company if the sales team sells something that does not exist or is not available.

When the salespeople are involved in resource planning, a company can better predict whether there are enough experts with certain skills. If there is not, the company is able to react to the future when recruiting. Also, the resourcing tool clearly shows what kind of projects sell particularly well which helps the company to recruit or train more experts in desired fields.

Not only does Silverbucket show the expertise of the employees, but there is also a chance to mark their goals for personal development. In this case, the experts can be assigned suitable tasks and projects – so that they can develop skills in their desired area. For example, if an expert speaks English currently at level 2 but would like to reach level 4, he or she can be attached to a project that matches his or her development goals.

What an asset it is for a company if the development goals of its experts are clearly visible when doing resource planning! Not many other resourcing tools have this possibility.

Effective resourcing also looks backwards

A good resourcing tool can link realized working hours to resourcing. What really has been done and for how many hours? This way one can even look backwards and get extremely important data. Is the number of allocated hours repeatedly 20 % too small for certain types of projects? This is an eye-opening way to start making business planning better.

Furthermore, some organizations have found out that they have much more random and non-productive work outside of projects than previously thought. When looking at realized hours afterwards, the working hours of experts can be resourced better for billable projects in the future. On the other hand, one can think why 30 % of an expert's working time is being used to random and non-productive work outside of projects. It is not worth fighting against the truth – one should actually learn something from the realized hours.

Effective resourcing opens eyes to the company’s pain points

We, the resourcing professionals at Silverbucket, are concerned that some might think that the resourcing tool is like a magic wand that will solve all their problems. However, that is not the case. The purpose of the tool is to help organizations discuss difficult issues related to resourcing. No tool automatically makes resourcing.

Playing around with random Excels is in no way related to developing the skillsets or communicating better – or predicting the needs of the projects. Effective resourcing is not a support function that “just has to be done”. Resourcing is the core of the entire business. It is an answer to what we need to be doing. Who can do it? Do we have enough time? Are our skills on point? The organization must be able to solve problems with resourcing. If problems have been swept under the rug, one needs a tool that realistically brings out the pain points. We at Silverbucket strive to meet this need.

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