Resourcing information naturally changes and evolves all the time. For this reason, there must be ground rules in place for how information is updated in existing systems. Otherwise, the business will become unmanageable and end up in a situation where the project business cannot be managed in an orderly way.
The first step is to remember to update systems as quickly as possible whenever the relevant parties agree on changes to the resourcing information. However, it should be noted that all the relevant parties should be in agreement before any changes are made; otherwise, someone is in for a nasty surprise.
Organisations delegate responsibility for changes differently. In some organisations, the team leader will be responsible, while others may call upon the project manager or resourcing manager to confirm changes. Naturally, all these people are involved in the discussions, but for the sake of continuity, it is a good idea to precisely specify who is responsible for updating the information.
The employee perspective
The most important thing is to ensure that the personnel are aware of any changes that affect them directly. It is easier for employees to deal with changes when they know which projects they are involved in and which are upcoming. It is important to remember that no tool is a substitute for interpersonal interaction. Supervisors must ensure that information flows to all the relevant people, and not just through a resourcing tool.
Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that their team members are not over- or under-stretched. Most projects have different role requirements to which people are not yet allocated. Supervisors or unit managers must check that these positions are filled appropriately. Changes in employee reservation statuses should also be monitored as a larger entity in order to understand the potential effects on the billing or utilisation rates.
The project perspective
Project managers are used to situations evolving. In the worst cases, the composition of the project team changes at a critical moment when extra help is needed elsewhere or schedules are stretched. However, maintaining accurate resourcing information helps the company keep its promises to its customers.
A good resourcing tool helps to find replacements with the right competencies, monitor project costs, and ensure that schedules are kept, despite all the changes going on around them. Of course, even a good tool will make no difference if the information is not kept up to date.
Updating the resourcing plan encompasses all of the following:
- Communication between parties is important. Without communication, all you have are problems.
- Making sure that the workload is optimal for individual employees, the business unit, or the company as a whole whenever changes arise.
- Role requirements are also taken into consideration: completed plans are assigned to the right people in good time.
- Monitoring changes in the billing and utilisation rates regularly. Changes in personnel can easily affect project budgets when personnel are transferred at a lower or higher billing price.
- Noticing that changes in an individual project’s schedule often affect other projects because human resourcing needs change. So we return to the fact that communication is absolutely fundamental.