|At a glance
· Resolving resource conflicts -the biggest challenge for IT service companies
· Endemic resource conflicts push companies on a downward spiral of performance
· Operational and strategic actions required to prevent them
Conflicting requirements of resources for multiple projects is a recurring challenge in the professional services industry.
Such persisting conflicts cause revenue losses, lead to customer complaints, and result in employee fatigue and burnout.
Look deeper and you will realize that recurring resource conflicts push your organization into a downward spiral of declining corporate performance.
Resource allocation in project management sucks managers into frustrating discussions. The strain on in-demand resources and managerial time compounds the profit leakages.
Resource conflicts can become endemic and a part of your organization’s culture. They get baked into your operating budgets.
The downward spiral, however, isn’t inevitable. Many IT services companies have woken up to this challenge and have looked for solutions to the challenge of resource conflicts. They have found the following ways to prevent resource conflicts.
Seven ways to overcome the challenge of resource conflicts
# 1 Way: Make resource allocation and utilization visible to all in real-time
Visibility brings awareness and awareness enables rational actions. When your project managers, resource management group (or project management office), and HR can see what kind of resources are being overworked and won’t be available in the next few months they can act before the damage is done.
#2 Way: Make skill levels visible to individual employees
When employee skill levels are visible, all concerned can see the cases in which higher-skilled employees are going to be utilized for tasks that can be done with relatively less skilled and less expensive resources.
Employees should be encouraged to come forward with their questions and plans about their respective career paths.
This can be another proactive approach to augmenting the talent pool.
# 3 Way: Integrate the organization’s calendar, leave scheduling, allocation, and time sheets
This is the only way to make valid information about resources available in real time. If this is not done your managers will be grappling with multiple versions of the information. (versions of spreadsheets).
# 4 Way: Align classification of employee skill sets with requirements of project tasks
This is a fundamental part of strategic workforce planning. It needs careful analysis of work breakdown structures ( WBS) and their constituent tasks.
The competencies and skills needed for these tasks should be the basis for employee skill sets requirements and assessments.
#5 Way: Rationalize allocation of employees to match project task requirements
The action mentioned above (#4) will enable better resource allocation.
#6 Way: Align training and talent acquisition with emerging gaps in resource availability
The gaps in resource availability over the next few months and beyond should be used for a more rational and targeted plan for upskilling employees and acquiring talent.
#7 Way Make project managers the CEOs of their projects
This is a very fundamental decision. A project-manager CEO will ensure fully drilled-down WBS, allocate resources rationally, and keep a sharp eye on emerging resource needs.
For this to happen, you will need to empower your project managers with real-time information on their projects. The information should include project financials on an as-is and projected basis.
You need a professional services automation software
Your organization may have best-in-class CRM, HRMS, and ERP in place. You may have project management software. But all these are not enough.
You can’t implement the above by using spreadsheets to plug the information gaps. It is too unwieldy and error-prone.
You need enterprise-class professional services automation (PSA) software that provides real-time information required to implement the above.
It simplifies resource allocation in project management. Such PSA software presents a ‘Single Version Of The Truth’ to your managers and makes collaboration possible.
You also need an experienced and capable partner to implement it with you. Get in touch with us for more information at [email protected]