Employees using a computer

How to align resource demand with resource availability

If you want to be a leader in your business sector, you need the right people power to drive that vision. As your assets grow, you need to make sure your human resource allocation keeps up with your demand. In this article, we’re exploring why aligning resource demand with availability is an overlooked issue for enterprise-level businesses and what solutions are available.

Why is resource capacity planning important?

Not reaching your business objectives isn’t always a result of not having the right budget or financial management. Sometimes, it boils down to how effectively you’re managing your resources, particularly human resources.

With effective resource capacity management, you should be able to reach your goals, even as your business demand increases. Without this, your business could struggle to deliver the expected benefit of your planned initiatives.

What are the common resource capacity issues?

  • Lack of visibility of resources
    Many organisations don’t know where their resources are being utilised. At enterprise level, your business could span across several locations and departments, and likely across multiple continents. That’s where having all your people logged in one place is crucial. Having visibility of roles, skills, hours available, location and other information that could affect decisions on who to assign to what role is vital. Until you have this visibility, you won’t be able to address other resource challenges.
  • Under capacity
    Unfilled roles will still cost the business money whilst also hindering progress, project completions and company growth. Assigning the wrong people for the job or not allocating resources that are on the bench will negatively impact performance against your goals. One or two hiccups shouldn’t be a problem, but if this is happening regularly and on a large scale, then your bottom line and key objectives won’t be able to reach their full potential.
  • Over capacity
    Are your team overloaded? If they are, your key objectives and results could hang in the balance. On an individual project level, work won’t be completed by deadlines, employees could struggle with burnout (leading to increased absenteeism) and projects could grind to a halt. This will impact the overarching project portfolio, leading to projects taking longer to complete and costing more money.
  • Lack of centralised process
    Having a clear process as to how you identify and respond to resource demand across the organisation is key to help prevent bottlenecks and time-consuming mistakes.
  • Proactively identify skill gaps
    Visibility of all of the above helps to ensure you can proactively identify if you have enough people with the right skills, qualifications or experience to fulfill your business objectives.

How to identify these problems

These challenges will be happening at project level across the organisation. However, they may not be visible to senior management and they could be addressed as disparate problems rather than an overall organisation challenge.

In the top levels of management, they will likely be reflected in poorer project output and fewer successful completions. By that point, your enterprise is already falling short of its key objectives. Plus, fixing the problem could be a mammoth job if you don’t have access to the right data, presented in the right way.

Not having the right data is where it can all fall apart. Without data on your resource demand vs availability, how will you even know that you have a resource problem in the first place?

As an enterprise level business, you need to be able to regularly identify any problem areas for resource capacity so you can respond accordingly. You need a forward-thinking approach that allows you to plan ahead. You also need a sustained, consistent approach of measuring and monitoring potential problems.

How to solve this problem?

So, what’s the solution?

The change may require a complete transformation in how you operate. You need a systematic process that allows resource managers to successfully predict and fulfill the project demand well ahead of the curve. This will help to ensure timely delivery.

You need an agile, scalable approach to resource management at portfolio level.

It’s about being proactive. Having the right data can make all the difference. But you also need the right processes in place, such as scenario planning for PPM.

That’s where support from a PPM specialist and relevant software can help.

  • Early resource planning and forecasting with strategic roadmaps.
  • Automate some of the processes so that when demand increases at project or portfolio level, reports will automatically update so you can identify areas that require more or less resource investment.
  • The right reports and real-time data inventory will ensure you can keep up with demand (and assign in good time, too).
  • Software tools, such as Clarity also help you find all your people and filter those who best match the criteria or expertise required. You can then use native drag and drop functionality to model different resource scenarios and fulfill resource demand.

Conclusion: The bottom line

People are important. How you manage your resources is crucial to business performance. The key question that it will always come back to is this: Do you have the right capacity to complete the work on time?

There is a financial aspect to this topic as resources and finances are intrinsically linked, We will discuss further in future articles.

The ultimate aim is to take a proactive approach rather than a reactive one. If your organisation is constantly facing resource challenges, you can utilise PPM resources, such as Clarity, to provide a 6-12 month horizon. It’s all about raising the perspective and having the ability to identify and forecast problems so you can address them before they happen.

How can Ignite help?

If your organisation is looking to not just address the problems of today but to take a more proactive approach, Ignite Technology can help. We’ve helped many enterprise-level businesses transform their processes and increase their data visibility to facilitate more effective resource management across their organisation. Our experienced team can help you align your resources to match demand and your business objectives.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today to book a demonstration or to discuss how we can help implement Strategic Portfolio Planning for your organisation.

By Austen Moore

Marketing Manager

Responsible for managing Ignite Technology’s marketing initiatives, Austen uses market research and analysis to direct marketing strategy and planning. He oversees the production of all promotional materials and marketing campaigns. With over 20 years of experience managing a range of companies, Austen’s expertise centres around commercial management, enterprise content management, marketing, sales, project management and team leadership.