Let’s talk resourcing. In our experience it is one of the biggest challenges for professional service businesses, as you attempt to work out capacity vs amount of work and who is available vs has the right skills to do the job! So many organizations we speak to say it is the main source of business headache.
So we thought we would take five of the most common questions and scenarios that our customers talk to us about and provide some practical solutions to ease your resourcing pain.
1. STAFF ARE COMPLAINING OF TOO MUCH WORK, BUT WE CAN’T AFFORD TO HIRE ANY MORE RESOURCE
They say information is power and this could not be more true when it comes to resourcing. If your staff feel overworked but looking at your revenue you can’t understand why, there are a couple of things you can do to get better oversight of your numbers.
Firstly, are you accurately budgeting your projects and planning out the hours? With a sophisticated project management tool you should be able to map out your project, its milestones, associated actions/tasks and even more granular checklist items to ensure every hour can be planned for. Then when staff are logging their time against specific actions you will be able to see clearly where time is getting overspent and address those particular issues.
With a backlog of data and accurate time logging you can forecast and make more informed decisions around how long specific actions/tasks should take and subsequently how much to charge for them. It may be that you’ve been under budgeting for the work.
Secondly, are you providing enough margin with your charge out rates? Within Mission Control you have the ability to create a role for every person within the organization, whether they use the software or not. This allows you to put rates against each person based on what you pay them vs what you charge them out at. There should be a healthy number in-between these rates and this coupled with the accurate planning will help you address over-servicing and your bottom line.
2. CAPABILITIES OF THE TEAM ARE NOT CLEAR AND SO STRUGGLING TO FIND THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB
For medium to large professional service businesses it can be hard to keep track of which skills your individual employees have. As Mission Control works natively on the Salesforce platform every contact and employee will be set up in the software. When creating a role in Mission Control for all the people within your company you can edit and assign various skill sets to that person.
So when it comes time to resource planning for a new project you can easily search for people with specific skills as well as their capacity within our Resource Assignment Wizard feature. This ensures that you are not only finding the right person to complete the task but you can also view if they have the capacity to take it on.
3. I’M STRUGGLING TO FORWARD PLAN AND WORK OUT WHAT EXTRA WORK WE CAN TAKE ON BASED ON WHAT WE ARE ALREADY DOING
Complete oversight of how much capacity your team has in real-time is what our customers love the most about our Mission Control project management tool. The Scheduler feature provides you with the ability to manage the resource capacity planning across all project resources, including capacity availability, allocation and identify roadblocks.
You can view up to a 52 week period and easily drag and drop Actions to reassign or reschedule to fit within your team’s availability. It’s a great snapshot for forward planning and being able to visualise the amount of time available across the team to complete new projects or work.
4. A TEAM MEMBER IS OFF SICK OR GOES ON HOLIDAY AND WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO DISTRIBUTE THE WORK
Flexibility with resourcing is so important as you never know what is going to happen and it’s also not easy to keep track of everyone’s holiday movements. Within Mission Control we provide a specific feature around holidays that integrates within capacity planning to ensure work doesn’t get unnecessarily assigned to people when they are away.
Within the Scheduler feature you can also view via Actions and move them around to evenly split up the workload based on capacity or if someone is off sick. Actions can be reassigned to other people who have the capacity to take it on and then be assigned back to the original person when they are back to work.
5. WE SEEM TO GIVE THE SAME WORKLOAD TO TWO DIFFERENT EMPLOYEES ONE CAN MANAGE AND ONE CAN’T BUT WE DON’T KNOW WHY
The one thing a software tool cannot solve is the individual capabilities and work ethic of your employees, however what we can do is help you to understand where the roadblocks are occurring and why certain Actions are taking longer than anticipated.
The first aspect is analysing Timesheets and understanding the reasons why that employee is taking longer. It could be an opportunity to look at up-skilling or professional development to bring them up to the same standard as the rest of the team. It could be a struggle with productivity and priorities that would need to be addressed directly with the individual.
In addition, Mission Control also has is the capability to flag issues with progress and ongoing communication around the Actions through Chatter. It may be something out of the individuals control such as a hold up with another department and by having all this information within the one place you can easily find the root cause and work together on a solution.
We’ve covered just the tip of the iceberg with the discussions we have with customers about resourcing, but hopefully you can see how strong data, analysis and a supportive project management system can help you address these challenges. There is so much more we could talk about with the intricate features of Mission Control and resourcing capabilities, so if you’d like to learn more please request a demo.