The discipline of resource management (RM) for IT services is still in its nascent stages when compared to project management which has been a formalized discipline for decades. The good news is the RM discipline is now well established and gaining traction quickly as companies realize the many benefits of good RM. On the surface, getting better utilization of human capital for our services work would seem the main benefit and a common driver for formation of the RM discipline. Today many more benefits are possible. In a recent Resource Management Institute (RMI) Power UP session I spoke about five ways RM brings business value.
The five benefits discussed are:
1. Project resource management is a data-intensive discipline and as a result, a good RM process builds the ongoing data to make better business decisions about our most valuable and expensive asset – people! With good data we are able to make fact-based choices about all our decisions involving people including how many people to hire, training investments, and deployment of people to our projects. With good data our automation tools are more capable, and with timely facts we remove noise in the system. The Just-in-Time Resourcing® process solution from the RMI provides the framework for elements of data needed to implement effective resource management.
2. Good resource management enables better project prioritization. Our project-based service teams constantly face challenges requiring reprioritization of our project work. Good RM gives you the data to do that fast and with better outcomes. A few examples:
- For service teams with external customers, good RM enables you to:
- Facilitate rapid re-optimization to maximize revenue opportunities
- Shorten time to staff to improve customer responsiveness
- For service teams with internal customers, good RM enables you to:
- Identify where ALL my resources are deployed to ensure they are working on the right things
- Prioritize those projects with a likelihood of being launched and completed in a timely way
- Peak project performance – on-time, on-budget, and good quality - all lead to more revenue and/or effective reduction of tech debt
- Better utilization – predictable achievement of benchmark levels of utilization for human capital involved in service projects
- Improved customer experience / satisfaction – resulting from better project performance
4. Resource management enables more engaged employees. The battle for talent has never been greater, therefore anything that leads to a more engaged and happier employee is a good thing. A well-oiled RM process, combined with the right kind of automation, can help your service team find a better balance of allocating people to projects. This balance takes into account both the business economics AND the matching of people to the types of projects fitting the employee’s personal preferences in support of their career development and growth.
5. Resource management is your foundation for strategic labor planning. Rising labor costs, sourcing complexity, competition and the gig economy all combine to make our job of planning for labor a constant challenge. Today’s advanced RM processes, and their inherent data-based foundations, put service teams in an incredibly advantaged position to accomplish things like controlling and even lowering our hourly cost for labor, winning in the talent wars, and feeding a more flexible and effective approach to sourcing labor.
The five resource management benefits listed above are certainly not the only benefits good RM can enable. Following best practices from the RMI and making RM a priority when choosing a PSA or PPM solution are also key to successful RM outcomes.
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