Resource planning vs. project management

As any other company, professional service companies’ success rely on performance, productivity, and profits. For PS organisations, these factors are mainly influenced by their people, skills and ability to cope with demand. Capacity to perform good planning affects productivity, team skills influence performance and bookings on billable projects play a vital role in the company’s profitability. Implementing an efficient planning strategy is therefore fundamental.

Many managers make the error of placing resource planning inside the framework of project management. Project management is about making sure that every project is delivered on time and within budget, regardless of whether all team members are being utilised. Resource planning aims to provide an overall visibility over your team use and allocation to the right projects based on skills.

Team planners and project managers regularly face pressure from clients looking for available consultants, struggle to track and identify their team skills and continuously deal with team requests such as time-off. In the era of immediateness and optimization, planners must adopt new technology to embark in a new journey of efficiency and real-time scheduling. Their search for a solution must include the following benefits:

• Achieve complete visibility into project resource planning and performance
• Manage a global, dynamic and shared pool of resources to optimize utilization, regardless of physical location
• Ability to search & book resources based on their skills, experience, geography and availability
• Accurately forecast staffing needs and anticipate client demand
• Improve communication with the team and collaboration with the customers

Small companies should be able to spot instantly the available resources and answer at a glance to their new customer question “When can you start?” Companies with various offices and business units should be able to have a complete cross-business unit visibility and benefit from a big pool of shared resources.

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