Effective collaboration between resource and project managers

Innate is currently implementing its resource management software with a major US based engineering services supplier. They have a wide range of engineering, environmental and construction projects, each of which require staff with particular combinations of skills and experience. Their President has challenged his resource managers to dramatically improve the project resourcing service that they provide to their project managers, in this challenging environment.

Innate’s resource management tool helps to improve collaboration between project and resource managers in volatile multi-project environments. For our client, changes arise due to project change orders, and the scope of later phases being dependent on the results of initial environmental test and investigation work.

Skills capacity planning

Their teams sit within a Sector > Business Unit > Discipline > Location organisation structure. The project resource plans reflect this structure, so that each row can be directed to the relevant Discipline manager, as requests for their resources. Any particular experience, professional qualification or location requirements can be defined in sufficient detail.

New project plans are layered on top if the committed work, so that bottlenecks are highlighted with a colour coded heat map

The red cells give a picture of the additional resources required for each project’s committed dates to be met. These views, at the appropriate organisation level, drive the hiring of contract or permanent staff to maintain the balance between skills demand and capacity. They also identify teams where demand is falling away and members may need to be retrained or let go, if target utilisation levels are to be met.

Scenarios will be also used to show the impact on the heat map of combinations of potential projects being awarded.

Resource allocation process

Project managers will want to know that suitable resources will be available as they prepare the new project plan. As these are reviewed and approved, each resource manager must deal with the requests for their resources within the required timeframe. Our client has a formal resource allocation process where:

  1. Project managers request resource
  2. Resource managers propose suitable candidates
  3. Project managers can compare the requested attributes with those of the proposed candidate, and accept or reject.
  4. Eventually individuals are confirmed.

This can be particularly volatile in a fast-changing multi-project environment. Innate’s resource planning tool helps ensure effective collaboration between resource and project managers, so that individual projects do not suffer from resourcing issues.

Innate’s resource planning system provides effective support through the demand management and resource allocation process steps, with the ability to respond rapidly to changes in demand, as they occur.

Barry Muir is a Director of Innate Management Systems Ltd. We have been implementing resource management software in a wide variety of professional services organizations for more than 20 years.
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