Resource management software – How to justify the investment

The main goal of resource management software is to optimize the utilization of skilled resources working across the project or services workload, when each project has its own priority, skills requirements and timescales.

There is a balance to be struck between minimizing the headcount, whilst needing sufficient resource for responding to changes in demand. Some spare capacity is needed for those ‘just in case’ situations and no one wants to disappoint a client by missing a key date due to resourcing issues.

Only better forecasting of demand will create the confidence required to strike the right balance. Many multi-team organizations are relying on team or regional based spreadsheets that are inconsistent, difficult to maintain and provide unreliable projections of skills demand. There is no complete picture, so that temporary overloads are often met by hiring contract staff when relevant skills may be available in another office.

Resource management software enables project and resource managers to produce data that is consistent, complete and current. The improved forecasting significantly increases the confidence in predicting required resourcing levels. An improvement in utilization of only 2 or 3 percent can easily justify the investment.

Other benefits include:

  • More accurate scheduling of contractor usage, ensuring that individuals are only contracted when there is a real requirement.
  • Greater confidence that hiring and retraining programs will satisfy longer term changes in skills mix demand.
  • With credible evidence of current commitments, estimates of when the required skills might become available can be relied on when bidding for new work.
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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