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Effective utilization of resources across multiple projects

Managing multiple projects with a limited pool of resources can be a lively ride! Whilst there must be sufficient resource to meet each project’s commitments, having too much ‘just in case’ will quickly reduce utilization levels and erode operational profitability. But maintaining effective utilization of resources without jeopardising project targets is a tricky balancing act.

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Resource management reports – improving visibility and communication

Managing multiple projects with a limited pool of resources can be a wild ride. No sooner is the skills capacity nicely in balance with your project demand than something changes, requiring re-planning of crucial projects. When significant bottlenecks arise, key project commitments can be at risk, but periods of underutilization erode operational profits.

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Talent management – maximize the capabilities of your workforce

As projects incorporate increasingly complex technology, the resource pool’s skill and competency levels need to step up a gear. Where project number are large and they cover multiple sectors and technologies, emerging technical shortcomings may not immediately be visible. But the consequences of falling short can be severe in terms of quality of work,

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Project demand management as proposals are awarded

New external projects generally start as an enquiry. Whilst some will not be worth bothering with, those that appeal will require a work estimate as part of the proposal. Many will fall by the wayside, but a percentage will make it onto the client’s short list and eventual award. Assessing their resourcing impact on the business is often referred to as project demand management.

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Resource allocation – matching staff with tasks

For projects and services firms, effective resource management starts by matching their skills capacity with demand. But it quickly moves onto deciding who should be working on what tasks. Having a suitable resource allocation process is key to consistently achieving project commitments, to time, quality and within budget.

These firms are generally matrix organizations.

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Does your firm need a skills matrix?

If you provide professional services to a range of clients then you’ll need easy access to details of your staff’s skills and experience. Matching each client’s requirements and expectations is crucial, as assigning inappropriate staff can seriously damage important relationships. Maintaining a comprehensive skills matrix helps to ensure that only suitable staff will be assigned.

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Resource management best practice – top 10 tips

The secret of successful resource management is to maintain high levels of resource utilization, whilst ensuring that no project is impeded through lack of required skills. How can this be consistently achieved? Here are our top 10 Resource management Best Practice tips, based on more than 35 years’ experience of working with engineering,

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Manage your R&D funding more effectively

Whether you are a University Research department, or a commercial R and D team, research into new products, technologies, and techniques often relies on external R&D funding. However, each funder will demand data that justifies their investment, such as:

  • Detailed plans that scope and cost the project
  • Reporting of time spent and actual costs incurred,

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Managing resources in a matrix organization – How workforce planning tools help

Businesses that manage multiple projects face two conflicting objectives:

  • To keep their clients happy and the business profitable, each and every project must be delivered on time, within budget and to the required specification.
  • Staff working across the project workload must be continuously busy, whilst avoiding unmanageable bottlenecks that could jeopardize individual project dates.

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Control your volatile portfolio of projects with resource planning tools

Managing a portfolio of projects with a limited pool of resources is no easy ride. Just when all looks to be in balance a project change comes along creating an unacceptable resource bottleneck. Having too few staff can jeopardize committed dates and risk disappointing your clients, but too many hanging around ‘just in case’ 

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