Who among your employees knows who is scheduled to do what and when in your company? Who knows when such and such project needs to start and who among team members is supposed to work on it? Who knows if there are enough of them? Who knows what tools and supplies are needed? Who knows how much the project probably will cost?
And is there one or – at most – two people who know the answers to all of these questions? If no one knows if you have the needed resources, there’s a problem.
In other words, someone should be your resources point person. Someone whose whole reason to come to the office on a weekday – or a big portion of it – is because they are focused on knowing what projects are on the docket at your business. If there is no such person, how can your company even be sure you can even take on this new work? That you may need to hire more people, or purchase more tools, or – if the project is critical but there’s no new money — cut your budget somewhere so that you the project can take place?
“Well,” you say. “In our company, it’s our CEO.” Our answer: shouldn’t your CEO be focused on the big picture rather than the many details of services resources planning?
“Ok, good point,” you reply. “So how about project managers? If it’s their project, shouldn’t they claim ownership?”
Good point, but PMs often are focused only on their project. We’re talking here about all projects within your company. PMs know what resources they need now but not what future projects may need. We’re talking resources planning, after all.
Functional Managers Are the Answer
They may not have that title in your company so as explanation, these are folks who not only understand the full picture, they also have the responsibility (with input from project managers and others with knowledge of upcoming projects) to know what’s coming and when.
Services resources managers don’t work in a vacuum, of course: they work with project managers and others to ensure your company has the supplies, employees/contractors, finances, etc. needed. Once everyone’s on the same page, the resources manager then has the authority to either approve the project, delay it, or – if the project is absolutely critical – figure out how to make it work (all the while looking ahead to see what other projects are coming down the pike).
The resources manager will be collaborating with, at minimum, project managers. But it’s smart to have someone who owns the process, who knows the big picture and can help PMs, the CEO, CFO, COO, and others forecast their services resources needs.
Aysling: The All-in-One Services Resources Planning Tool
Whether you have someone who owns your resources forecasting or if you don’t, Aysling’s cloud-based service resource planner will help you forecast needed resources, and manage them as they are deployed.
What’s more, our SRP is more than a “mere” planning tool: it can help you manage your entire operation, finance, administration, HR, contractors/freelancers, vendor management. You name it, Aysling can do it.