By: Laura Walters on January 8th, 2019
Optimize Your Creative Operations With These Key Resource Allocation Features
With every new project comes the task of who is available to work on it on time, on task and on budget.
Resource allocation applications may be the magic wand you need to wrangle in your projects. Resource allocation tools help you understand the team, their availability (any vacations coming up?) and their current and projected workload.
Some people try to accomplish this using an Excel spreadsheet. Having worked at a company with several hundred project members, that can be very daunting as plotting that information is 100% manual and outdated the second you hit save. It is also 100% redundant if you are using any sort of project scheduling tool with a work breakdown structure.
A proper resource allocation tool should help you gain end-to-end oversight of your creative processes with the following features:
1. Show The Entire Resource Pool
The ability to see the entire resource pool gives the overview of who is working on what and how to best manage and prioritize resources. It will also give a sense of upcoming vacations, which is very helpful when reviewing resources and delivery dates.
2. Resource Summary
Provide a count of the total hours each resource is assigned on project work for any given day or any selected period of time. By having a clear view of hours allocated for a specific resource or team of resources, you can make clearer projections and reallocate resources based on project deadlines. This also will confirm schedules and set client expectations
3. Allow For Flexibility in Resource Capacity
Best bet is to assume someone is available 80% of the day. Burning a team at 100% is not sustainable. Example: If Joe’s work day is 8-5, is he available 9 hours a day to be assigned to projects? What about Joes lunch break – does that bring him to 8 hours? What about all the ad hoc calls and meetings Joe gets pulled into because he is the go-to guy in your office? In the end, Joe's typical work day capacity is 6 hours to perform project work. Having a mechanism in place to recognize this scenario is essential in resource planning and allocation.
4. Allow Smoothing of Hours on a Task by Task Basis
Project and resource management tools allow for flexibility in distribution of hours for a specific resource on any given week. If a resource is booked for multiple projects within a week, an effective system will allow the ability to evenly distribute and balance hours across multiple projects for any given resource. Time management is a win-win for project managers and the teams they manage.
Assembling the right team who is available to deliver will keep the project moving and the client happy. And your team benefits from knowing the work that lies ahead of them.
For more information on implementing seamless creative operations processes, click here to read our guide: Welcome to the Age of Creative Operations.
About Laura Walters
Sr. Project Manager at IO Integration A leader and high-performer who has the experience with cross-functional partnerships that result in superior business solutions. I thrive on combining my servant-leadership style and passion for mentoring with my drive for delivery and learning what can be improved upon for the next round. I have over 20 years of practice influencing people, processes, training, and technology that aligns with corporate strategy. Over 14 years in managing PMOs, Programs, Projects and Product verticals. I am an accomplished influential oral and written communicator who is recognized for negotiating the balance of solution delivery with product backlog, timeline, scope, risk, resource and budget constraints.
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