29/11/2021 |

Resource Management Improves Business Efficiency

Drive efficiency with resource management.
Understand what risks exist and how to avoid these.

dictionary resource

The primary objective of resource management is to maximize the efficiency of all resources. For instance, in terms of my pre-Covid consulting team, our project coordinator managed resources by assigning colleagues to conduct workshops who were both skilled enough and who live as close to the customer’s location as possible in order to reduce travel time and optimize the potential workload. (Nowadays, we’re conducing workshops virtually.)

Again, the goal is to maximize efficiency, so let’s take a look at what businesses need to consider.

What is a resource?

In my example above, the resource is our consultants. We’re planning and tracking their time in the most efficient way.

But, resources are not simply employees. Resources can also be machines, such as server. They can be components, such as a hard disk. It can be available time, such as when you determine how many workshops, meetings or appointments are possible. In fact, everything that is needed to achieve a business goal can be considered a resource.

Common mistakes companies make with resource management

Of course, getting started with resource management can be tricky for companies. Be aware of the following as you get started.

Not reviewing your processes.

Resource management generally involves the use of software for tracking, planning and visibility. However, software is not magic bullet; it’s just a tool. Its use must come with process changes in order for its implementation and adoption to be successful.

Existing resources become overloaded.

Very often in projects, I see that resources are distributed too much. This leads to projects that do not have enough manpower. Of course, this happens because you want to use your resources optimally to avoid idle time. But, room needs to be left for administration, personal time, other goals, etc. or the processes will overwhelm people and leave the entire effort at risk.

Not putting tools and supports in place.

Resource management is not simply about calendaring and scheduling. It’s also about making sure that people, devices, workshops, etc. are well prepared for the activities that need to be completed. Constantly reviewing what resources are doing and need to be more efficient and effective is an on-going activity that must be done. You can’t simply start working on resource management and never look at it again.

Avoid resource management mistakes

A good example of how to avoid the mistakes above can be seen in the management of our consulting service catalog. We put the right tools and supports in place by standardizing the catalog as well as defining example agendas and durations for every workshop. As a result, the consultant deals with only one customer in a predefined period of 1-3 days and can therefore complete many topics in a short time. Since our trainings are standardized and only take place remotely, we were able to turn them into “public trainings” and serve multiple customers at once, increasing efficiency dramatically.

In terms of our processes, we have created a matrix where our project coordinator is able to see which consultant has the right skills to perform the requested service. Not only does this best support the customer, but it also helps us to promote our consultants’ individual interests and develop subject matter experts.

And, of course, we use OTRS calendar resource planning to stay on top of our plans and make sure that the entire team has visibility into what’s happening today, tomorrow and into the future.

By using calendar resource planning, we are able to bring structure into the chaos of managing a hybrid matrix organization.

Using calendar resource planning

Calendar resource planning is widely used by our consulting team for resource management. Consulting appointments are created for each workshop that will be completed. Each of these can then be linked to tickets. This allows the consultant to view and keep an eye on all of the relevant information about the upcoming appointments in one location.

The appointments themselves are displayed on a calendar, blocking the time during which the consultant is available. When they are assigned to a workshop, the person gets notified by mail and the appointment is added to his local calendar. This creates the previously mentioned transparency; the person doing the scheduling can see everyone’s availability and the person conducting the workshop can see the scheduled appointments for the coming weeks.

Furthermore, additional information, such as daily rates or the type of service, can be made visible directly in the appointment and reports can be generated on it.  As the person responsible for consulting services at OTRS Group, I check, for example, how often a certain appointment has taken place and in what period of time in order to be able to evaluate demand and the revenue generated by it.

By using calendar resource planning, we are able to bring structure into the chaos of managing a hybrid matrix organization. Our customers receive qualified and timely support from our consultants. The consultants have a manageable workload and all of the information needed to perform their role in one place. And, our scheduler has the tools and visibility to make sure that resource management continues to be efficient.

If your company is looking to improve upon the efficiency of your teams, field agents, consultants, or any other resource, get in touch with OTRS Group to see how we can be support you.

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