To complete their projects, service organizations have limited resources and budgets. Project managers must deploy the appropriate resources to maximize billable utilization and maintain profitability without overloading, overworking, or underperforming their resources. That, however, is easier said than done.
What Makes Resource Management Difficult?
Many organizations continue to plan projects and assign resources using entry-level applications and disconnected spreadsheets. According to SPI’s recently issued 2021 Professional Services Maturity Benchmark Report, merely a 4% increase in resource utilization can provide the money required to invest in a PSA (professional services automation) solution.
Project-based organizations are likewise under increasing pressure to offer new and cutting-edge products and services without raising budgetary costs. However, if you don’t have a solution in place to actively monitor and report on project health, revenue leakage, resource burnout, decreased quality, and increased costs, you’ll limit project success, slow organizational growth, and fall behind your competitors.
Organizations that use a PSA system can optimize their procedures to maximize resource and billable utilization across all projects, large and small. Here are some examples of how project-based organizations can maximize utilization by implementing an optimized project solution:
- Track and assign the right skills to the right project at the right time. To be successful at optimizing resources, project managers must be able to search for, track, and assign them while maximizing billable work and minimizing operational and administrative responsibilities. This needs more than just ensuring project managers have adequate staff to handle the increased workload. To be resource-ready, you must understand what resources are accessible as well as the skills and experience they hold. Having the right resources for the right job is what keeps projects on pace and margins within budget. A PSA solution coupled with an ERP suite can link not just project resource skill data but also HR data to track costs even when a resource is absent from the office. Having detailed data on your resources — skills, rates, and availability — can help ensure that gaps are not ignored and that the proper team is providing the necessary services.
- Improve planning. Work assignment planning is essential for resource management. It is also the smallest piece. Having strategies and processes in place, such as a work breakdown structure, improves visibility into the project. A work breakdown structure allows you to organize project duties in a way that makes them more manageable. You can also improve efficiency and productivity by simplifying task allocation. Another key technique to maximize resource usage is capacity and demand planning. When done correctly, you may prioritize high-value tasks with limited resource capacity. Finally, by connecting ERP and PSA solutions, team members can communicate more frequently and effectively, resulting in faster project completion and smoother operations, as well as the elimination of double bookings. It also aids in reducing labor burnout.
- Automate time and expense processes. By removing as much physical labor as possible from resources, valuable time may be spent working on the issue at hand. When time and expense management is automated using PSA software, administrative costs are reduced dramatically, employee time monitoring is improved, and customer invoice preparation is simplified. This can result in speedier client billing and higher profitability.
- View real-time analytics. Few things are worse than utilizing spreadsheets and disconnected platforms to manage resources, according to project and resource managers. When project managers are forced to juggle schedule conflicts and rates in spreadsheets, the project soon turns upside down. Most of these difficulties can be resolved by providing project managers with the option to quickly produce reports that reveal the team’s current resource use. Monitoring performance can also assist them plan or even relocating and reassign tasks if there are challenges with the allocation.
Automating Project and Resource Management with OpenAir
When projects are consolidated using professional services automation (PSA) systems, you are better able to manage labor, resource costs, billing rates, time, and revenue. By automating this data, teams can efficiently analyze profitability, allowing firms to be more competitive in the rising and competitive service industries.
NetSuite OpenAir makes project management easier. It not only helps to connect project activities with corporate financials, but it also ensures that the appropriate resources are assigned to the appropriate tasks throughout the project lifecycle. Instead of depending on spreadsheets and the inherent revenue leakage caused by data mistakes and fragmented project expenses, you’re better positioned to deliver projects on time and within budget.
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