Professional Services Resource Management
The Professional Services Resource Management capability’s enablers include Resource Rates, Skills, and Availability, Resource Assignments and Utilization, and Time and Expense Management. Each capability within the Planview Capability Framework has a distinct set of features and functionality, business processes, best practices, and analytics and reports that deliver value to customers in the form of specific business outcomes.
Enablers and Business Value
Resource Rates, Skills, and Availability
Provides a single repository of resource rate, skill, and availability information to the organization. Resulting business outcomes include:
- We can identify resources with specific skills for work.
- We can define specific cost and billing rates for resources, job titles, and the organization.
- We can understand the impact of vacations, absences, and other overhead activities on resource capacity.
- We can determine the overall organizational capacity to deliver work: project and non-project work.
- We have accurate information on the non-availability of resources to factor into the opportunity capacity planning and resource management processes.
Resource Assignments and Utilization
Provides the ability to track and manage the assignments of named resources to work on projects or discrete activities within projects. Identify over and under allocations and understand future demand on teams. Resulting business outcomes include:
- Based on our organizational structure and resource role classifications, we can measure the demand for resources to deliver project and non-project work.
- We can determine and visualize the overall utilization of resource teams.
- We can assign demand to named resources.
- We can identify under- and over-utilized resources and take actions to optimize resource utilization.
Time and Expense Management
Monitor the progress of work, together with actual hours and costs. Resulting business outcomes include:
- Our resources can report actual hours worked through their weekly timesheet, including planned project work, other planned work, and non-planned work and absences.
- We can use timesheet data to update our project schedules with actual effort and dates to determine costs using resource rates.
- We can monitor timesheet status and measure compliance of timesheet submission and approval against our organizational targets, driving up-to-date project data and resource utilization data.
Account for margin
When operating in an externally focused model that bills customers for work, maintaining profitable margins is vital. Ensure that the cost of utilizing a given resource is always considered when planning projects, in addition to the skillsets and experience needed to deliver. Having set rates for resources, along with costs, will help to easily understand this aspect of allocations so that margins can be optimized.
Utilize different assignment types
Hard-named resources work well for short-term planning when detailed information is known. Switch to soft-booking for medium-term planning and prioritization processes, and book unnamed, role-based resources for long-term planning or situations when the specific resource is unknown.
Factor in non-project time
There will always be natural time loss from common administrative tasks like email and general meetings. Ensure that this time loss is considered along with administrative time and paid time off when planning, both long- and short-term, and provide a mechanism to capture time spent on unplanned projects to maintain visibility into this reduction of capacity.
Implement time reporting
Tracking and reporting time empowers resource managers with the visibility needed to ensure resources are focused on the right work, allowing them to make better resource allocation decisions. It provides data on the amount of effort certain tasks require – which can be used to improve forecasting – and allows stakeholders to evaluate the amount of time spent on projects that maximize ROI versus maintenance work.
Find the right skillsets
A lack of the skillsets necessary to deliver required outcomes is a common problem among teams, especially with specific skillsets that are in high demand. Whenever possible, keep your teams fully dedicated to optimizing work execution instead of sharing resources across teams. As work is planned, compare the skillsets that are required against those your teams currently possess, and build out teams of dedicated resources with the skillsets in high demand for the work.
Focus on people
To ensure that the right resources are on the right work at the right time, resource managers should be prepared to manage unexpected changes and conflicts, and to resolve these conflicts as painlessly as possible while still maintaining organizational priorities. Throughout the process, it’s important to help resources remain productive and happy, and managers should take special care to avoid overutilization, multi-tasking, or time-slicing resources.
Plan for conflicts
Resource conflicts will inevitably arise in any portfolio of work, and in professional services, it is often due to customers increasing scope. Having a plan for how to manage these conflicts by pulling in contractors or partners will ease this process, and in cases where not all work can be completed, ensure there are clear guidelines to prioritize resources based on profitability and customer value.
Processes and Reports
Professional services resource management allows you to optimize your strategic objectives by ensuring your resources are working on the right projects at the right time. By providing a single repository of resource availability information to your organization, resource managers can track and manage assignments of named resources, forecast future demand, perform what-if capacity and demand scenario planning, and collect time reporting information to measure actual project hours and costs.
Resource Rates, Skills, and Availability Process Steps
|Define resource attributes||
Use the Job Titles module to assign a job title to each resource. You can also assign resources to groups and assign the Resource Manager role in the User Groups module.
For more information:Preparing your environment
|Set resource rates||
Resource rates are set within a hierarchy:
Set cost and billing rates for users in the People module and job titles in the Job Titles module. Typically, cost rates are used as an internal rate, while billing rates are used as an external rate. A resource may have both regular and overtime rates set.
Rates are date effective, with the applicable rate based on the start date of the work item. Once the work item has started, the rate does not change from period to period.
|Manage resource skills||
Use the Skills module to add new skills and assign resources to a skill set.Once assigned, resource managers will be able to see user skills listed in the skills column, and can filter by skills when assigning a resource.
|Manage resource availability (non-project work, planned absences)||
Resource availability is defined by adding typical working hours, company holidays, and planned absences to the organizational, group, and user calendars.
Resources can also define their availability by limiting their availability for new projects in the Properties Card.
Resource managers use the Resource Load module to view the resource availability of their direct reports, groups they manage, and their own assigned work.
For more information:
Resource Assignments and Utilization Process Steps
|Identify incoming resource demand||
Use the Requested Demand vs. Availability view in the Capacity Planning module to identify and quantify all incoming demand placed against resources to maintain a balanced and efficient level of resource utilization.
To quantify resource demand, project managers submit Staffing Requests for resource effort that is needed to complete a project.
Resource managers can also view resource load and availability for individuals and groups they directly manage in the Resource Load module.
|Identify resource utilization issues||
Identify over- or underutilized resources. Once these are identified, take mitigating actions to ensure the delivery of projects and effective use of organizational resources is maintained.
|Feedback of resource comfort levels||Obtain feedback from individual resources to determine how each feels about their current workload to determine whether resources are over- or underutilized.|
|Manage resource utilization||
Quantify and balance resource utilization in the context of demand and capacity to determine the ability of the organization to deliver work. Ensure the workload for resources remains balanced and is neither over- nor underutilized.
Using techniques such as eliminating resource overload, a resource manager can balance a project's resource demand against resource capacity to make informed decisions about resource utilization. This ensures an accurate view into the organization's ability to deliver work and manage resource effort and costs efficiently.
For more information:
Project managers and resource managers should maintain a two-way dialog throughout the work plan execution, and use the Demand table in the Capacity Planning module to sort projects by priority and ensure resources are assigned to the higher-priority projects.
Resource managers can discuss staffing requests with project managers using the Discussion feature. Project managers receive Staffing Request changes through email notifications and daily status updates, and can view updates in the Staffing Requests panel.
|Approve request/assign resources||
Resource managers review, approve, assign, or reject resource requests for projects. If a request is rejected, a discussion post with the reason why can be created for the project manager to view in the Staffing Requests panel.
Take actions to maintain a balanced workload; it may be appropriate to redistribute resources, shift assignments, or increase resource capacity.
In the Capacity Planning module, resource managers can view resource load and demand by group, job title, or user, identify potential bottlenecks, create “what-if” scenarios, evaluate resource availability, and assign resources based on current and forecasted demand.
Resource managers can also balance resource utilization and manage resource assignments for groups and users they manage in the Resource Load module.
Manage critically over- and underutilized resources by using the Review and Assign function in the Capacity Planning module, or reassign resources in the Resource Load view. This allows resource managers to maintain the resource commitment effort required to deliver the work.
Changes from the planned resource utilization, such as unexpected leave or the slippage of project activities, could leave resources critically over-utilized, and should be managed so resources can complete the work.
Time and Expense Management Process Steps
Resources carry out the work that has been assigned to them.
Timesheets are reviewed and approved in the Approvals module. The timesheet approver role is flexible, and can be delegated to a project manager, resource manager, direct manager, or temporary approver. There are three timesheet approval process options, and the preferred timesheet approval flow can be selected in System Settings:
For more information:
Approved timesheets integrated into actual effort
Once timesheet approval is granted, resource hours are reflected in the related projects and percentage complete is updated on work items.
Professional Services Resource Management Reports
There are a number of standard reports related to resource utilization and time tracking in the Reports module. These can be run with specific filters to see the desired outputs. For more information, see Using the Resource Utilization Report and Time-phased Resource Utilization and Financial Reports.
Additional reports and dashboards can be created by the administrator and shared with the organization and appropriate team members.
Professional Services Work Management
View and manage all work details, and report on project status and health.Read more
Services Portfolio Planning
Enable effective planning through a flexible staffing and billing approach.Read more
Revenue and Cost Management
Track and control engagement costs and monitor financial performance.Read more