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Just what is resource management?

Written by HarmonyPSA on 2017-08-07 Last updated 2018-01-04

We have been debating this for ages, what do people really mean when they ask us, “Do you do resource management?”

A lot of software in the PSA space claims to do this, and clearly, if you have a team of 30+ techs, knowing what they are up to is important to running an effective business.

But knowing this, doesn’t tell you what resource management is.

Let us explain…

The first axis of the debate is the view separation existing in different styles of business.

Pure professional services businesses totally rely on high utilisation rates for profitability - people on the bench are simply a cost. One you wish you didn’t have, until the next big job comes in, then you wish you had more. Life eh?

On the other hand, companies with significant levels of recurring revenue tend to be more interested in what people are doing, rather than studying the forward workload of the PS team. They should be more interested in where they are making money on the recurring contracts so they can act accordingly.

So there are two objectives of this area of a system, and they overlap. Which matters to you most depends on the nature of your business. Businesses running multiple short projects with similarly short lead times care about who is doing what now, those with larger projects and extended delivery cycles worry much more about the shape of the workload forecast than what tasks people are working on next week.

Which of these views are resource management?

Well both are, even though the views and the processes are different. The purpose of each is relevant to the problem they address, but the problems are not the same. And this is the key to understanding resource management: creating functionality that addresses both needs, without re-keying. Functionality that allows data to flow up or down the granularity stack seamlessly.

Most of all, the value of this whole area is accurate reporting, and that needs full adoption, taking into account ALL changes as soon as realistic. A stale resource profile is no use to a business.

Really, the ideal operational view permits planning at two or three levels, so it can operate in one of many ways:

All four methods have their uses depending on the type of business and its needs. But remember that low maintenance systems are easier to adopt and create more accurate reporting. Individual profiles depend on 100% adoption and near-real-time maintenance to be of value in decision making.

So, unless your business depends on understanding (in a system) what people are doing in the next few days, start with #1 and get that running first.

Want to know more? Contact Harmony to see how we can help your business!

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Tags: BUSINESS, GENERAL PSA, resource management, staff utilisation reporting, task allocation

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