You may have come across the expression “herding cats”, the phrase comes from the common saying that something involving coordination of many different groups or people is as difficult as herding cats. This is how a considerable number of organisations would describe their resource management approach which is not ideal as resources are a valuable asset and represent a substantial cost. Without an efficient way of managing them, they will impact on your projects.
Enterprise Resource Management
If you are “herding cats” and looking to improve your approach, you’re not alone. Respondents to the State of Project Management Survey (2017) cited resource management as a key challenge, with 84% of respondents stating that they were using the incorrect tools to manage resources, the most common tool being Microsoft Excel.
With Microsoft PPM (Project Online or Project Server) you can transition from “herding cats” to efficient real-time resource management, enabling you to make data driven resource decisions and to answer the following types of questions accurately and quickly:
- What does demand vs capacity look like?
- Which projects are our resources working on?
- What happens if we take on X more projects?
- How many resources do we have with a certain skill?
- What is the cost of resource per project?
Centralised Resource Pool
The Resource Centre will provide you with centralized visibility of your resources in one location. The resources can be synchronized with Active Directory and within Microsoft PPM you can associate a number of attributes (metadata) against the resources i.e. job roles, skills, rates, location and more which will allow you to view and group the information as required to effectively manage. By associating the resources against the enterprise or resource calendars you can also start to gain a better understanding of overall capacity.
Resource Analytics and Heatmaps
Microsoft PPM provides a suite of Resource Management reports through the Resource Centre, Power BI and the Office 365 Portfolio Dashboard that let you visualise and analyse the data quickly and accurately. You can easily view demand vs capacity to identify bottlenecks and opportunities to maximise resource utilisation.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) found that ineffective communication was the main contributor to project failure one-third of the time, and had a negative impact on project success more than half the time. Through Microsoft PPM you can greatly improve how teams communicate and collaborate. You can also leverage the benefits of Skype for Business, from within Microsoft PPM and enable team members to use the powerful messaging capabilities to communicate with other project team members.