To maximise your enterprise’s performance, it’s essential you balance people, project delivery and financial outcomes. But this requires you to predict your people’s workload, ability-to-deliver and efficiency. This has always been a tough challenge. But RESRODEL is the ‘resource role model’ solution that embodies the new theorem we call Effort Management. Created specifically for Project Based Enterprises (PBEs), RESRODEL empowers contractors to plan people numbers and project work efficiently and take early action to ensure optimal outcomes.
- Enterprises that produce physical assets or systems, often commissioned by asset owners.Delivering property, infrastructure and/or systems as general contractors, sub-contractors or suppliers.
- Cost of people are a smaller proportion of expenditure
- Strict delivery obligations with time, cost, and quality imperatives.
- Competitively low margins on materials, plant, and people
- People allocated to projects are often at unique locations and mostly full time.
Many secondary factors, such as scope and interfaces, do affect Project Outcomes.
Effort applied, however, is the enabler of all Project Outcomes.
Enterprises should model and analyse as few activities as needed to predict workload, ability to deliver and efficiency to enable future balancing of people, project and financial outcomes.
There are many Effort Management challenges. Those typically faced by Contractors include:
- ‘Pre-execution’ and ‘execution’ project stages have two distinct workforces and some staff contributes to multiple projects in both stages.
- Bidding multiple projects is hard to plan
- Keeping people for future capability, reducing utilization
- Sudden award of projects can dramatically shift a contractor’s workforce needs
- Cross-functional support to projects is often hampered by limited information
- Large workforces, on multiple sites, are hard to plan and track
- Collaborative working it is hard to confirm people’s availability and communicate their Allocation.
- The constant evolution of schedule for projects and activities causes Demand for people to constantly fluctuate.
- Slow update of project Demand for people from Project Managers
- Late recruitment
- Premature reassignment
- Lack of evidence to justify more people
- Poor project delivery outcomes – substandard time, cost, quality performance
- Poor people outcomes – being overworked and dissatisfied
- Inefficiency – resorting to less economical contracted workers
- Unnecessary distraction to management spent patching resource management
- Poor Capability Planning practices, including:
- Decentralized estimation of enterprise level Demand for people
- Poor visibility of supporting resources availability
- Poor Allocation processes including:
- Inability to exhaustively identify people and project work that can be shared across the Contractor’s enterprise.
- Lack of Propose, Accept and Approve processes
- Collation and dissemination of large volumes effort management data across project managers, function Line Managers, HR and people resources.
- Constant change
Resource management challenges faced by Contractors will be dramatically simplified using RESRODEL to:
- Accurately forecast the effort required for all upcoming bids and allocate who will work on them
- Identify what work and people can be shared across the enterprise to minimise periods where people have no work.
- Analyse scenarios of existing and future projects to reduce surprises, enabling earlier action and faster commencement of projects.
- Provide cross functional Line Managers (or Resource Managers) with the ability to:
- foresee Demand for all projects,
- check people’s upcoming total workload
- communicate and agree people’s proposed allocation
- track people’s allocation to projects
- Consolidate information from joint ventures or with sub-contractors to truly understand people’s committed Availability and Allocation.
- Providing fast updates of project Demand for people by Project Managers
- Giving earlier advice to recruiters, agencies and other Project Managers
- Reducing need for premature re-assignment
- Justifying and securing necessary people with quantitative evidence
- Substandard time, cost, quality performance – by forecasting your ability to deliver
- People being overworked and dissatisfied – by forecasting your people’s workload
- Reliance on contracted workers that are less economical – by having greater certainty of your need for permanent people.
- Distracting management with resource issues – by using the clarity of a resource management solution dedicated to project based enterprises
- Better Capability Planning practices, with:
- Robust, centralised, consistent demand estimation/updating
- Quantitative insight into people’s general availability
- Better Allocation practices, with:
- Identification of right people and work that can be engaged across your contracting enterprise
- Propose, Accept and Approve processes
- Access for everyone, in your contracting enterprise, to contribute their data and extract decision ready data through self-service analysis.
- Remove double handling of constantly changing schedule data, by integrating RESRODEL with data from best practise tools such as MS Project or Oracle Primavera (when appropriate)
The Situation in Detail
- Project Stages and Workforces. Contactors have two distinct workforces for ‘pre-execution’ and ‘execution’.
Projects at ‘pre-execution’ stage are undertaken by the enterprise’s professional staff. This includes estimators, planners, engineers, commercial managers and project managers who are often bidding competitively for projects and, if successful, planning their execution.
- Projects at the ‘execution’ stage have large workforces with specific skills. These are led by the project managers and supervisors and are supported by ‘pre-execution’ staff and others such as surveyors, quality managers, WHS coordinators and administrators. Commonly, work is full time though specialist expertise is sometimes shared across projects and is part-time.
- Accountabilities Project managers and Directors are responsible for project outcomes of time, cost and quality. So, they have a very keen interest to ensure there is sufficient provision of people for the work.Many Contractors also have Line Managers coordinating groups of expertise that provide cross functional support to multiple projects, whether full time or part time. Line Managers are often responsible for:
- ensuring their group has sufficient capability for the enterprise's future projects
- the group’s utilisation
- the welfare of the group’s people
Alternatively, dedicated Resource Managers might administer the capability planning and resource allocation on behalf of a Line Manager.
- Bidding for multiple projects occurs randomly, sometimes resulting in simultaneous bids, and so it is hard to plan the teams that will work on bids. Furthermore, with zero compromise to the quality and timing of submissions, people often work excessively hard to complete the bids.
- Keeping people when there appears to be no work is sometimes necessary to provide employment continuity and/or assurance that there will be sufficient people for subsequent projects. People are either kept on projects longer than necessary, undertake excessive training or are sent home on leave. In all cases, this is a wasted utilisation that erodes the Contractor’s margins. Sometimes this situation occurs when other projects, in other parts of the enterprise, could actually use these people.
- Sudden award of projects can dramatically shift a Contractors workforce needs causing urgent recruitment and re-allocation of people.
- Cross functional support to projects is often hampered by limited insight into which people are needed by the projects. Consensus must then be achieved as to where people are allocated. Meanwhile all decisions must ensure adequate utilisation is a achieved for the whole group.
- Large workforces on multiple projects, on multiple sites are hard to plan and track
- Collaborative working, with mixed staffing in joint ventures or with sub-contractors, makes it hard to confirm people’s availability and communicate their Allocation.
- Constant evolution of schedule for projects and activities causes Demand for people to constantly fluctuate.