GUIDE: How to implement effective resource planning?

An effective resource planning allows:

  • to improve the profitability of the activity
  • accelerate the start-up of projects, therefore improving growth and cash flow
  • improve customer satisfaction by offering the most suitable profiles
  • improve employee satisfaction and commitment by better targeting the projects to be assigned

Step 1

Define the main objectives expected through management of the resource planning

Implement effective management of resource planning requires combining the implementation of the right tools and managing change with the teams concerned. One cannot function without the other. Here are the steps to follow to set up management of the resource planning which will be the heart of the reactor of your growth.

The objectives expected from a good resource planning management can vary according to the activity and the priorities of each company. Of the key objectives listed below, it is important that you take a step back and define which ones are priorities. While they are all important, the approach may vary at the margin depending on the order of priority.

a. Give visibility to employees

As soon as it is set up, staff management provides visibility into team planning. Manage the resource planning , it's tracking workload planning, assignments to projects and tasks. Employees regularly lack visibility into their schedule every few weeks. They know their planning in the short term but lack visibility beyond that. By providing them with better visibility, you increase employee satisfaction, you give them more comfort because they can better plan and anticipate the implications of this schedule from a professional and personal point of view.

b. Facilitate load balancing to improve efficiency, and get projects to start faster

Businesses that operate in project mode are well aware of bottleneck problems. The very first bottleneck of a project is the lack of capacity of the teams. By managing staffing with the right tools, capacity improves drastically and bottlenecks are reduced. Projects start faster because the organization is better aligned and the visibility on everyone's capabilities increases.

c. Optimize workload

In all project teams, the issues of overload and underload penalize performance. Overworked employees cannot deliver their work as well and risk burnout, while underworked employees represent poorly exploited resources for the company and risk becoming demotivated. Optimizing the load to better distribute it and ensuring that everyone in the team works to their right capacity promotes employee performance and satisfaction.

d. Conduct profile searches to meet needs

THE resource planning can also be more focused on the profile search processes based on criteria. Without a tool, it is difficult to follow requests, to enable a “matching” between the need and the profiles that meet it. Whatever your objectives, make sure that management has set priorities in order to set the right level of requirements in the implementation of your management of the resource planning .

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2nd step

Create the profile database

By taking into account as much data as possible to manage the resource planning , you integrate more information that allows you to make the right decisions. Ideally, you create your profile database with the following data:

a. Names

This is a prerequisite for carrying out research and providing visibility on assignments. In the medium term, load planning on a project can be applied on roles rather than names. But it is imperative to assign projects and tasks to specific people in the short term.

b. Roles & teams

To better find the profiles in the database, you must assign "-tags-" to facilitate the search. Group them according to roles (developer, consultant, manager, ...) or grades (junior, senior, ...). If the teams are divided into departments or business units, you must also confirm to which team each profile belongs.


When you manage a resource planning For teams of more than thirty employees, it is necessary to take skills into account to better meet customer needs. You must first establish a skills framework to update your profiles consistently. This reference framework must be the same for your employees, your subcontractors and your candidates, so that the research for your resource planning are as relevant as possible.

d. Preferences

By encouraging your employees to indicate their preferences among a repository of defined preferences, you allow you to take into account this criterion which will affect the satisfaction of your teams. Therefore, employees must be able to indicate the type of project on which they would like to be positioned (for example: data science, marketing, aeronautics, etc.). Although it is not always possible to exploit this data in a context of tension on capacities, if you respond favorably even in 30% of cases, it will already make an immense difference for your employer brand and for the satisfaction of your employees.

e. Arrival and departure date

By nature, a schedule is in constant motion. Some employees return, others leave the company. It is necessary to integrate the entry and exit dates into the base, so that the capacity calculation takes them into account. Otherwise you risk staffing a profile that has already left the company.

f. Absences / part-time

For a capacity planning to be useful, it is imperative to enter the periods during which your profiles are unavailable: holidays, downtime and part-time periods. Without this data, the management of resource planning loses performance because crucial information is unavailable. Be your tool resource planning is connected by API to your HR absence management tool, or you regularly (weekly for example) import absence data into your absence management tool. resource planning .

Step 3

Choose viewing angle and planning unit

Now that the database is ready, you must assign the load to the different profiles. To do it correctly, you need to establish the views that suit you. Here are the different options:  

a. With dates, in hours

If the projects are short, that is to say they last between a few hours and a few days, you must choose hourly planning and a day-by-day view. In this case, it is probably important to know the precise dates of assignments, or even the hours defined in a day. Planning in calendar format is then the best option. Add a view of resource planning with the days (take the one with the color bars)

b. Weekly or monthly

If the majority of projects last more than 5 days, it is preferable to follow the load on a weekly basis. That is to say, allocating a number of days in a given week to a project. For example: assign in week 34 Bob Kennedy, 3.5 days on project XYZ Depending on the assignments on the different projects, monitoring should allow you to know what his remaining availability is. For projects that last several months, the same approach must be carried out at the month granularity. Ideally, you choose the finest granularity that suits you, and consolidation allows you to see it at other time horizons. Add a view of resource planning in % of load 'blue and red) with weeks in columns

c. By collaborator and by project

Your management of resource planning must make it possible to manage the workload of employees. We must therefore have global and accessible visibility to determine in the blink of an eye whether employees are underloaded or overloaded. But the management of resource planning must also make it possible to improve operational performance in several ways:

  • Know what remains to be done and the associated costs to calculate a margin for project completion (which takes into account what has already been done and what remains to be done)
  • Monitor project planning and identify early enough those that are deviating from their budget

The allocation by employee must be transcribed into a view by project: in each project, you need to know what is the forecast time to be spent by employee and, if necessary, by tasks.

Step 4

Support change and place the resource planning at the heart of the reactor

Choose a tool resource planning or create your own tool to manage the resource planning is a first step that facilitates the implementation of the process. But for success to be guaranteed, it is imperative to support the implementation of the tool resource planning through a transformation which must engage the various managers and make it possible to obtain their support.

a. Explain the impacts of good management of resource planning

The first step is to explain the reasons for better managing the resource planning . By detailing the following reasons, the benefits perceived by management and managers should be enough to find alignment:

 i. Increased profitability of the activity

  • Increased time spent on billable projects
  • Optimization of time spent by employees
  • Visibility on subjects overloaded or underloaded

ii. Better employee satisfaction

  • Better visibility on your schedule
  • Ease of positioning yourself on a project and expressing your project preferences

 iii. Time savings

  • Task automation (needs for resource planning , profile searches, workflows and impact calculations
  • Centralization of project data, resource planning and time spent

 iv. Better customer satisfaction

  • Better anticipation allowing projects to start more quickly
  • Choice of profiles better suited to customer needs

v. Sales advantages

  • Wider choice of profiles to better meet customer needs
  • Speed in producing an offer of quality profiles to respond to a mission

b. Set up regular instances

So that the management of resource planning is optimal, it is necessary to be able to carry out arbitrations as a group, under the responsibility of management. The same profile is often adapted for different needs. It is necessary that a single person can ultimately determine which project to assign these highly requested profiles to. Companies that effectively manage resource planning meet regularly, often once a week, to take stock of:

  • The projects that will start and the staffable profiles on them
  • Projects that are deviating from the budget and require special monitoring
  • Employees who are underworked or about to end a contract and need to be repositioned

This type of body generally brings together the operations manager and their main managers and makes it possible to put the resource planning at the operations center.

c. Give support to those responsible so that updates are carried out regularly

Finally, it is necessary that the resource planning is everyone's business. Each project manager must be involved in updating the workload of the collaborators who work on their projects. It is he who has the best visibility to predict the upcoming load. By empowering teams so that updates are made regularly, you benefit from much more relevant consolidated visibility. Data reporting should not depend on a single planning manager, but must be distributed among stakeholders. These managers must be encouraged to make this update. It should allow them to improve the performance of their project and the satisfaction of their teams, which can contribute to achieving their objectives.

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Resource planning