10 common mistakes in resource planning management
The resource planning team is a key process in a service company. It not only improves employee performance and retention, but also improves the performance of the company as a whole. The management of resource planning is regularly put aside whereas a simple work on this process allows to generate a fast and important ROI. Stafiz is a resource planning software that simplifies and automates resource planning and improves the performance of projects and employees. Based on our experience with hundreds of customers, we have compiled the 10 most common mistakes and explain how to avoid them.
1. Lack of a complete view of absences
One of the most common errors is the incomplete information that is used to manage the resource planning. IIt often happens that the management of absences is done in a dedicated software, a payroll software or an HRIS. Absence data, whether it be leave, stoppages or part-time work, remains blocked in this software. They do not go back into the staffing system in real time, even though this information is crucial to provide a real view of employees' work capacity.
💡 How to avoid it: ither your resource planning tool allows you to manage absences as well, in which case the information can be easily sent to payroll, while ensuring a native connection with resource planning management. Or an API connector exists between your leave management solution and your resource planning solution. In any case, you must upload the absence information to correctly perform the resource planning.
2. Missing external profiles
When you are looking for a profile to fill a client need, the search is likely to be done in your candidate database and among your internal profiles. But it is likely that you have already worked with a large number of freelancers or external profiles from your subcontractors. These are all skill profiles that could perfectly fit a client need, and allow you to land the project by offering a better profile to your client than your competitor. Not taking into account external profiles and subcontractors in your research is a mistake that can be very costly!
💡 How to avoid it: it's imperative to integrate your pool of contractors and freelancers with your profile bases. Your resource planning management tool can give you the ability to store hundreds of outsourcer profiles. It can allow you to notify them when a requirement matches their profile. For example, Stafiz gives externs the possibility to indicate when they are available or unavailable. This increases their chances of being listed at the top of searches when they are relevant.
3. Not incorporating employee preferences
The art of achieving an effective resource planning involves making the best casting to satisfy the client but also making choices that allow the employee to grow and feel their career progress. To implement this approach, it is imperative to integrate employee preferences into the resource planning tool. By "preferences", we mean the type of projects on which employees want to work (for example, "an energy project", a "financial due diligence", etc.) or, conversely, projects on which employees do not want to be staffed ("an assignment for an arms manufacturer", for example).
Knowing employee preferences is the best way to provide real career progression and ensure employee satisfaction and retention. Although it is not always possible to take them into account, not knowing employee preferences is a big mistake.
💡 How to avoid it: make sure the resource planning tool you choose allows employees to save their preferences and update them easily. Also, make sure the tool's algorithms take this into account proportionately.
4. Do not try to optimize the TACE (Rate of Activity Excluded)
A good management of resource planning rhymes with an improvement of the rate of activity excluded. If you are unfamiliar with this indicator, you should definitely take an interest in it. A service company must have excellent visibility on its utilization rate or the rate of activity excluded. The TACE measures the time spent on projects that generate revenue. It allows you to compare the time available to an employee with the time that contributes to generating revenue for the company.
This key indicator makes it possible to monitor a profitability objective, since at the same time, the employees' salary costs remain fixed. The TACE objective varies according to the role and the seniority of the profiles: more senior employees will generally have a lower TACE than junior profiles since a larger part of their time is devoted to subjects that do not directly generate sales (management, sales, etc.)
💡 How to avoid it: if you're not looking to optimize your TACE, it's time to set up the calculations so that your resource planning gives you full visibility on this indicator. Of course you also need your solution to allow you to compare these forecasted TACEs with the realized TACEs. Ideally, the resource planning tool calculates the TACE by profile type, by team and by individual to provide the right level of reading.
5. Manage the resource planning on Excel
It is a classic in the consulting business: use Excel to manage resource planning. Unfortunately, the best spreadsheets have a major flaw: when the number of employees increases, they are no longer able to manage resource planning efficiently. The formulas become too complex, the files too large, and the readability loses performance. In addition, Excel does not provide real-time capacity updates when an employee takes leave, for example.
💡 How to avoid it: get rid of your staffing Excel as soon as possible and opt for a staffing tool. As soon as you reach a dozen employees, the staffing tool allows you to gain in efficiency and visibility and brings you a quick ROI.
6. Do not update resource planning regularly
In essence, resource planning is in constant motion. When it is well optimized, the resource planning of employees is regularly modified to ensure that no profile is overloaded or underloaded. The managers of resource planning must constantly keep a global view of the load and conduct arbitrations to reorganize it in order to position the skills on the right projects according to the situation and the customers' expectations.
Without a tool from resource planning that allows managers to readjust the provisional regularly, capacity and employee load management cannot provide an accurate view, and arbitrations will have no impact on the profitability of the business.
💡 How to avoid it: the resource planning tool must provide secure access to managers to give them the right level of visibility and the means to update data. The rights management of the resource planning tool must allow limiting the view to a project scope, or to a team. The ability to modify the resource planning must be limited to the relevant managers to allow the update without the risk of distorting the data of other managers
7. Do not use data from resource planning for financial forecasting
The resource planning is an essential element of the financial forecast. The error of decoupling the workload forecast from the financial forecast is unfortunately all too common. Regularly, the forecasted workload on projects is updated on one side, while at the same time the remaining work to be done on the project is entered manually to calculate the forecasted project margin.
The work is done twice! Useless waste of time for the project manager. Because the knowledge of the load forecast, must allow to calculate the progress of the project, and more precisely the progress of the turnover and the margins in the months to come. Not using this data to calculate the percentage of cost progress is an error that is repeated too often.
💡 How to avoid it: again, your resource planning tool must know how to calculate revenue and margins with the right methodology. Not all tools are capable of correctly calculating the data to calculate the financial forecast. But when the tool allows it, the visibility on the forecast is given in real time, and the reactivity to go and optimize the margins allows to quickly increase the profitability of the activity.
8. Do not compare the actual with the resource planning for analysis purposes
The resource planning tools allows you to plan resources, optimize workloads and ensure the quality of projects by positioning the most relevant expertise on each project. But it is necessary to go further in the analysis. Without a comparison of the differences between what was achieved and what was resource planning, it is impossible to understand the reasons for a financial gap between what was planned and what was achieved. There is no point in doing a financial analysis at the end of the period without being able to make this comparison, to understand where the variance comes from, in number of days and in value.
💡 How to avoid it: the resource planning tool must allow to analyze on a given period (with a start and an end date), the number of days achieved compared to the number of days planned. The analysis must be simple enough to identify variances by person, by project and by team.
9. Not making sufficient use of resource planning to move your company forward
Good management of resource planning is a way to quickly move a company towards excellence. Not leveraging this process sufficiently to optimize performance is damaging to the entire business. A good resource planning job will improve profitability, improve employee satisfaction and retention, improve project quality, improve customer satisfaction and improve project margins. The ROI offered by good management of resource planning is therefore immense and the mistake of missing out on these improvements can cost the company dearly.
💡 How to avoid it: implementing a tool from resource planning allows you to benefit from the support of business experts who can explain how to implement the right processes and allow you to quickly improve project profitability and employee satisfaction.
Stafiz helps you gain visibility and better manage your resource planning and project progress with real-time data. The software takes into account costs and financial KPIs. Stafiz is a SaaS for managing resource planning, project management and business intelligence. So budgets and margins are always respected and you make better decisions for your business.
To learn more about the Stafiz platform, request a demo.
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