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Resource Projection Best Practice 3 – Controlling Assumption Changes

StrategyDriven Resource Projection ArticleStandardized activity resource assumptions enable decision-makers to anticipate the quantity and type of resources needed to perform approved work; facilitating selection between competing alternatives, long-term resource planning, day-to-day scheduling, and performance measurement. Over time however, personnel, process, and business environment changes will necessitate reevaluation and alteration of the organization’s standardized activity assumptions. To accommodate these changes and maintain the benefits of using standardized assumptions requires establishment and use of a change control process.


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About the Author

Nathan Ives, StrategyDriven Principal is a StrategyDriven Principal and Host of the StrategyDriven Podcast. For over twenty years, he has served as trusted advisor to executives and managers at dozens of Fortune 500 and smaller companies in the areas of management effectiveness, organizational development, and process improvement. To read Nathan’s complete biography, click here.

Resource Management Warning Flag 1 – Frequent, Inaccurate Resource Needs Estimation

StrategyDriven Resource Management Warning FlagAll organizations face the dilemma of limited resources. Some organizations, through the use of deliberate work prioritization and sound resource needs estimation, ensure their resources are appropriately allocated to maximize the organization’s overall value. In other organizations, however, there exists an adversarial relationship between seniors and subordinates that results in inaccurate resource estimation and subsequently diminishes the overall value the organization is capable of producing.


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Additional Resources

StrategyDriven Contributors recommend the following resource as a guide to the common methods used to estimate resource needs for an activity or project:

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Third Edition
by the Project Management Institute


About the Author

Nathan Ives, StrategyDriven Principal is a StrategyDriven Principal and Host of the StrategyDriven Podcast. For over twenty years, he has served as trusted advisor to executives and managers at dozens of Fortune 500 and smaller companies in the areas of management effectiveness, organizational development, and process improvement. To read Nathan’s complete biography, click here.

Resource Projection Best Practice 2 – Begin with the Work

The business planning process of balancing what the organization will do with its limited resources is an iterative one. However, resource owners too often focus on the amount of resources they have and alter work estimates so the activity portfolio they are responsible for fits within the resource pool under their immediate control. This practice frequently leads to under-estimating resource needs as managers continually strive to expand their activity portfolios; resulting in reduced quality, late deliveries, and a diminished bottom line.


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Resource Projection Best Practice 1 – Standardized Assumptions

Understanding the resource cost of activities is key to creating confidence that assigned work can be completed successfully and on time. Regardless of whether activities are frequently recurring and therefore well understood or one time efforts to produce a unique product or service, the use of standardized resource assumptions greatly helps the organization anticipate the quantity and type of resources needed to perform its approved work.

 
 
 
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StrategyDriven Resource Projection Forum

Business planning is the art and science of identifying what a company should and should not do balanced by its available resources. While much of business planning focuses on setting strategic direction and defining tactical activities, achieving balance requires that significant attention be given to the critical area of resource projection.

Annualized resource projection involves a number of processes that together paint a picture of the organization’s resource availability and needs. Creation of this picture begins with development of two key elements: resource availability and standardized activity assumptions. These assumptions are then applied to the proposed activities identified during the alternative development process. The resulting all encompassing list of resource loaded activities is further honed through an iterative process involving resource projection and alternative selection into the final portfolio of activities to be pursued. Derived from this portfolio is the organization’s time bound resource availability and needs.

Capacity planning refines the annualized resource projections; giving the organization insight to the additional resources needed in order to account for the inefficiencies associated with resource scheduling; personnel hiring delays and qualification; and equipment maintenance, calibration, and retooling. Each of these inefficiencies prevent resources from being available one hundred percent of the time; thereby forcing the organization to either increase its asset base or decrease its level of activity. Capacity planning reveals the average level of inefficiency providing insight to the resource and activity planning adjustments to be made.

Focus of the Resource Projection Forum

Materials in this forum are dedicated to discussing the leading practices of companies successfully executing a resource projection program in support of strategic planning. The following articles, podcasts, documents, and resources cover those topics critical to a strong resource projection program.

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Best Practices

Warning Flags

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Whitepapers