4 Steps to Optimize Resource Scheduling for Agencies
Agencies run a tight ship, carefully balancing the need of their clients, the continual cycle of new projects and the resources required to keep everything running smoothly. Oftentimes, even the most successful agencies can be affected by resource management mistakes, creating unnecessary costs and project delays.
The solution for agencies can be found in optimized resource scheduling. Creating a well-balanced, healthy, and profitable workload for your team can be done without major changes to team composition by following these four steps:
1. Create Comprehensive Resource Scheduling Methods
It’s not enough to simply put tasks on a team member’s schedule, effective resource management takes workload balance, project needs, client expectations, project timelines, and forecasting of future resource needs into account. Modern resource management solutions give resource managers insights into each individual resource as well as an overall view of all projects, including those in the pipeline. Effective resource scheduling is not simply about getting this week’s work done, it’s about making sure your team is prepared and assigned for optimal project success far into the future.
2. Visualize Accurate Time Estimates
Effective resource scheduling must be built on accurate time estimates. Estimates for both individual tasks and projects as a whole will set appropriate expectations on due dates, internally and externally, and allocate the right amount of time for team members to complete their work. Review past projects to determine if they were accurately scheduled to inform current scheduling needs. Utilize Gantt charts to create a visual representation of schedules through a time table, with dependencies clearly identified, to help to keep work flowing from one task and resource to the next. When executed on an accurate time estimate, teams can operate with exacting efficiency.
3. Leverage Skills
Assigning any available resources to keep projects moving forward is likely to slow you down in the long run. Every resource has their own unique skill set. Sometimes resources with highly sought after skills are assigned to projects that others could fill. Effective resource scheduling includes a thorough list of required skills and assigns team members to the tasks that need these skills, and adjusts project timelines to ensure the right resources are available. In the event of hard deadlines, resource schedules may need to be adjusted on the fly, causing tasks to be rearranged to make room. However, detailed schedules can anticipate these changes, helping to move tasks to other resources with similar skills and adjust task timelines for a flexible schedule that doesn’t break from sudden changes.
4. Utilize Risk Management
No matter how well run an agency may be, risk management is a necessity. There is always a possibility that something can go wrong – a task done incorrectly, a team member leaves the company, hardware breaks down – because humans and technology aren’t perfect. As a result projects may take longer and quality may be compromised. Well-crafted risk management strategies include a backup plan, helping managers take a thoughtful approach to sudden changes. These strategies include having backup resources available and timeline adjustments that can be made should delays occur. Risk management means that the path to success has fewer constraints and a lower chance for project-compromising complications without solutions. Together with an effective strategy, agencies can have an assurance that projects will consistently succeed.
Find More Success in Resource Management
Improving resource management takes time and effort, but it is possible with the right guidance. Learn more about the steps you can take for more effective resource management in our ebook, “Resource Management: What You Need to Succeed.”