In the next couple of blogs, we want to explore some of the areas of resource management that can be the most problematic in more detail, starting with resource allocation. 

Resource allocation often gets less attention that the related concept of risk utilization, but it is arguably more important.  Resource allocation is about what your people are doing.  If you don’t have resources assigned to appropriate work, they are going to become frustrated, anxious and disengaged.  They will feel that you don’t care about them and productivity will suffer. 

What effective resource allocation requires

Effective allocation requires you to: 

  • Consider the type of work – have you assigned an individual to tasks that match their skills and experience? 
  • Consider the amount of work – have you assigned a person to enough work to keep them busy without giving them too much to do within a given timeframe? 
  • Consider transition between work – have you allowed enough time to adjust from one task or project to the next, and is the number of required adjustments limited to avoid creating additional stress and confusion? 
  • Consider each individual’s preferences – have you allocated each person to the type of work that they enjoy and want to perform? 
  • Consider variances between planned and actual work – is the work taking as much time and effort as expected or do allocations need to be adjusted? 

If any one of these elements is misaligned, there is increased risk of your team, or some members, becoming demotivated and disengaged.  That can easily damage performance for the organization.  When you experience those problems across multiple people and teams, the problems can become serious. 

Without visibility into resource allocation, you will find it difficult to prevent or correct these issues.  In fact, you may not even be aware that they are occurring.  Accurately tracking resource allocations requires a quality project portfolio management (PPM) solution such as Sciforma’s.  That tool must be able to handle not only the enterprise level allocations that are tied to your resource utilization, but also to monitor allocations at the project and individual level. 

How to monitor resource allocation successfully

Only then can you understand the macro-level allocations that are happening across the portfolio of initiatives, and manage your resources at the individual level where real people are experiencing real impacts on their ability to deliver, and on their personal motivation.  Your ability to understand resources at all levels is a critical capability for your organization to succeed. 

When you have this level of insight, all of your stakeholders (resource owners, portfolio, program, and project managers) can make adjustments quickly, with minimal disruption, and maximum effectiveness.  They can balance the need to deliver successful initiatives, with the imperative of maintaining an engaged and motivated workforce.  It really is the difference between success and failure. 

With Gallup reporting that employee engagement still remains below 25% globally, and that employee stress remains at a record high, it is essential that your organization takes an active, aggressive approach to protecting your people, while still retaining the ability to deliver successful initiativesWithout the ability to manage resource allocations efficiently and effectively, you simply can’t do that.

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