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3 Ways What-If Analysis can Transform your Resource Management

February 19, 2018 | By Greg Bailey

What if you could predict the outcome of specific events? You would have a distinct advantage over anyone else you might be competing with. When project managers have access to sophisticated what-if analysis, they get a jump-start on organizing their project resources, enabling them to see the predicted outcomes of their projects based on the decisions they make.

This means the organization runs projects more efficiently, which has a positive effect on the bottom line.

Quick Recap On What-If Analysis

What-if analysis is a core feature of resource management, and while it won’t give you the correct lotto numbers or predict who’s going to win next year’s Super Bowl, it will enable you and your project management office (PMO) to run complicated data across your projects and see the outcome on costs and labor based on numerous variables. Importantly, what-if analysis allows an organization to test situations and concepts without the risk of having to carry them out first.

How to Do What-If Analysis

If you’ve never completed a what-if analysis, you may have questions. As most things Excel-related, what-if analysis examples show us that the feature is robust and consists of many useful tools and options. If you find yourself wondering how to use what-if analysis in Excel, you’ll find plenty of helpful tutorials online.

Make sure to go through the documentation that covers each feature to learn how to use what-if in Excel before starting the analysis. Take note of the important instructions and tips you find so you know how to select the correct values and create a useful projection. When you learn how to do what-if analysis, you’ll be able to enter all terms of a project and predict possible outcomes – all with just a click or two.  After you learn how to do what-if analysis, you’ll be equipped with a new solution to implement into your overall business strategy. 

Now that you know how to do what-if analysis, let’s take a closer look at how to use what-if analysis. In this post, we’ll present three ways this can help improve resource management at your organization.

1. More Precise Project Predictions

We’ve mentioned the idea of predicting the outcome of decisions made regarding your resources but let’s look closer at what that might entail. One of the most valuable aspects of what-if analysis is the ability to run different scenarios and see what would happen if, for example, a project manager added another five employees to a team without having to invest money and time in hiring workers. They can run the scenario, interpret the results, and make data-driven decisions about the effectiveness of the strategy, all from a simple-to-use dashboard.

Alongside the hiring example, the project manager, using what-if analysis, can ask specific questions and predict outcomes of certain actions within projects. For example:

  • What if we combined the sales and marketing teams, reducing designer hours by 25%?
  • What if we extended the ‘Never Off’ Advertising campaign deadline to the following year?
  • How would these changes affect our balance sheet this year? Would this affect our financial projection for the year?

2. Solve Resource Over-Allocation

Resource over-allocation tends to happen when there are more tasks than your resources can handle—oversights by the PMO, changes in project goals, another project added at the last minute, or other unpredictable actions or events. Overallocation can affect your project health, the quality of the work, as well as the morale of your teams. It can happen due to unrealistic expectations, mistakes over project timeframes, or when there are too many projects or tasks that can be handled by your current staff and resources.

An important aspect of resource management is being able to adapt to various changing conditions, both with your resources and with changes to project timelines or market variables. With what-if analysis, you can prepare for these fluctuations by running hundreds of different scenarios in a risk-free environment. For example, what if one of your engineers calls in sick next week? What if all your engineers went on strike the week after?

A sophisticated resource management tool like Tempus Resource forecasts the effect of those changes, so you don’t have to make decisions ‘blindly.’ Instead, you and your PMO can be prepared for all eventualities. And more importantly, with Tempus Resource, you can better organize your resources through improved visibility over your projects and avoid work overload.

3. Make Better Business Decisions

The most important business choices are complicated and often can have major repercussions on how an organization operates. This is true for your resources and whether you decide to take on or reject certain projects. In today’s competitive and ever-changing landscape, making these big decisions seems more important than ever. Businesses need to be flexible and ready to modify their strategies quickly to achieve their goals. Better decisions are made when the decision-makers have all the information they need.

For example, when deciding to add 50 new contractors to tackle a new major project, putting that project on hold, or deciding to reduce staff and decrease resource portfolio capacity, your PMO often has to make big pronouncements with only limited information at hand. By employing a sophisticated resource management tool, your project manager can use all the data at their disposal to give themselves a better overview of their project statuses and the resources allocated to these projects. This means they can base their decisions (like hiring more contractors) on up-to-the-minute information, using what-if analysis to see the outcomes of their decisions before they press any buttons.

Transform Your Business With Tempus Resource

Tempus Resource from ProSymmetry lets your resource and project managers run these different scenarios. By using what-if analysis, along with modeling data, they can help push your company strategy in the right direction.

Take control of your organization with state-of the-art resource portfolio analytics. If you’d like to see how your business can be transformed by Tempus Resource, schedule a demo.

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