Without effective Resource Management, most organizations find themselves struggling to optimize or even maintain a strong project portfolio. But creating plans and processes around resources can bring organizations improved process agility, enhanced decision making, increased operational efficiencies, reduced time to market, revenue growth, and many more benefits. This buyers’ guide will help you pinpoint your exact challenges and discover how a powerful resource management tool can address obstacles and achieve benefits. Discover whether you’re in the market for resource management tools and the best options for your organization’s needs.
Low-tech and No-tech Portfolio Management
Even with the evidence of high ROI on portfolio management tools, often as high as 281% within a year, organizations still struggle to adopt technology and solutions to manage project portfolios at an executive level.1
Technology adoption can admittedly be a slow and involved process, but by 2018 almost 75% of companies had adopted a CRM.2 It’s surprising, then, that only 22% of organizations have adopted a portfolio management software solution, despite the major financial drawbacks of being without one.
One survey shows that “only 20% of companies use a standardized set of project management solutions, while 49% rely on an assortment of tools more focused on day-to-day project management tasks.”3 Even more striking is that “the remaining 24% rely on simple tools, such as spreadsheets and Word documents, and 4% have no tools, relying largely on written or verbal communication to track project progress.”
And according to another 2018 survey of over 300 organizations, almost half of PMOs are using Microsoft Excel as their primary tool to manage project resources.4 The next largest group (18%) reported using no particular software tool.
Resource Management At-a-Glance
“As its name suggests, Resource Management shifts the focus away from the tasks to be done, and on to the key resources required – budget, skills and time – to ma ximize the profitability of those tasks. Resource Management provides an overview of your agency’s resources, and how they are allocated to each project.”5
Resource Management aims to make efficient allocation and use of an organization’s finite (and often limited) resources by creating plans and processes around resources—their skills, availability, location, capacities, cost, etc.6
By assessing resources early for best fit on a project’s needs, resource allocation can be done with confidence. Later on, time-consuming and potentially costly mid-project resource redistribution can be avoided.
“Because work shifts from person to person, as people collaborate back and forth, work can easily end up on the shoulders of only a few key team members. This can mean others are sitting idle waiting for them to reply or toss the work back. You need to be able to monitor those workflow trends and be able to quickly reallocate idle resources.”7
Resource Management tools should give you visibility and control of:
- Resource requests
- Resource modeling
- Resource forecasting
- Scenario planning
- Visualized updates & changes
Working Without Resource Management
Top 10 Project Portfolio Frustrations
Consider how many of the following frustrations your organization currently identifies with:
- Your organization lacks project visibility and transparency, especially across multiple offices.
- You can’t reply to project requests fast enough.
- You have more projects than resources available.
- You need to reduce overallocations.
- You don’t have the capacity to increase your total number of projects.
- Your portfolio contains several underutilized resources.
- You are working with de-centralized data.
- Your portfolio management style is reactive, not proactive.
- You need to optimize your decision-making process.
- You lack capacity to increase speed to market or products to market.
- Your resource managers aren’t using your portfolio management tool.
If your organization is experiencing more than 2 of these project portfolio frustrations, it may be time to seek out a Resource Management solution.
Top Needs Driving Organizations to Resource Management Tools8 Enhance decision making
- Improve customer relations/service
- Improve business process outcomes
- Create internal/operational efficiencies
- Cost management
- Reduce time to market
- Drive innovation
- Drive revenue growth
- Improve compliance & risk management
Most Desirable Features of Resource Management Tools9
- Ease of use
- Analytics (supply-demand analysis)
- Scenario building
- Visual data
- Centralized communications and notifications
- Product support
- Quick deployment
- Quality investment
Siemens Healthineers Shift to Resource Management
Siemens Healthineers (formerly Siemens Healthcare) is a leading global medical technology company headquartered in Erlangen, Germany. As a subsidiary of Siemens AG, they enable their customers to deliver high-quality medical and patient care in the most efficient and affordable manner.
Dirk Nadler, Project Manager for Research and Development within Laboratory Diagnostics:
On managing expanding project teams
“In the old days, a project was mainly planned, managed, and run within one group. Nowadays our project teams consist of around eight functions—there’s often 150 to 200 people working on these projects across these eight functions over three to eight years.”
On outdated project scheduling tools and methods
“There was very isolated planning in Excel sheets. Every function worked on its own—the annual budget planning, for example in isolation from the rest of the team and plans never worked together. They ended up planning with different assumptions and different goals.
“That’s when I could see what the real problem here was: there was not enough collaboration, not enough transparency, and there was no system which utilizes who was working (and how much) on a project. This all needed to be brought together to foster a communication betweenprojects and functions.”
On searching for a dedicated Resource Management tool
“The problem with these [other] tools is you introduce more problems and more change when you implement a PPM tool. So, your organization must learn not only resource management best practices, but also project portfolio process application, plus consistent scheduling, and a much more complex tool.
“Most resource management tools are basically a by-product of a PPM tool. Even if it’s sold as a stand-alone resource management tool, you often see aspects of the solution coming from a PPM tool, and you must do things that have nothing to do with resource management because of this legacy.”
On what Resource Management needs to deliver
“Project cycle time is one metric that we are measured on, but in the end, it’s really about results. Our CEO wants to know ‘what bang for my buck do I get over the next three to five years?’ Or ‘if I develop a certain strategy will it be successful?’”
On implementation and real cultural change
“You can put it into an organization in two ways: you can treat the tool as a problem-solver: put it in, don’t change anything, just move away from Excel to this central tool. Don’t change the attitude to workload, how you make decisions, and you will have more visibility and a little impact.
“Or you could go further and change the culture of how you conduct your resource management and how you make decisions: build better cornerstones and a strong framework, discover how people handle certain situations and support them. If you implement like this, then the solution is going to hold real value.”
Business Case for Resource Management
Savings, Benefits, and ROI
According to a Forrester Total Economic Impact Report, Project Portfolio Management tools can bring an organization some of the following time and cost benefits:10
- 15% decrease in project failure rate
- 10% decrease in project overruns
- 10% decrease in project throughput times
- 10% reduction in number of low-value projects
- 25% reduction in administrative time
Beyond these measurable benefits, resource-focused project portfolio practices can give an organization the kind of strategic flexibility it needs to “respond effectively to various aspects of a changing competitive environment.”11
Resource Management is not designed to offer just a one-time ROI. Rather, it offers organizations the ability to create strategic options and pursue them with flexible resources, all of which will bring continued value.
While traditional PPM looks to choose a single best plan of action, Resource Management is designed to offer a range of options so that teams can stay prepared to respond to changing conditions. Ultimately, organizations with mature Resource Management increase flexibility while reducing costs and time.
Additional benefits of Resource Management include:12
- Maximizing team productivity without overwork
- Increased employee growth with comprehensive skills-based allocation
- Workforce designed specifically to match demand
- Improved hiring decisions and diversified contracts
- Increased planning time and capability
- Enhanced project portfolio ROI
4 Industry Trends Impacting Resource Management
What’s happening around your business can have as much of an impact as what’s happening inside. Changing economic contexts as well as Project Portfolio Management Trends stand to influence how organizations approach Resource Management and how they select the best fit tools.
Continued Resource Scarcity
Most research predicts that the shortage of resources isn’t going to ease in the near future.13
Therefore, optimizing workloads and team distribution is becoming critical to maintaining project portfolio stability. Decisions about new and current projects will need to be based on reliable capacity planning.14
“There is a growing awareness that rough, yet complete, resource planning is more helpful for this purpose than precise planning for only a few projects. The rule of thumb “complete and sufficient” is increasingly acceptable.” -The Project Group
The rise of remote work is partly due to the growing gig economy, and partly due to ever improving technology that makes remote communication easy and reliable.15
Teams now are:
These teams and their projects will need to be managed with consistency and a wider scope than ever before.
A Shifting Global Economy
As developed Western countries are falling into recession, others are stepping in as economic leaders, particularly Russia, Brazil, India, China, and Turkey. With this power shift and continued globalization, McKinsey posits that investment will also shift to these other countries.17 Specifically, 84% of non-farming jobs are being created in developing economies. Add to that the younger workforce embracing digitization more quickly that Western countries, and many organizations are left desperately needing to update and optimize their project portfolio management practices.
“The capability to respond quickly to changing circumstances also requires personnel with the right capabilities and competencies as well as the right structures and culture to be in place.” -Project Management Institute
More and Better Data
Project portfolios shouldn’t just report data, they should be set up from the beginning to collect the right types of data.18 Insights for teams and stakeholders should be:
Resource planning and forecasting should use this data to enhance profitability and overall portfolio success.
Reviewing Tempus Resource by ProSymmetry
Key Drivers for Choosing to Partner with ProSymmetry19
- Product functionality and performance
- Strong services expertise Product roadmap and future vision
- Strong user community Strong customer focus
- Overall cost
- Strong consulting partnership
- Breadth of services
- Enable the implementation of Resource Portfolio Management
What Clients Are Saying20
Customer reviews have been edited for length and clarity.
“With Tempus, we implemented a great solution to get full transparency and control over all of our resources, capacities, and projects. The experience is nearly perfect: fast implementation and configuration. With no other tool can you make Scenario Analyses to have a fast overview of the effects of new or updated project/resource allocations. And with Demand Planning, it’s possible to see the expected impact of initial or very early project plans.”
“Tempus is a remarkable resource. It has made us execute large and medium sized projects just as if we’re dealing with small projects.”
“High level support, super responsive, understood my requirements, and clear on pricing.”
“Tempus Resource Management tool shows high usability and provides all necessary features for a valuable planning approach. The Timesheets functionality enables easy comparison of plan and actual data in one tool and is therefore relevant for business development.”
“The collaboration works fantastically. Support is always given, and the tool is easy to handle. Our functional requirements are always incorporated in upcoming versions and the tool improves with every update. It is widely accepted by the organization.”
“The Tempus Resource Management software is intuitive. After a short training, it’s easy to use. Support response is very fast and good. The ProSymmetry Tempus Resource Management software makes Resource Management transparent and easy to handle.”
“Tempus fit our organization like a glove! It was so intuitive, I learned it in two 1-hour demos and was able to train up the entire PMO and the executive committee. It has a lot of depth which I am still learning but you can hit the ground running in no time at all! The simulations are great, and you can see the impact to your resources as you drag the projects across the timeline, shrink or expand the timelines, and update capacity. Everything just works! We looked for a capacity planning tool for two years. Finding Tempus solved all our tooling problems.”
“The Tempus program has been great at tracking and allowing us to easily manage the resources within our organization effectively. The reporting mechanisms are easy to use and give us a great way to mine the information we need to make better decisions, as a business, against our projects and programs. Overall, it is a great system and does meet our business needs effectively.”
“Best what-if scenario planning on the market, and it comes out of the box. So quick to configure resource pool, project capacity, and assignments. What takes days to set up in Project + Project Online or ServiceNow takes hours in Tempus. Very intuitive user interface. Also, intuitive sync with MS Project / Excel. With the big PPM solutions, it takes so long to set up that resource managers end up doing resource planning in Excel—not so with Tempus. Other solutions force you to toggle in and out of screens and click around the screen, wasting time. With Tempus, the info you are looking for is on the screen or 1-2 clicks away. Analysis is just what you expect for resource demand planning. So easy to see what other projects a resource is on when doing what-if analysis and see the effects of those projects if allocations are changed.
“We did a comparison between Project Online, ServiceNow, Anaplan, and Tempus. A best of breed resource analysis solution like Tempus is the way to go.”
“We installed Tempus Resource Management last May. The configuration was quite easy and flexible. We were able to setup complex security groups, which allowed Resource Managers to manage only their teams. The decision makers really like the bird’s-eye view heat map of the modeler. ProSymmetry support is really responsive. We get helpful answers within a couple hours.”
“Tempus presents an elegantly simple but powerful data model with beautifully rendered and insightful visualizations. And if you hit any bumps in the road, the ProSymmetry support team will be there to help you out.”
“The product is easy to use, and vendor is responsive to enhancement requests. We have complicated resourcing scenarios and this product helps us manage our resource assignments while investigating what-if scenarios.”
“The actual implementation was really easy. Data migration and setup of the environment was a matter of days. We did a careful upfront evaluation on the tool, knowing what we implement at a time, where the application is rebuilt from scratch. We were in close contact with ProSymmetry and they prioritized our requirements, so we had everything we needed for the planned go live. Since then, we kept working with ProSymmetry on evolving the solution and so far, they are the most responsive and open company I ever have experienced. Just 1 year after implementation, we have already overachieved what we thought we can do in this time and starting now to plan a PPM tool implementation and connect it to Tempus Resource.”
“Tempus focuses on the problem we try to solve and does very well. While providing a simple workflow for the resource management, it has a great real-time functionality to enable Resource Portfolio Management on a next level. With the transparency we have achieved in less than 6 months after going live, we now can discuss projects very differently and can make better, more informed decisions.”
“The vendor’s knowledge of resource planning and willingness to share helped the transition into a workspace that was new to me. Overall, the solution is very easy to configure, user-friendly, and the vendor listens to customer feedback.”
“The product uses a simple and elegant solution to resolve the challenge of Resource Allocation/Resource Management. Their willingness to help us when we started using the product made a difference in the quick adoption. The most useful tool for us has been their What-if area, where we can create different planning scenarios—initiatives, priorities, and project timelines for each scenario without affecting our current program/project plans.”
“Many vendors operate in the resource management space, but only one, Tempus Resource, has provided the agility and capability to accurately forecast and manipulate resource and project data to establish an ‘ideal portfolio scenario’ to help us drive the right business outcomes. Our experience with ProSymmetry has been highly collaborative and successful. ProSymmetry is agile in its thinking and approach, and our feedback has been quickly adopted into their roadmap and delivered with speed and precision.”
“Implementation is extremely easy. IT departments or integration vendors are not needed. Reporting and charting functionality is easy to use and train others on intuitively. No advanced reporting skill set needed for users. Great response and support.”
“An innovative product that focuses on solving real business problems, avoiding the common problems of many IT/ Portfolio solutions that introduce unnecessary complexity.”
Product or Service Replaced by Tempus21
- MS Project Server
- Microsoft PPM
- Team Track
- Service Now
- Planview/Innotas (PPM Pro)
Other Vendors Considered before Partnering with ProSymmetry22
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)
- CA Technologies
- Genius Inside
- Decision Lens
- Onepoint Projects
4 https://www.wellingtone.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/The-State-of-Project-Management-Survey 2018-FINAL.pdf
8 https://www.gartner.com/reviews/market/project-portfolio-management-worldwide/vendor prosymmetry/v1?sort=-helpfulness
9 https://www.gartner.com/reviews/market/project-portfolio-management-worldwide/vendor prosymmetry/v1?pageNum=4&sort=-helpfulness.
10 “The ROI of Project Portfolio Management Tools: A Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) Analysis Uncovers Significant Benefits” by Craig Symons. Published by Forrester, 2009.
11 “Preparing for an Uncertain Future: Managing Organizations for Strategic Flexibility” by Ron Sanchez. Published in International Studies of Management & Organization, 1997. www.jstor.org stable/40397372.
12 “The Benefits of Resource Management” published on Project Management Works, 2017.
19 https://www.gartner.com/reviews/market/project-portfolio-management-worldwide/vendor prosymmetry/v1?pageNum=4&sort=-helpfulness
20 https://www.gartner.com/reviews/market/project-portfolio-management-worldwide/vendor prosymmetry/v1?pageNum=4&sort=-helpfulness
21 https://www.gartner.com/reviews/market/project-portfolio-management-worldwide/vendor prosymmetry/v1?pageNum=4&sort=-helpfulness