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Top 5 Benefits of ‘What-if’ Forecast Planning

March 3, 2019 | By Sean Pales

When managing hundreds or thousands of resources in your organization – in some cases across state lines or international borders – all simultaneously working on multiple projects with varying priorities, budgets, and deadlines, it can be daunting to make changes to the current portfolio when new opportunities arise.

Enter ‘What-if’ forecast planning, the ultimate game-changer for the project portfolio-driven business, that allows organizations to try out hypothetical scenarios to see resourcing and timing impacts of altering projects – using real data, in real time. It’s one thing to be able to make educated guesses about the future – a risky venture without adequate insight. It’s another to have the ability to manipulate your company’s actual data and see the definitive impacts of unlimited potential outcomes, empowering decision makers to make the best decisions for their teams, and ultimately their organization.

Here are five reasons ‘What-if’ forecast planning is not only recommended, but necessary, for managing a successful project portfolio:

Maximizes Resources

Resource Management is, in fact, the people business. People are your most important asset, so protecting them should be your top priority. When testing potential scenarios of adding, reducing, or shifting resources to other projects before implementing any actual changes, it allows for more informed decision-making with less backtracking to reverse a change that may not have been ideal. Efficient resource allocation keeps staff motivated without burning out and enables organizations to more effectively utilize critical skillsets.

Encourages Transparency

When the time comes to communicate resource changes – or the decision to maintain the status quo – ‘What-if’ data provides concrete evidence behind why a particular decision is being implemented. Providing this reasoning in open, honest discussions builds trust, loyalty, and encourages resource longevity within your company.

Saves Money

Balancing multiple projects with different resources is challenging enough, let alone creating room for savings. End users can utilize ‘What-if’ forecast planning and explore different scenarios by altering project timing, expanding or contracting projects, approving or cancelling projects, and adjusting other variables as they relate to the portfolio. Measuring these factors against the bottom line gives decision makers a more holistic view of their projects and a clearer picture of where savings could occur.

Increases Flexibility

A portfolio manager’s job requires a certain knack for solving puzzles and drawing the most efficient road map to a project’s completion. Nevertheless, even the best-laid plans change, either by choice or out of necessity. ‘What-if’ analysis keeps organizations nimble. Without warning, resources become unavailable, deadlines tighten, and budgets shrink. Practicing these scenarios before they happen educates the business on more than one option of how to best utilize their resources, making sudden changes easier to navigate.

Provides Control

Avoid being at the mercy of unforeseeable variables that could throw your resource plans off track. Proactively mapping out scenarios leaves decision makers better prepared to capitalize on an opportunity or avoid a pitfall. When challenges present themselves, you can make smart decisions based on a thorough understanding of your resource pool’s strengths, weaknesses, and capacity gained through ‘What-if’ forecast planning.

The ‘What-If’ Forecast Planning Solution from Tempus Resource

The first of its kind in the PPM or RPM industries, Tempus Resource offers an exclusive ‘What-if’ analysis feature. The Tempus Resource platform has the ability to test hypothetical resourcing scenarios by connecting to your organization’s live data, allowing you to perform real-time modeling with the most up-to-date information. For example, if resources are moved from one project to focus on another, the platform shows the timing and resourcing impacts that staffing change would have on both projects in real time – before the change is officially made. If a what-if scenario makes sense to implement, Tempus Resource provides the tools and information necessary for your organization to update your portfolio with your desired changes.

Tempus Resource’s integrated capacity planning services provide an efficient, streamlined solution for tracking, modeling, and forecast planning – all in one platform. For organizations using Excel, the user-friendly interface allows for seamless migration from Excel to Tempus Resource’s tools. Simple, easy-to-use field configuration allows you to track and analyze what matters most to you.

To learn more about the full range of resource management tools offered by Tempus Resource, get in touch today.

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