Catch the replay of our latest webinar to discover the powerful impact of improving communication between resource and project managers.
From auditors to engineers to IT departments, an organization needs visibility into ongoing projects as well as the resource capacity available to complete the work.
Learn how Tempus Resource’s enhanced Resource Portfolio Management System provides the visibility and control Resource Managers need to quickly and efficiently get work into the hands of the best people for the job.
During this presentation, you will get a behind-the-scenes demonstration of Tempus Resource features, including:
- How to automate the process of resource requests
- How Tempus forms an integrated marketplace for resources
- How this platform enables you to match supply with demand
- How project managers and resource managers can negotiate for resource availability
- How to form an auditable trail around resource request and changes
- And more!
Transcript: Improve Communications and Resource Manager Involvement with Resource Request Workflows using Tempus Resource
Welcome everybody! My name is Greg Bailey. I just got off another session. I’m not standing at the podium and obviously I’m not doing any of these events because they’ve all recently been canceled up through August so I’m sure most of you are working remotely. I know quite a few of you are in many parts of the world from Saudi Arabia to the UK to other countries in Europe and to The United States of America here, so I do want to welcome you today. I know in some cases it’s late at night there so again really a pleasure to be able to talk to you.
Today’s session is going to be talking about resource communication between the PM and resource manager. We will dig into the product and actually show that today slightly different than the session we just got off which was more talking with Donna Fitzgerald and process and capability maturity model. Just know many clients across the world where we work with many of them and their resource management process, just some examples here of all the various companies that we work with. As we get into this session, we know that a lot of the people on this call are either using Excel or they may be using a PPM tool and they’re doing scheduling.
What We Do
Two things I want to get into today. One is how do you get communication between resource managers and project managers. There’s many ways that we do that even without a tool, but I will show you how we can allow you all to communicate either through a central view where you’ll do a what-if scenario modeling or if it’s more of a remote environment how people would put in or enter requests and then after entering those requests having it go to the resource manager and them approving and rejecting and all the traditional things that you might have that would help you automate that process. Now, when we look at why we want to have PMs and resource managers communicate is that what are we trying to do. Right? We’re trying to look at all of the work we have going on, all of the projects. In some cases, many of you are doing audits so when I use the term projects it could be audits you’re working on. Some of you on this call are in the engineering space so you’re delivering products and then there are others on this call that are in IT that are delivering it projects. But the whole idea is we need to know and get the big picture so we’re looking at all these projects that we’ve got going on and we’re looking at the resources we’ve got, we need to be able to know where do we have the capacity to do this work. So when we look at, for example, all this demand that’s coming in so you have audits you have to complete, you have projects you’re working on, you have service requests happening, so again various verticals that we’ve got on this call here. You need to be able to now say alright, I’ve got this request, I need resources to be able to deliver on that request, so how do we communicate that with all of this other stuff that we’ve got going on and we’re trying to deliver for the corporation itself?
How Did We Get Here?
So now when we take a look at it and we want to be able to go to looking at how we communicate. Right? How did we get here? So again, in many cases, we always see a lot of talk about well to communicate we’ve got to be certified, let’s look at processes, and we’ve got all this data. In many cases people started out trying to use many of these PM tools that are on the market. One of the things we’ve seen is that a lot of people have tried to use these tools and, in many cases, they fall back on what they’re comfortable with so we’re still seeing a lot of Excel in the marketplace. Again, nothing wrong with that but it does not make it easy when you’re using Excel to be able to share Excel files around, to be able to communicate between users and in many cases what we find is that again people have gone down the path of detailed project schedules.
Again, I’m not doggin’ these at all, so many of are using a Microsoft Project or another tool. Those are great tools to leverage and to be able to set that information up, they tend to be very detailed. But again, what we tend to find is you’ve got all of these various PMs, each building their schedules and how are they able to communicate that data to, you know they all have their requests and they have all of the managers that are trying to fulfill those requests and we’re always looking at how many projects can we do, how many proposals can we approve, how many people do we need to hire, and again in today’s environment things have changed pretty dramatically. Right? Because obviously we’re working remotely, some projects have moved forward, some projects have been moved out, and in some cases staff has actually been reduced and so we’re really kind of in this whole mode now of how do we deliver on this stuff and how do we communicate. Even if you do have a PMO, we can go alright, we’ve got all this data, let’s just go ahead and start building big Excel sheets, let’s start using Power BI, let’s start using Power Pivot, there’s all kinds of things that we can do to enable us to do that but it tends to end up being so confusing and so difficult and very hard to determine, since we really can’t come up with a good answer and just confuse the whole process and just give the answer we know that they’re looking to do.
Why Focus on Resource Management?
Focus on resource management is critical and being able to answer all these questions that people are asking you because again, you’re got to keep the lights on things happening, you’ve got projects that were in the pipeline. You’re trying to still obviously focus on what your corporate strategy is whether it’s making a profit, delivering services to an external customer or internal customer. In many cases, these projects have changed and then obviously sometimes in the case of your resource requirements they’ve been reduced as well so it’s important to know how are you going to be able to staff all that work that you’ve got going on.
Even More Reason to Focus on Resource Management
Again being very critical, resource management is still important. This is actually from Gartner. It’s a Hype Cycle report and what you’re going to notice is that in many cases on this left-hand side of the screen here. Many people come up this process here. They might have PPM tools or a lot of systems. I see ServiceNow, other products in the market that they’re using. They tend to have a pretty big disillusionment. Again, this is not actually me saying this. This is a Gartner Hype-Cycle report. So high expectation, pretty big trough of disillusionment in getting those in place especially for this resource to project manager communication. But there are ways to make it easier to get those resources to communicate with the PMs. It is critical to do it because you’ll get a long-term value.
Now I’m not going to go into the fact that we’re the what-if. By the way if you are using other systems, you can connect into them whatever tool it is. So for a live case here now I’m actually going to bring up and I’m going to ask just one thing. If anyone in this audience here can raise your hand in the chat box, then I at least I know you’re hearing me ok and you’re seeing my screen alright as well. Thank you so much. Really appreciate your doing that for me.
So two key components I’m going to focus on right now is how do you automate the process of someone requesting a resource that having resource managers approve it and what’s that cycle. So I’ll go into that with you. And then also, as I mentioned, how are you able to say communicate together where you’ve got all this work that’s taking place. I want to see where I’m over- and under-allocated and then be able to do things like, in this case, let’s just do a quick look. I can see, for example, we have a lot of people over-allocated but let’s just say for example, Allison is over-allocated and you’re working with the PM and you’re going to try and say I need to find some other people that are available that can accomplish that work so instead of Allison working on it, I can Beverly’s got some availability so let’s go ahead and put Beverly on that work instead. I’ll come back and show you in the scenario planning but let’s just start out how resource requests would take place.
So you’re looking at Tempus Resource right now. It is an enterprise resource capacity planning tool. We obviously are going to start out with our resources. In some cases, we’re going to start out by requesting named people, so you’ve got a listing of your resources or you may actually have folks who are requesting generic resources. So you might say I need an auditor. I need a software engineer. I need a Harder engineer. I need someone from R&D. I need a clinical writer. So whatever it is you’re requesting, you can request a generic resource or a named resource and then have that request go to the functional manager.
In the system you’re going to be able to define these resources, but you’re also going to be able to define who their resource managers are. Let me just show you an example. If it’s a timesheet user we can do that as well, but we can define who the resource managers are, are they resource manager, and then whether or not a resource requires an approver or not. So just know in the system it’s easy to set up that workflow approver. We can go into an individual demo with you. Just send me an email. We can set up a WebEx specific to your requirements.
Let’s go in now and say hey, we have work taking place. Now I have a number of different projects already set up, some R&D type projects. I was at Estee Lauder in New York and so some of these are from that. I’ve got some IT projects in here. I have some auditing projects in here. I have some projects in here related to audits. So just know this can be used for any type of work that’s taking place where you’re requesting. So I’m just going to use an example. I’ll just pick this particular project here. Let’s say I’ve got a new project and on this project I have to request resources. Now as I mentioned, I can either have it where I’m requesting a generic resource or I’m requesting a named resource. So whoever in your process is requesting a resource, they’re going to be able to request either by quantity or FTE and they can do it by, some of you are doing quarterly planning, some of you are doing monthly planning, some of you are doing weekly planning, some of you do daily. But again in general it’s very simple to say I need this resource and I need two of them from here to here. That’s if you do it by headcount. Or some people do it by percentage of time. I need 50 percent of this generic resource’s time or some of you do it by hours. You say specifically I need a hundred hours of Lisa’s time. So by entering your request, you’re basically saying on this project I need these generic resources or this named person. Very simple. It’s just like Excel. There’s a lot of other ways that we can enter this request but I’m just kind of giving you a general feel right now. This is how you just put the initial request in. Then you can say great. That’s the request I want and if you notice I can have, in this case, these requests have been sent off.
Now some of you do the requesting at this high level. Some of you do this requesting at a more detailed level. So, for example, some of you kind of build schedules. So if you do it that way you can get to more detailed as well. Some of you may be using a Microsoft Project. You can also use that or another system and have those requests flow through as well. So, however you do it, whether you’re doing it at a high level or you’re doing it at a more detailed level, Tempus can support that.
So request goes in the system. We now have the case where that request flows to a manager. And again I’m showing you one example here how that might actually take place. So that resource comes to the manager and that manager could see the various requests that they have. Now again this was pre-set up so I can see that I have one request for Greg. Again, if you remember, this could be a request for those generic resources. I need a PM. I need a senior auditor. I need a systems analyst. So you could be requesting generic resources as well. So now I can go in and look at this request. I have the ability to see either how much time they’re looking for from that manager. So someone’s saying I need Greg for 64 hours. Or again, I need X percentage of Greg’s time or I have this FTE that I need of Greg. I need half of an FTE or whatever. So again this request has come in. What are you going to do? One, you can just say I approve that you know maybe I’ll go down and look at Greg’s schedule to see whether Greg’s available or not available. Obviously these people are over-allocated. Or I can say I reject it. No, you can’t have Greg or hey, this should be delegated to another manager. Really this is not something I should deal with. Or you might say, I’m not going to give you Greg but I’m going to give you Abigail. Or I’m going to give you Abigail and Amy. So again, I can go through and look at my team and see who I’ve got available. I’ll just give you an example. I’m going to look at Abigail and Allison. I might say I’m going to give 20 percent of Abigail’s time on this and then maybe I’ll give 20 percent of Allison. So instead of giving it to Greg, I’m going to split the work between these two and so no longer will Greg be on this work, but I’m going to put the work on Abigail and Allison. Remember this could be that generic resource as I mentioned, a PM, a system analyst, a senior auditor, a hardware engineer so instead of the generic I’m saying, I’m going to give you these two resources. Main thing to show you, very simple, very easy, allows you to say I’ve got a request coming in. I’m now going to fulfill that request. I’m going to apply those changes and then that data would be updated to the project itself.
So if you think about your organization, in some cases that’s the way you do it today. Someone is requesting a resource. It goes to a manager and you need a way for them to fulfill the request. We make it very simple and very easy for you to automate that through this resource request process.
Some of you have a different process there. We’re just giving you some examples here during this demo and then you have the ability, we can do a follow-up with you on that. There are others where you’ve got a team that creates projects and then you just tell the RMs, I need you to go load those projects with your team because you know what it’s going to take to do that work. So I do see a lot of times the resource managers going into these bulk project allocation screens. I have two different modes. I’ll show you the Flat Grid. It’s kind of like a flat Excel grid and so in essence what this does is the manager can go in and say, alright I’ve got to go in a resource load maybe these two projects. These are two new projects that have come up and I’m going to assign my team and if you notice, it builds a simple spreadsheet down below and now they could go in and say, alright I’m going to assign Amy again by FTEs or percentage of time or hours by quarter, by month. Again, I’m going to keep it at a quarter, but it’s really simple. But I could go in and say, I’m going to put Amy on this. Let’s say I’m going to use 50 hours here and I’m just going to copy and paste. So if you’ll notice I’m just assigning various resources, Amy and Carolyn and Christopher to multiple projects. I can have a heat map here as well. If I wanted to I could have custom fields here that I fill out. I don’t have to do that but just know you have the ability to look at other data on this grid. In fact, let’s get rid of those attributes on this grid. Think of it as just a big Excel sheet that I’m able to go in and do my work. Many of you are using Excel, so if you don’t have the process of the resource request, this is going to allow you to go in and have your resource managers go in and do their resource assignments. Again I see PMs doing this as well. It is just going to depend on your organization. This is just sort of a flat grid. You’re able to edit it.
We do have some clients when they’re doing this editing they’ll use this bulk project allocation grid. The difference is, if you’ll notice, I’m just going to add Amy to these projects so I had more of an expand and contract mode. Then I’m going to put Amy on this Pure Color Envy so I expand it. Where the other one was sort of a flat grid, it was all expanded at one time, where this one allows me to expand and contract. There’s no right or wrong way to enter this data. Because we deal with so many global companies and where they may have a small department doing resource planning or they may be doing resource planning for hundreds or even tens of thousands of resources, some prefer this mode and some prefer the other mode. It’s purely personal preference. The main thing is we make it easy for you to get off an Excel and/or communicate with your existing PM tool that you might have as well. So very, very simple there. By the way, if you do have questions, feel free to put those in the Q&A box and I’ll try to answer those as I go along through this demo, or again, pop me an email and we’ll set up a specific one for you. We also have free trials.
The key thing is that data is getting into the system whether you’re entering it directly in this mode, in the bulk mode or we may be pulling data in from a Microsoft project or a Microsoft project server or a Clarity or some other system and you could have it kick off our resource request process that we’ve got here. However, that happens you can have now a system here where it’s very simple for the resource managers to have that Excel-like user experience. In many cases I also see where you all get together in meetings. Now we’re seeing a lot more web-based meetings versus in-person meetings so you might have a case where you all get together. It could be you’re not even requesting the resources, it’s just that everybody is entering the resources that they need and so then you get together and say, alright we’ve got all our requests in so we have all these projects or audits now taking place. So I want to find out where I am over-allocated or where I have open capacity by role and I can get down to the named person also. I’ve got a lot of data migration specialists available, but I can see in this case that we’ve over-allocated Harold. So we’re going to allow you to either view it by role or if you’ve got things grouped by department or location or skill or whatever, you’re going to be able to group things by whatever attribute you want to group things by. So what happens then? The PMs and the RMs are getting together or maybe the executive team gets together and says, we’ve got a real problem here. I’ve got no way to hire any additional audit managers or creative directors or clinical writers or data migration specialists. So you’ve got two choices. You have the option of saying, what work do we have going on at that time. You can either say, let’s look at which projects are going on and look at what their priorities might be and so maybe we’ll say, one option is we slip this project out. So we’re trying to get rid of that over-allocation because we can’t have an over-allocation because we can’t hire any more so what if we slip that out, show me the impact of that slippage and then, in this case, it’s showing me in real time my allocation before and what’s my allocation after. Now we have a lot of over-allocations we still have to deal with but I’m focusing on this one here so we can see that we fix that over-allocation by slipping a project out. That’s just one option we have with the PMs and the RMs saying, can we move this project out? That will help us alleviate this over-allocation as an example.
Some other things that we see people doing is if I go look at this view, we might have a case where we might say, this particular project, what if we just cancel this employee seminar training? We’re over-allocated, we’re just not going to be able to get to it right now, so what if we just don’t do it. So let’s exclude it and now let’s look at the impact of doing that. In this case it was training for our audit managers. I can see we were over-allocated. Now we’re under-allocated. Well we weren’t quite over-allocated. Here we were in April. So we basically said, let’s assume we’re just not going to do that training. So again you’re communicating with your people saying, alright this one we might have to not do. Or you might, as I mentioned before, say we’re just going to delay this project. Or you might say, what if we just spread that out over a longer period of time. So in this environment we’re in today or even post-Covid, and I’m sure many of you are going through this today. You’re doing what-if scenarios today because you’re always in your meetings going, what if we do this, what if we do that. So think about how you’re doing that today. Whether you’re using Excel, whether you’re using Project Online, Clarity, ServiceNow, whatever it is, some audit management tool, it’s not easy to be able to do this what-if analysis and do that resource manager, project manager communication.
Now, other communication that comes up. This is a live case study that I know comes up all the time is that maybe there’s new projects that you’ve got to do now. So it could be if you’re a bank or financial institution you’ve got to quickly put in a new system where you can collect all of the requests for the loans that are coming out from the government. So you’ve got to either build a new system or change a new system or maybe you’ve got some new regulatory requirements so you just would like to know when could we slide it in based on the resources we have. So you could say, show me when I could slot it in. The system’s going to say, based on the resources you have, here’s where I could slot it in where 100 percent of them are available. Sounds great. In a perfect world you might say, great, no problem. We’ll do that in 2022. But, let’s say it’s some system you say, no way, we can’t live with that. Assume I’ve got less resources because I’ve got to get it done earlier. So let’s say we’ve got to kick this off in May. Let me show you where your gaps are going to be. Beverly you’ve over-allocated. You don’t have enough analysts. You might say, I don’t care. We have to do this. This is urgent. So let’s assume we’re going to do it on that date because now we’re going to move some other work around. So then you might say, alright let’s assume we’ve got to get this regulatory project in. Great. This is Jiro Phase 13 project was going on at the same time so what I’m going to ask is, when could we slot that one in where we have no gaps. We’re going to move this one way out here, so let’s go assume we’re going to move it out here, we’ll still have to deal with Angela but everyone else is good so now I’m going to move that project out. If you can think about in real time communicating the resource load you’ve got versus all the work you’re taking place and be able to do this what-if analysis and communicate at RM PM in real time here. You can be doing this live on line or as probably many of you are doing right now, you’re just flipping emails back and forth or you’re on Skype and you’re trying to do it that way. This makes it really easy to do that what-if.
Some other what-ifs I see, sad to say, but in some cases, we just did a WebEx here earlier, you go, you know what. We’re going to have to reduce our consultants just because we’ve got to reduce our budget so you might say I have a decrease of a percent of let’s say 50 percent decrease. So you might say, I’m going to reduce by 50 percent my available consultants that I’m going to use, you might have your existing staff. So you might want to know what’s going to be the impact. Well, I can see really quick I’m going to have an over-allocation. But let’s assume we’re going to have a 50 percent impact I’m going to apply that so I just reduce my resources or my consultants by 50 percent, so now it’s going to at least let me know where I’m going to have an issue and what those months are and then show me what are all the projects they’ve got my consultants on. So now you might be able to say, alright maybe this one we’re going to slip out, maybe this we’re going to put it on hold because I’m just going to have to assume we’re going to have to live with that. So again, if I look at my consultants now I’m good to go. Again, I was going to be over-allocated or was going to have too much work for the number of staff so now I can live with that. So in real time headcount reduction we can always add back really quick, we can always reduce our projects, we can slip projects out, we can put projects on hold. Again, all of the things you’re doing is you’re communicating between your resource managers and your project managers doing this what-if. This is true again whether it’s audits that are taking place and/or products that you’re delivering, we’ve got a lot of medical device manufacturing companies who use Tempus, we’ve got a lot of government agencies that are using Tempus that this is impacting, we have a lot of consulting companies that this is impacting, they’re having to change, not going on-site for work and still instead they’re doing a lot of remote work, we’ve got law firms around the world that are changing the way they’re doing their business. Again, I’m just giving you a sense that whether you have a process where you want to automate that with this resource requesting internally or whether you’re just wanting to get off Excel, or you’re wanting to create what we call scenario plans or models, we make it very easy for you to be able to that type of what-if analysis.
We also give you a lot more capability than this. You are managing budgets so we can track finance, if some of you want to capture actual hours from your team members, we can do that. In some cases, you’re just wanting to get a better view into things like where you’re over-allocated and under-allocated. So you might be wanting to look at, based on my capacity just don’t have enough. You’re going to be over-allocated. Again, whether you’re looking at this by team, by department, by location, by country, by group, we’re going to have all that kind of capability available to you whether you’re building those reports directly in here really simple and easily or whether some of you I know might be using other reporting tools and we have the ability to connect to those with our data warehouse connector.
By the way, I’m just going to show you really quick creating a simple report is literally drag and drop. A lot of you are familiar with doing pivot style reports, so I might say that I want to do a resource report here, maybe I want to group things by my employment basis, and maybe you want to look at your measure so I want to take a look at planned hours. So just a quick report looking at planned hours. I want to drop my projects in. I could drop my projects in. Many of you are familiar with this or put my projects up above, either one. Here’s my project. If I wanted to put resource names in but again, creating reports as well as doing graphical kind of reports where you’re wanting to look at over- and under- allocations. Let’s just say I want to look at a report by month. Let’s go out to here. And I want to look at my allocation and I want to look at my base capacity. I want a line and I just created one of those. So again, very easy to create those kind of supply demand charts whether it’s the resource manager or the project manager wanting to know where we’ve got our capacity, where we’ve got our challenges that we have to deal with and again, as I mentioned, whether you’re wanting to view this data in more of a heat map style or more the tabular where you’re looking at where I might have challenges related to hours over-allocated, hours available, or headcount, you know where I’m going to be short headcount, or maybe this is related to budgets or finance or hours and you’re looking at day, week, month, quarter or you’re looking one year, three years, five years out, this is going to give you that real time capability to view that.
So with that being said, when we look at communicating between our resource managers and our project managers, there’s a lot of ways we can do that whether we’re automating it, whether we’re doing it through the what-if model and wanted to give you a sense of that so I really appreciate your time today in this session. I will send you a copy of the slides. I will send you a copy of this recording. I’ll stay on for a couple of minutes here if you’ve got any questions. I see I’ve got one in here. I’m going to answer that right now. We’ll take a look. Nope. Looks like there are no more questions. So, we can set up a demo. We also have free trials so we have no problem giving you access to the system and letting you test it out to see if it would be a fit for you.
Have an excellent day. Have an excellent week. Feel free to email me with any questions.