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[On Demand Webinar] Understanding the Impact of Work Stoppage and Headcount Reduction on your Portfolio

Tune in to our latest webcast as we discuss how to effectively determine and communicate to leadership the effects that work stoppage and headcount reduction will have on your project portfolio.

Externalities, black swan events, and geopolitical shocks all pose a significant challenge to business operations and project portfolios. As demand slows, the primary goal of a business becomes survival. This is accomplished by slowing or stopping operations, slowing or stopping projects, and potentially reducing headcount.

The goal of this webinar is to demonstrate how you can use Tempus Resource to identify the potential impact from any of these scenarios. You’ll receive a behind-the-scenes look at how our purpose-built resource management platform allows you to:

  • Rapidly assemble what-if scenarios.
  • Create new and/or clone existing scenarios to prepare a range of hypothetical models.
  • Incorporate your assumptions into your what-if model design.
  • Simulate the effects of headcount adjustments and project delays or cancelations without altering your live data.
  • Gauge the impact of your simulations on your resource portfolio using heatmaps, supply demand graphics, gap analyses and delta reports.
  • Consolidate what-if analyses data and live data into purpose-built supply-demand reporting tools such as shale/mountain charts and dashboards.
  • And more!

Transcript: Understanding the Impact of Work Stoppage and Headcount Reduction on your Portfolio

Well thank you everybody for joining our session today, Understanding the Impact of Work Stoppage and Headcount Reduction on Your Portfolio.  I am Greg Bailey, this is me here, and we also have Sean Palas who is going to be doing the main part of the presentation today.  Thank you again for attending the session today and thank you very much, Sean, for being here.  As we get kicked off, just to let you know we are Tempus Resource by Prosymmetry.  We have quite a few clients around the world.  I know even in this session we’ve got a number of clients that are in Europe and Asia and obviously a lot of people in North America.  We hope everybody’s doing well.  Obviously everybody’s hunkered down and we’re excited that you’re on this session today.  Again, lots of clients all over the world and with that I’m going to turn it over to Sean and let Sean go through our session today on the presentation.  Sean, I’ll turn it over to you.

Hello everybody.  This is Sean Palas from ProSymmetry as Greg mentioned.  I’ll be walking you through today’s presentation on understanding the impact of work stoppages and headcount reduction on your portfolio and really targeting specific things like your resource portfolio.  So let’s get started.  I’ve just got a few slides and then I’ll jump into the live product demonstration.

So just a quick overview for those of you that don’t know, Tempus Resource is our product.  It is the premier purpose-built resource forecasting capacity planning solution on the market.  You can read more about us from Gartner peer reviews and plenty of other research that’s out there.  I’ve got a few other metrics to share on the right-hand side of the screen:  50 percent faster response to project requests, 30 percent reduction in resource over-allocation, 25 percent increase in the number of projects completed and these are just a handful of metrics that we’ve captured from our clients.  Our clients are primarily in the enterprise space whether it’s IT, IT governance product development, R&D.  We also have plenty of customers in the audit space as well, but they all see pretty significant benefits focusing on their resource portfolio using our product.  We also just completed, interestingly enough, a study with our clients trying to identify the actual cost savings and what we found we’re actually going to publish this and make it available to the broader community, but on average across our enterprise clients about a $12 million ROI year one is what we identified.  This came from a handful of very detail oriented clients and if you were to spread that out across our broader portfolio of clients, that would equate to something close to half a billion-dollar savings for our clients globally.  So pretty fantastic stuff focusing again on this resource portfolio management challenge.  The product is a standalone, it’s a broad spectrum product so it’s not just analytics and what-if analysis like we’ll focus on today, but a broad range of tools for moving off of things like Excel and other distributed tools with planning grids, bulk planning interfaces, time sheeting and all the features needed to implement comprehensive resource portfolio management.

In today’s Webinar we’re focusing on and trying to target kind of 25-30 minutes of length trying to respect your time.  This is really the first in a series of Webinars focusing on pertinent topics.  So you’ll see more and more of these coming and you’re free to attend those.  We’d love to have you and bear with me as I kind of jump through various screens, this being really the first one we’re doing especially with this shelter-in-place order and everything going on around us all over the world.

So today’s topic centered around work stoppage and headcount reduction is really fundamentally driven by externalities and how they impact the project portfolio.  So we’ve been focused on this problem since day one.  Our product was originally purely a what-if analysis engine to connect to various systems.  Then what we found was that most of them weren’t capturing any resource management data.  They had it all in Excel spreadsheets and other sorts of tools that just weren’t doing the job and hence the growth of our product.  But these externalities, Black Swan, Geopolitical shocks, whatever and however you want to categorize them, they all pose, as we’re seeing right now, a massive and significant challenge to businesses and business operations and in particular, if you drill down, that poses a pretty massive threat to project portfolios and getting even more granular, I would say probably really the most at risk is really the resource portfolio.  We’re seeing that now with Covid-19 on a few fronts:  the slowdown in operations, and the impact overall demand sort of dries up the money available and funding and ongoing business operations, but we also have literally a threat to the workforce, human beings, and what impact does that pose to the resource portfolio so in a conventional interruption externality, generally it’s a demand side and resources are at threat in those cases because we have less money and resources and your employees and contractors and so on are generally the most expensive asset across the company so those are often targeted for reduction.  Now in this case we’ve got the double whammy of not only do we have the reduction and dry-up of available financing and cash, but also people are literally at risk, so today’s session will be focusing on what impact that has and how we can identify it in the portfolio using Tempus.

So moving on, and I’m going to jump right into the demonstration here in just a minute or two, focusing on why resources are so vulnerable, and as demand slows and vanishes that the primary goal of businesses, as you can imagine just like people, is survival.  How do they survive?  They preserve cash and they do it typically by altering strategy which, in most cases, means slowing or stopping operations, slowing or stopping projects and then ultimately potentially reducing headcount.  Now I’ve got slowing or stopping projects and reducing headcount highlighted because I’m going to focus on those in side of the product demo which is now what I’m going to do.  Bear with me.  I’m going to attempt to switch my screen here to the browser and go ahead and start above again, but if you could just confirm that you can see my Tempus screen.

What we’ll do next is walk through Tempus and address some of those challenges and show you the impact and understand how you can get better visualization understanding of what those impacts are.  Before I do it I’ll just give you really, really quickly a few clicks here to show you some of the underlying data that are used to supply us with the data needed for the analysis.  Now I’m logged into Tempus.  It is a purely web-based application so I’m using Chrome in this case to connect.  You can see we have a centralized resource pool which can consist of named generic as well as generic placeholder resources, to be hired resources, W2, contract, full time or part time, all of that is maintained here.   You can build out tens of thousands of resources, we do support some sort of many super massive resource pools and you can have very small resource pools and kind of everything in between.  These can be uploaded from Excel, they can be bulk edited, the point being we have a centralized place to track and manage all of our resources along with all their attributes, along with all their capacity information, so their time base capacity and the net capacity in terms of hours, FTE.  These things can be set globally; they can be set in bulk but we have all of the underpinnings necessary for really the denominator in our allocation type calculations.  Additionally, we have a centralized project store.  Now I’m showing you the single project editing screens and this gives me a listing of the projects I have access to and there’s so much more here.  We won’t go into detail, but we allow you to track and plan in a variety of different methods, most commonly using Excel-like interfaces where it can plan by month, week, day or quarter, by hours, by cost, by FTE, by FT percentage or by man days.  All of this is entirely controlled by you with real time heat mapping and a range of other planning options as well.  So we have both high-level grids for forecasting and then of course we also have very detailed scheduling capabilities.  So you get the forecasting plan however you wish to do so.  And our most common competitor is Excel frankly, so we’re usually luring people into our cloud from Excel, and all of these screens can be edited in bulk.  I can bulk edit my forecast, bulk edit my resource allocation so all that can be done en masse in our product and I would encourage you to reach out separately for a more detailed demo and/or trial of the product.

Ultimately all these data come together and they’re available and everything can be accessed, by the way, through the API or through the screens here.  But then we have a built-in reporting engine.  So the reporting data all will look into these types of purpose-built supply/demand analysis type of interfacing.  Where are my gaps?  Shell charts, mountain charts, stacked by our supply/demand analysis, all interactive in these types of reports and dashboards.  So far we’ve looked purely at a range of static data or interfaces where we can manipulate the data, but as we’ve called out as part of the topic of this webinar.  How can I understand what those impacts will have on my resource and project portfolio?  Now to do that we have a built-in sort of bleeding edge, in my opinion, what-if analysis engine and when I click on this, this will launch the what-if analysis aspect of the product which allows me to pull together data from across the entire system into what we call models.  These models let us assemble our view of the world with a range of assumptions, various projects, resources, timeframes, priorities, coefficients and so on.  And what we can then do is play what-if games and see what is the effect of, in this case, stopping work on projects, stopping operational activities, changing strategy, adding/reducing headcount and see in real time what impact will that have and then ultimately do things like compare our best case against our current case, our worst case against our best and current case.  We can do then all those comparisons to inform management of what are the appropriate steps to take by generating really these real options analyses that give us better insight into what strategic path to take.

What we’ll do next is create a model.  These are read-only.  You really can’t cause any problems with this and let’s say this is “Forecast Update 2020.”  You can make your models private or shared.  In this case I’m going to use a timeframe that really starts this month.  So let’s say looking out from this month maybe five years, you want to simulate and look at our portfolio and make adjustments.  I can then choose how I want to look at and roll out my resources.  You can choose multiple options here and these are all configurable values so you can have roles, skills, departments and locations.  You could stack them together so I could say maybe I want to look at these things by position and within positions I want all of these positions.  Then maybe I want to drill down from positions into employment basis, or department or role or really any other attributes.  In this case I’m going to keep it simple and we’ll just use one level.  I can choose priorities and underlying data sets or coefficients or likelihood of a war or likelihood of technical success or things of that nature.  And then I’d choose the projects to include.  Each project has two different data sets so lots of options here.  You can have sort of allocation and demand data sets which you can use interchangeably and use them differently according to different models and you can also set in place a range of additional filters.  So perhaps you want to look at the overall demand, global demand for particular types of work being satisfied with resources from just specific geographies, which gives you additional modeling capabilities, much more advanced than some of things we’ll look at in today’s session.  Query us if you’d like to see this in more detail.

So I have my model set up.  I’ll save.  This gets created.  What I can now do is literally jump right into an analysis so to do that I would click on a model.  It’s going to go and retrieve all the information from the underlying systems.  So I have a listing of all the projects.  I have a listing of all the resources I selected.  There’s a splitter in the center of the screen so I can see more of the projects and initiatives, more of the dynamic resource views.  The product has a range of different analytical views.  We’ll focus primarily on a heat map.  That’s probably one of the easiest ones to work with but you’ll see graphing views and grid views and cool map views and Delta views.  All these are designed for specific purposes and driven by voice of customer.

To keep things fairly brief, I want to start is just discussing things like what is the effect of changing project timing or what is the effect of the actual work stoppage itself.  Now this can be done at the individual project or initiative level; it can also be done at the strategic level.  So if we literally say we’re going to stop a strategy or delay everything targeting a specific strategy, geography, program areas, therapeutic areas, whatever it might be.  So think of our customers in medical device or biotech.  They’re literally taking all of the initiatives that are not related to maybe Covid-19 therapies or diagnostics and moving those out and prioritizing accordingly.  This could all be done inside of Tempus.

So in the upper section if we wanted to take a simple example here and let’s drill into this analyst group and see what’s driving that demand, perhaps this asset database design project.  When I click on it, it will snap to in the top section and one of the most basic cases here, you might do this one at a time or in bulk, you might say what is the effect of moving this into 2021.  And I can simply click and drag.  You’ll notice the system moves these things in real time.  You’ll notice the over-allocation has been removed in this particular case, but it underscores the capability where I can simply take objects, view their prior position, their new position, everything’s captured in unused stack and all of my data down below now update accordingly, whether it’s FTE, hours worked, costs and so on are all immediately displayed.  Then we also get access to things like this Delta view to show me the before and after effect.  Now that was a case where we actually resolved things, but what if it’s much direr?  Again we have this nature or you know possibility of a work stoppage.  Well, one option is take things that we have planned and simply move them out.  So again if we’re now moving this Aurora phase 15, this Barcelona 13.  What are the effects of moving these things out on our resource portfolio which we could access here?  We could also access some of the grid view things like our financial information.  We’re looking at resource related costs including things like heat maps on top of these data.  So these can now be viewed in real time making decisions hand-in-hand with other decision makers, executives, whatever may be.  So we can see the effect of moving things.  We can also see the effects of delaying or canceling or putting things on hold outright.  Now from within this project management or project slider grid, I can take individual projects and do things like exclude this project so literally cancel it or put it on hold.  This again in these variety of screens below, including our Delta view, will now show us what was the before and after effect of having made that change on costs, on resource allocations, on the various members of our resource portfolio.  They can see the effects that are incurred there.  Perhaps even more importantly, as we call out in the title, how about the effects of headcount reduction, so right now we’re seeing a fairly under-allocated grouping of resources so there might be room here to trim without causing a broader impact on operations or project delivery.  From this grid, I can target specific areas based on how I’ve designed my model and perhaps I want to target my development group.  Maybe this is one of the largest ones.  Within our product, you can do things like increase the headcount or you can decrease.  When we decrease we can choose either individual people, which is not so nice but that’s okay, or we can do this by percentage, so a bit more humanely and perhaps tell the system that if things continue the way they’re going, in May starting maybe the first full week, we’re going to have to reduce this group by something like 75 percent.  Before we apply this inside the model, I can run this and see the effects and you’ll see this is going to drive our allocations through the roof because we’re really removing from the denominator 75 percent of that available capacity.  So this is anyway what management is dictating so we’re going to apply this.  We see that we’ve driven our development group through the roof; now what does this impact?  Well by clicking on “developers” they can which projects are now impacted by this allocation level, so clearly things have to change to accommodate.  Now there are various steps we can take.  One of them is to cancel, so I can start canceling projects directly inside this grid or put them on hold.  We could also, as you saw previously, jump to the top and do things like change project timing.  So adjusting these things moving this out recognizing that with this headcount it looks like February is when I can start doing these things.  Or we can leverage the product to give us more information.  So this Jonah Phase 11, we have a feature here called “Opportunity Map.”  When I click on it, it’s going to take me to all the possible points in time where we can get 100 percent of what we need.  Well again, we kind of blew away capacity for quite some time starting in May.  At this point, the best I can do to get what is needed here is to start this in April of 2021.  You could also draw this back and say, well if I live with less availability, how soon could I start?  So this gives us more flexibility in determining when things can actually take place given our adjustments to headcount and the other groups as well along with all others in flight initiatives where we haven’t taken corrective action.  So the product will give us various dates.  So in this case perhaps you want to move this out and you can see why.  If you drill down in you can tell why it can be done on this date.  In this case, I can get 100 percent of what is necessary and I then might apply this inside my model.  So I’m continuing to chip away and reduce this level of over-allocation.  The product gives you this iterative set of capabilities.  We can see the effects of reducing headcount.  We can see the effect of taking additional secondary action as a result.  So in this case we dropped our headcount number by 75 percent for developers, we saw the projects that became at risk or were challenged as a result, and then we took action by either shifting the project, perhaps cancelling the project or asking the product, hey now that I’ve reduced my capacity, where and when can I do these projects.  And this then could be continued.  Obviously in an iterative fashion using all the data you have addressed in the application.

Now in addition to changing timing, cancelling, shifting, you’ll find other capabilities including options like we can’t really delay this, but what if we were maybe to do this over instead of this period, perhaps we spread this over a multi-year period.  So now we’re expanding the duration of the projects to account for of having less available capacity.  So we can make decisions at this level and we also have options to drill into things by the resource level itself and find those areas of challenge.  In this case I’ll put on my heat map and look at things like perhaps Benjamin Stevens.  You see those projects that are at risk as a result, drill down into those initiatives or those activities and do things like a resource replace.  So instead of having to use resources in a particular region, location, we may look at resources in other areas, geographies, departments, positions, roles and then ultimately choose to move that allocation to one or multiple other parties, all again done in this what-if analysis interface that helps us unwind these business challenges and come up with real options for how we address the changing nature of the strategy and how it impacts our project and resource portfolio.  Again, all done in this sort of virtual reality inside of this model.  Again, as we make the changes, they’re all recorded in this history list and this lets us form comparisons, use these data for reporting to ultimately to make better decisions.

One more area I want to take you to and then we’ll jump over to some reporting screens is doing things in bulk.  So if we head back to the project screen and we now jump to this roll-up area, perhaps decisions have to be made at a much higher level before we get more granular.  In this case I’ve grouped all of my projects according to their strategy.  Now the strategy was set by the project owner, the PM, PMO, the COE, whoever and you’ll see we have four, expand into new markets, improve product quality, product innovation and reduce time to market.  Perhaps in this case we’re really focused on the immediacy of the challenge so product innovation just has to be delayed.  Instead of having to drill down into eight specific projects, you could get a count here.  I could simply grab the entire grouping and shift those out and you’ll see this is sort of wipe the screen by moving these things out to start in 2021.  We’re just going to have to deal with the challenge at hand and shift everything accordingly.  And then I can now also iteratively look at my resource portfolio and say, you know what.  I have options here to further reduce our financial challenges perhaps by freeing up headcount because now we’ve got resources in an under-allocated state, so let’s bring things up from the denominator side by chipping away.  So we can play all of these games from numerator or denominator perspectives inside of this what-if analysis tool set again versus bringing in outside consultants or working with 500 different spreadsheets and the other benefit here is that these data are all live.  These what-if analyses are always looking at your live system data and merging with your simulated changes.  So you’re never in a position where you’ve done an analysis today and now you’ve committed to looking at it in two weeks.  Well in two weeks it’s all wrong because all the underlying data had changed.  Our philosophy is that a what-if model should always incorporate the newest live data and merge those with your simulated changes.  Or as you see here, it’s so easy to do.  You can just set up a new model at run time and walk through it with decision makers and stakeholders assuming they have availability to do so.  It’s a lot of flexibility here to address and be proactive with this type of planning exercise.  Now, as we make these changes and simply back out because they’re all saved inside the model itself.  They’re not pushed to the live data set.  That’s a totally separate affair and we can talk about that in a separate session or if you’d like to do a breakout we’re happy to do so.

Now if I jump back to, for example, our reporting screens and perhaps we build out multiple models.  One option we have is to pull together sort of a comparison dashboard.  So here’s one case that I prepared ahead of time because frankly to do it live would take up more of your time and I’d be fumbling around so I did it ahead of time.  The top section shows me my base case so this is currently what’s planned with my live data.  But the lower section shows me what impact I’ve had by making manipulations inside of models.  Now you can start to see here based on these headcount change assumptions that we start to really run into issues in May, which is a case where I went in and removed headcounts from a handful of different departments across the business.  The point is what I’m trying to illustrate here is I can create multiple models and then put in place visualizations to see the differences between those different cases.  And again another option here would be introducing another report that targets our new model.  To show you an example of that, we jump back here.  Now I could create brand new reports from scratch or I could clone existing reports very easily.  So in this case let’s create a new one.  So we’ll create this supply/demand analysis type of report and we’ll say this is our worst case scenario and what we can do in the product is instead of targeting live data as your source data, you can now target your data from within your analyses.  And I think I did forecast update 2020 I believe.  We’ll go to configuration.  We’ll run this analysis by month in terms of hours starting this month going out perhaps until the end of the year, we’ll say December 31.  Next we’ll choose our data series and I’ll now select perhaps allocation by bars.  You could also do as area and line as bar and we’ll put some formatting on this to jazz it up.  Now I can also choose how I want to stack these data.  It’s currently stacking them by project name but I don’t want that.  I want to stack maybe by strategy.  I’m going to stack and group these by strategy.  Notice now there’s only a handful coming up here.  Only three in certain cases because we delayed the others until farther out and you’re noticing that as you get further out here.  Now what we’ll do is add that series and then we’ll introduce our capacity.  So base capacity.  We’ll do this by line and we’ll do this as a solid line.  Again like we saw inside our model by shifting out all of that work and essentially keeping most of the headcount in place, you’ll see we’ve got a ton of remaining availability here.  So I’ll end this series and save.  So now I’ve got lots of room to make up which means I could bring projects back or I can chip away at my resources if cost savings was really the most important aspect to our ongoing business operation.

Then we can do things like introducing these reports together.  So if we went back to our comparison view, put this in edit mode, I can now switch to a three-panel layout and introduce that report and I can now view the three reports side-by-side to make better decisions on essentially which path to take.

That was really the focus of what I was hoping to cover.  I hope I didn’t go too fast but I wanted to keep us under that 30-minute threshold and it looks like we’re just about two minutes under, so what I’m going to do is switch back to Power Point and go to our next slide.

So next steps, feel free to contact us, myself or Greg and I’ll put that slide back up in a moment.  If you’d like to schedule a full demonstration and learn more, you’re free to trial the platform for 30 days for free with your data and we will provide training and assistance, so please reach out.

Thank you everybody for attending and I’ll just put this slide back up so you have our contact information.

Greg:  I think that was excellent and if anybody does have any questions, feel free to either put them in the chat box or if you do the “raise hand” I can unmute you.  We’ll just stay on the line here for a couple of minutes if there’s any questions, but if not, thank you very much for the session and everybody have a great week.



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