Resource Management in Times of Change

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Implementing changes internally within an organisation takes work. People are the main reason for and behind the change.

Resource management is essential for businesses to meet existing and future needs. It is far more effective to assign resources with the right skills and availability to the right type of work. Broadly speaking, resource management allows senior management to review and analyse professional contributions coming in from the resource pool as a whole.

Employing this process helps you draw consistent and predictable curves to your change schemes thereby giving people the time to prepare themselves accordingly. The interdependencies between resource and change management merit an investigation into measures to get them right!

The Role of Resource Management in Change Management

Change management directly affects the resourcing needs of businesses. The expanding business landscape significantly complicates a resource manager’s job.  The challenge here lies in ensuring a balanced resource supply to project demands. Commitment levels have to be re-evaluated and monitored when the company undergoes a change in terms of vision, policy, strategy, governance and other managerial conditions. Moreover, any change introduced needs to be reflected across the organisation to avoid confusion from spinning out of control. A dedicated and powerful tool makes this task easier.

Basic tools have their limitations. For one, it eats up a lot of time spent on updating information, hence the reliability of the data presented is questionable. Redundant, incorrect or insufficient data negatively impact the ability  to make informed decisions. Using outdated numbers and facts prove fatal when trying to track commitment levels of a contingent workforce.

According to the Harvard Business Review (2013), the statistics from the 1970’s to present point to a 60-70% failure rate for an organisational change. In order to bring this percentage down, it is imperative to involve your resources from the start.

No one likes being blindsided. Therefore, when attempting to introduce change, it is important to bring everybody on to the same page with examples of where and how benefits can be reaped. Resentment would easily creep into the work as changes trickle down to different departments in the organisational chart. These measures will help you and your resources welcome change for the greater good-

  1. Enterprise-wide visibility

Visibility paints a clear picture of utilisation levels, individual and team commitment levels after verifying resource availability. It essentially provides a bird’s eye view of the full scope of activities on a unified window, making it easier to decide how to appropriately allocate resources.

Visibility lets resource managers determine if the organisation has the exact number and skills needed for current and future needs before taking the call to hire externally.  Bringing these elements into a unified dashboard pulls resource information at every level across the organisation and yet be in a position to look at an individual’s data. Changes can be made in real-time, informing those with appropriate access controls to review, approve or reject changes after weighing the pros and cons obtained from full-field visibility.

  1. Demand Forecasting and Capacity Management

Capacity refers to the organisation’s ability to retain a contingent workforce whilst demand refers to the extent of current and unconverted work. Comparing the two allows you to optimise different workloads.

It would be a pointless exercise to hire surplus resources only to let them go when appropriate work cannot be contracted in time for them to use their skills and training in.  This affects existing resources as they would first be expected to welcome  and work alongside newer resources only to later take on the work themselves. The uncertainty and time crunch directly affects productivity levels.

Demand forecasting runs different ‘what-if’ scenarios to extract optimal output, thereby predicting the best way to use the right resources in the business. Taking a scientific approach to hiring and firing decisions enables organisations to remain cost-efficient and retain resources with a fully-optimised workload.

 

  1. Scheduling efficiency and consistency

To prevent resources from feeling overworked, it pays to plug in and consolidate timesheets using a scheduling software. This allows teams to be informed of any and all changes applicable without drastically affecting their engagement levels.

Timesheets include the Booked Versus Actual feature, which compares the estimated hours a resource was predicted to have against the actual hours spent. The reports generated can determine the performance of individual resources based on the metrics of efficiency and effectiveness. An added bonus to digitally reviewing performance is in knowing where a resource can be assigned next in line with changing times and project needs.

  1. Heightened Job satisfaction

The unpleasant task of letting valuable resources go is often a part of the restructuring. With proper initiation into change management, however,  the manner in which news is conveyed plays a key role in invoking the right response from your resources.  It pays to periodically benchmark and conduct performance appraisals from the reports generated off a reliable resource planner.

The actionable insights uncovered include commitment levels which vary on several projects based on availability, hours and skills needed. Reports also indicate the extent to which a particular skill set was used against seniority, allowing the resources possessing these skills to be rewarded appropriately.

Change management lets you evaluate your options before taking the decision to let go of some resources. For example, a performance improvement plan (PIP) can be initiated to convey expectations to underperforming resources. This information can be used by them to acquire new skills and certifications in line with their professional aspirations.

Resources feel valued when the organisation makes it clear that employee satisfaction is a top-priority even when managing change. This heightens job satisfaction and enables them to bring their best to the table. Resources find it easier to align their skills with the organisation’s vision when they see tangible results serving as evidence of their involvement.

In times of change, it is important to remember that even after wholly involving your resources and inviting feedback, it is only natural for objections to be raised after viewing change from different perspectives. The measures discussed here will help managers prioritise objectivity, open communication and clear-cut presentation equally.

Perfecting workflow within change management will go a long way in making your resources feel valued and adaptive.

About the Author

As the subject-matter expert for Saviom’s resource management tool, Aakash Gupta champions for best management practices through various publications and webinars. You can reach him here.

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