Reading time: 4 minutes
Given the critical nature that personnel and budget accuracy have on the success of a project, organizations need a project resource management solution that offers an up-to-date picture of what resources are available to allocate them appropriately.
It starts with an innovative idea. You have the strategy-to-execution processes planned out to ensure each development phase is successfully completed. With top-of-the-line manufacturing capabilities and a strong marketing plan, the stars should be aligned for success.
But do you have the resources available to meet deadlines and ensure the project comes in under budget? Project resource management is a critical part of any new product development initiative, but it’s often overlooked.
Many challenges obstruct resource visibility, but you can keep innovation and NPD projects on track with the right systems. Let’s take a closer look at the challenges and how to overcome them.
Ineffective project resource management impedes innovation strategy
When organizations don’t have clear visibility into available resources—whether human or financial—accurately forecasting deadlines and budgets (then readjusting those forecasts when unexpected changes occur) becomes more challenging.
Personnel: At issue is a lack of visibility into resource availability. Lack of effective project resource management processes sometimes resulting in those most suitable for the project being left off the team. Other times, someone with the background and experience for the project is added to the team even though they are tied up with other initiatives.
The most talented people work on multiple projects simultaneously, creating more serious challenges if their availability isn’t accurately reflected. Projects get stalled when these team members have to unexpectedly postpone duties on one project to dedicate time to another project.
Budget: Much like personnel challenges, projects often lack visibility into financial resources. When left to educated guesses—or worse, blind assumptions—it is extremely difficult to predict if a proposed budget is feasible. Budget challenges are further compounded when unexpected (and inevitable) expenditures arise that further inflate the revenue necessary to justify the return on investment
Budget and personnel are intertwined—some of the most common reasons for inflated budgets are related to team staffing. For example, let’s assume there’s someone perfect for a project, but they are unexpectedly unavailable. A project manager may have to replace them with someone less experienced in the project, which lengthens their onboarding time. Or, as is often the case, more than one person is assigned to take on a role intended for one person. Both scenarios will impact the budget negatively.
Given that accurate personnel and budget estimates play an important factor in setting up project teams for success, organizations must have a resource and financial management solution that offers an up-to-date picture of what resources are available to allocate them appropriately.
Project resource management enables flexibility and accuracy
Surprises happen during the course of any innovation and NPD project. People will need to be pulled away from one project to staff another, unexpected budget needs emerge and sometimes a project is put on hold. The difference between surprises being an inconvenience and a major obstacle is the time decision-makers have to adjust. At the end of the day, those surprises increase expenditures and delay the promised return on investment.
Implementing system-enabled governance mitigates the risk of inaccurate personnel and financial reports and inconsistent adherence to procedures and policies. The importance of accountability, tight controls, and monitoring metrics related to project health cannot be discounted.
Project leaders need scalable project and resource management solutions that can help accomplish the following:
- Positively impact schedules and project financials to deliver winning, profitable products that address a market need
- Provide a clear view of resource availability to allow for efficient, accurate resource planning and prioritization
- Facilitate and encourage quantitative business cases by leveraging the right tools and data straight out of the box without cumbersome onboarding
- Increase the transparency on the project status, costs, issues, and risks
Given the time, effort, and risk organizations take on to move an innovative product from strategy to execution, it only makes sense to have the controls in place to guide it to launch and beyond.
Are you managing your projects, or are they managing you? Learn how Sopheon’s Project Management solution, Acclaim Projects, helps organizations increase resource visibility to deliver projects on time and under budget.