Did you know that workers spend only 39% of their working hours effectively and doing actual work?
The rest is taken up by email, meetings, interruptions, etc…
That means it’s more important than ever to accurately plan and forecast the work you want your teams to do—so that they can spend more time focusing on work that drives your business *forward*.
Your success in life is about “Resource Management!
Here are the 6 Proven Practices to Maximize all your Resources:
1. Develop a Strategic Breakdown Structure.
No matter what stage your business or project is in, take the time to align each of your goals with measurements.
- What are you accomplishing?
- How will you measure your progress and success?
- Are you on the best path for your career?
- What resources are going to help you succeed?
Monitor and measure your results as you go and adjust your plan along the way. Ask your coach for easy and fun tracking devices, tools and apps. Your company’s and team’s strategic initiatives are your North Star, guiding all of your efforts, because you can manage only what you measure!
2. Take time to gather project requirements
Getting all the information about a project before it kicks off will enable you and your team to plan and resource effectively.
Focus on the end goal you’re working to accomplish, including:
- Strategic alignment
- Relevant milestones
- Project goals and success metrics
- Actionable learnings from prior projects
- Key competitors and approach
- Approvers required throughout the project
Invest time upfront into your requirements gathering, because you will save a lot of time and sanity!
3. Plan the unplanned
A last-minute opportunity might arise that requires support, or a market shift.
Come up with how much time typically goes to last-minute requests. If that number is 20%, then account for it in your resource plans.
Yes, that means you’ll likely only be able to schedule team members at 60% utilization.
4. Know how long things take
Simply track how long it takes you to complete repeatable work projects.
Track *hours worked* and “over what period of time*.
Then you will be able to easily accurately forecast resources to get them done.
5. Create your prioritization methodology
- How do the requests align to the strategic mission of your team or department?
- Urgent v. important requests —how do you identify the fine line between both?
Often people bring you requests that will “only take 5 minutes” and they rarely take 5 minutes. Schedule the requests properly and realistically
6. Change is hard
Any change you make to the way you resource your projects requires a mindshift from your team:
- Communicate: Define what you want people to do differently. Transparently change your intake, prioritization and resource management behaviors. Let everyone see how you’re doing things differently.
- Model: Live the change. Get executive/leadership buy-in for more structured intake, prioritization, and resource management.
- Reinforce: Rewards and consequences are the most powerful levers you have. Reward those who follow suit (call-out in company meetings, spot awards, “good job”, etc.) and ensure there are consequences for the “old behaviors” (chaotic/randomized work isn’t funded/supported, for example).
Over-scheduling your resources leads to irreversible adrenal burnout and turnover. With more discipline and process around resource management, you can keep your team members happy, and build trust in your customers that you can deliver on time.