Resource Management

Maximize organizational efficiency and value creation by dynamically managing resources across strategic portfolios and Agile programs.

Resource Management in the Agile Digital Business

Resource management is used to plan, to prioritize workloads, and to allocate teams and individuals work based on availability, skill level, and best fit for the task in a project or program. It also manages capacity against net-new resource demand, and allows for the capture of work-effort measurements to help best determine organizational value.

In practice, resource management covers both resource and capacity planning. Capacity planning utilizes a broader view that helps teams anticipate demand for resources and fill the gaps where necessary. Resource planning is the process of allocating available resources where they are needed.

At a minimum, portfolio managers, product teams, and work managers should be able to:

  • Capture and review baseline resource information: People, skills, rates, availability, and time zones.
  • Review upcoming planned work scope, including milestones, timelines, and budgets.
  • Allocate resources based on unique skillsets and bill rates; identify gaps and budget to procure additional resources if needed.
  • Identify and report gaps in resources, capacity, or budgets.
  • Manage resources allocated, work assignments, and priorities.
  • Monitor resources, progress efficiency, and effectiveness in delivering planned value.

Resource Management Challenges

Today’s strategic portfolio managers must be able to perform these basic resource management steps across large scale, cross-functional teams. This immediately creates challenges due to disparate tools and processes, and due to historical reporting structures and organizational models that can inhibit capacity planning, pose competing priorities, and in general contribute to increasing inefficiencies in resource management.

  • Programs, products, and workflow are increasingly cross-functional.
  • Demand, scope, and work priorities are highly dynamic; change is now constant.
  • Difficulty aligning daily work to strategic objectives and priorities.
  • Lack of common best practices for estimating and reporting capacity.
  • Competing priorities across resource types (internal vs external, contractor, etc).
  • Agile programs requiring different approaches to capacity planning and to labor and time tracking.
  • Siloed tools and processes for resource management, work requests, and work assignment.
  • Traditional resource management tools intended as static systems of record rather than dynamic work management systems.

New organizational models derived from Agile frameworks, the Spotify Model, and industry standards bodies now allow businesses to shift away from the strictly hierarchical organization of resources, creating more flexible, elastic organizations capable of efficiently responding to continually fluctuating demand and work assignments. While these new organization models are better suited to facilitate workflows in today’s businesses, the traditional tools in place for resource and work management were often first constructed or intended as static systems of record, and are now incapable of addressing today’s resource management requirements.

Benefits of Effective Resource Management

End-to-end visibility of capacity and resources, along with transparency into the details of work, ensures that your organization can:

  • Maximize resource efficiency
  • Minimize risk of oversubscribing resources
  • Improve planning and forecasting for more long term organizational value

Resource Management Best Practices

Start with resource planning to capture resources available proper allocation.

Align your resource management goals to your strategy and objectives.

Establish a shared approach in prioritizing work across shared resources.

Embrace diverse working styles and resources throughout the organization.

Support varied resource planning and management methods fit to different teams.

Promote education and transparency across resource management processes.

Emphasize continuous improvement for forecasting availability and effort.

Manage resource risks by limiting overallocation and multitasking.

Continually evolve and optimize your resource management process.

Connect portfolio management and human resource management platforms.

“Targetprocess allows us to help the delivery teams do things better. We are able to identify pinch points, where teams are under-resourced or overutilized, and where more support is needed for user stories. This allows us to have conversations with teams about what we need to do differently in order to help them go faster, optimize team utilization, and reduce the number of errors and bugs in our systems.”

Platforms to Support Digital Business Resource Management

Resource management and effective capacity planning at scale requires a tool, and portfolio managers need to support constant change across complex, cross-functional teams. Planning and delivering work in different ways requires a platform that can:

  • Act as a common source of truth containing all work and available resources
  • Help identify over-allocated or underutilized resources in a visual/graphical manner
  • Connect resource cost and utilization financials with automatic cost forecasting
  • Manage dashboards that allow optimization of incoming demands against capacity in a flexible way
  • Monitor the impact of changes in real-time, with multiple views of reports to minimize inefficiency and overutilization for the most value

Apptio Targetprocess is a leading solution for strategic portfolio management (SPM) and enterprise agile planning (EAP) that allows business and technology planners at all levels to dynamically manage work, budgets, resources, agile programs, and portfolios while ensuring all are continuously aligned to the enterprise strategy. The combination of flexible data model, Solutions Library, and partner community make it the most agile SPM platform in the market. Targetprocess is the only SPM platform that integrates directly with the industry-leading ApptioOne financial management platform, enabling organizations to model true product TCO and more holistically manage the value of technology investments and innovation.