resource management

7 Best Strategies for Efficient Resource Optimization in an Organization

In today’s ever-changing business environment, organizations must build and manage a highly efficient workforce to stay competitive. Therefore, it is important to harness the full potential of the workforce to maintain profitability and sustainability.

Failing to do so could result in missed project opportunities, the departure of top talent, a compromised market reputation, and more.

This article explains how SAVIOM’s resource management software can help you optimize your talent pool and stay future-ready.

But first, let’s explore some resource optimization challenges.

1. Resource optimization challenges that affect an organization

resource optimization

Resource optimization refers to the strategic management of available resources to maximize their utility and effectiveness. It involves identifying, allocating, and utilizing resources to achieve the best possible outcomes. It helps boost employee productivity, efficiency, and performance within an organization.

Given below are some challenges that organizations frequently encounter:

  • Resource scarcity and skill gaps

When organizations lack the foresight into their future resource demands, they fail to identify and select the right resources in advance. This results in resource shortages, necessitating last-minute firefighting and hiring high-cost resources. Moreover, the failure to keep pace with technological advancements and a lack of developmental opportunities lead to widening skill gaps and obsolescence within the workforce.

  • Inability to meet dynamic project and resource demands

As a project progresses, client requirements may undergo alterations, leading to changes in resource requirements. This might give rise to skill demands that are either not currently present within the company or not readily accessible, potentially disrupting project timelines and compromising quality.

  • Improper resource allocation

Competent resource allocation is critical to utilize resources optimally. However, due to a lack of visibility or poor planning, managers might assign under/over-skilled resources to projects. So, when resources work on tasks that are too simple or difficult for them on a regular basis, it will reduce their productivity. In addition, improper resource allocation can lead to overwork and lower operational efficiency.

  • Market uncertainties and risks

External factors like market fluctuations, economic conditions, and geopolitical events can prevent organizations from optimizing their workforce. For instance, during a recession, there may be a decrease in client demand or a shortage of projects. It can result in the underutilization of resources, leading to financial loss.

Now, let’s go through the strategies that help implement resource optimization.

2. Best ways to implement resource optimization

resource optimization implementation

Resource optimization is a critical strategy for streamlining operations and enhancing performance. The following section covers the most effective methods to implement it successfully.

2.1. Evaluate resource availability and capacity before scheduling

In the project planning phase, managers must evaluate resource requirements to ascertain the quantity, type, necessary skill sets, and associated timelines. Based on that assessment, they can schedule competent resources for tasks, considering their availability and capacity.

In addition, managers must analyze resources’ calendars and consider their vacations and PTO before assigning them to tasks. This will prevent scheduling conflicts and ensure the availability of resources during project initiation. Thus, these steps ensure competent allocation, prevent uneven workload distribution, and lead to successful project execution.

2.2. Leverage cost-effective global resources as appropriate

Leveraging cost-effective global resources can help organizations optimize project costs without compromising quality. For this, they can use an advanced resource management tool to assess and allocate skilled resources from low-cost locations based on availability, location, charge-out rate, etc.

For instance, if a company undertakes a project in a high-cost location like the US, managers can strategically engage skilled resources from low-cost locations like Mexico or the Philippines. This approach safeguards the project’s health and quality, mitigating the risk of budget overruns.

2.3. Apply out-rotation and backfill strategy for niche skilled resources

When organizations face a shortage of niche-skilled critical resources, they can employ out-rotation and backfill strategies to address the issue. For instance, an AEC firm is undertaking a new project that requires a BIM expert at the initiation phase. However, the only relevant resource in the organization’s repertoire is currently engaged in another project.

Here, managers can out-rotate the specialized professional from the existing project to the new opportunity once the ongoing project has reached the completion stage. Simultaneously, they can assign another competent resource who meets the necessary qualifications as a suitable backfill to complete both projects as planned.

2.4. Track employees’ utilization levels in real-time

work office monitoring

Organizations must regularly monitor the workforce’s utilization in real time. It helps them mitigate sub-optimal utilization with corrective measures and ensure a healthy resource index. For instance, when resources are overutilized, managers can adjust project timelines or deploy additional resources to handle critical work.

Conversely, in cases of underloading, firms can bring forth pipeline projects or sell excess capacity, thereby ensuring optimal utilization. Moreover, they can periodically mobilize resources from non-billable to revenue-generating activities to maximize their profitable utilization.

2.5. Employ resource leveling/smoothing techniques wherever applicable

When organizations allocate resources to tasks without considering their capacity, it can result in overloading and employee burnout. In response, managers can proactively apply resource optimization techniques as appropriate to balance resource workload and ensure optimal productivity.

For example, in projects with flexible timelines, managers can apply leveling techniques to shift the start and end dates of tasks per the critical resources’ availability. Conversely, for projects with fixed deadlines, managers can employ resource smoothing to redistribute the workload among team members or pull in additional employees to maintain the project schedule.

2.6. Encourage employees to work on projects of their interest

When employees are frequently assigned similar tasks that demand minimal creativity or critical thinking, their enthusiasm and productivity may decline. Further, this can impede their growth trajectory and lead to unanticipated absenteeism, and high employee turnover.

Therefore, organizations should proactively cultivate a workplace culture that encourages employees to choose projects of their interest. This enhances task ownership and productivity. Moreover, it allows resources to hone their skills further, equipping them with the necessary competencies to work on multi-faceted projects. This promotes employee well-being and improves organizational efficiency.

2.7. Facilitate training and upskilling programs to future-proof the workforce

For organizations to remain relevant, they must facilitate training and upskilling programs for their employees. Managers must offer shadowing and on-the-job training opportunities that provide employees with hands-on work experience and accelerate their skill development to foster a dynamic learning environment.

Additionally, firms must formulate IDPs (Individual Development Plans) that align with resources’ career goals and organizational objectives. These measures facilitate competency optimization and help build a future-ready workforce.

Now, let’s see how a futuristic resource management tool can help!

3. How can a robust resource management tool help?

Saviom’s next-gen resource management solution enables organizations to build and maintain an optimized workforce. Here is how:

  • The tool’s 360-degree visibility into the resource attributes, such as skills, competencies, experience, etc., ensures that the right resources are allocated to suitable projects.
  • The advanced forecasting capabilities and capacity-vs-demand reports help evaluate the project demands of pipeline projects and bridge the skill gap proactively.
  • The utilization reports and color-coded heatmaps help identify instances of under/over-utilization. Moreover, forecast vs. actual utilization reports help managers evaluate the variances and implement necessary optimization strategies.
  • The open seat feature allows resources across the enterprise to express their interest in vacant positions. If found to be a suitable match, managers can quickly allocate them to these projects.

4. Conclusion

Effective resource optimization strategies can significantly boost employee productivity and performance. When organizations combine the above well-devised strategies with efficient resource management software, they can nurture and maintain a highly optimized workforce.

About Ivan Hancko