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Enterprise Agile Planning, Project Portfolio Management

Is there a plumber in the house? 4 ways to reduce the impact of resource skill scarcity

Published By Team AdaptiveWork

If you have any experience maintaining an agile team, then you know that being agile is more than just about having stand ups, Kanban board iteratives, and sprint-based deliveries. If your organization isn’t able to ensure that you have all the resources you need to succeed, you’ll quickly find yourself behind schedule at best, and unable to deliver at worst.

The problem

A skilled resource gap occurs when there is a difference between the skills or tech required to complete a project, and the organization’s capacity to provide those same skills or tech. If your freelance specialist isn’t available or your tech guy has left without a qualified replacement, your project delivery is going to be impacted in a big way.


At Planview AdaptiveWork, we go to great lengths to learn how our clients and partners deal with the impact of resource skill availability on their projects. Over the course of time, we’ve seen that these 4 core points are shared among many of our partners, clients and prospects, across different organizations, markets and geographies.

  1. The bottom line is what counts. Some companies take resource skill availability into account during the project prioritization phases. If a resource is scarce and required across multiple projects, companies quantify the financial benefit of doing versus the financial cost of not doing each project. Projects that rank high on both financial benefit of doing and on financial impact of not doing are given higher priority and first access to scarce resources.

  3. Teach a man to fish. One way that companies deal with scarce resource availability is through internal training. By making skill development a high priority in their organizations, companies were able to train their resources in more than one technology/discipline. This provided them with the benefit of being able to deploy multiple skills without needing additional resources.

  5. A culture of wellness. Another way of ensuring resource availability is by reducing sick days, stress related absences and burnout. A happy workforce is a productive workforce. While wellness often takes a backseat when business priorities dictate otherwise, employees still felt the benefit of a culture of wellness during more hectic times.

  7. Expect the unexpected. Taking unexpected absences and holidays into account during the planning phase is a great way to drive high resource availability. Organizations reported that they were expected to plan on an 80% utilization rate to accommodate for sickness and holiday leave. While some of the time the spare capacity was gobbled up by additional projects, in many cases it allowed them to juggle their resources to make up for the lost manpower.


Planview AdaptiveWork solution

The use of collaborative project management software provides project managers with the ability to better manage their resources and track resource skill availability. Planview AdaptiveWork offers a skilled resource availability solution for quick resourcing of short term tasks that require a particular skill. To find out more set up a live demo today!

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Written by Team AdaptiveWork