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Project Portfolio Management

Services Resource Planning—Changing the Game for Service-Driven Organizations

Published By Louise Allen
Services Resource Planning—Changing the Game for Service-Driven Organizations

Game-Changing Services Resource Planning

In my previous blog, Blindsided: Why Service-Driven Organizations are Unprepared for Swings in Demand, I discussed some of the pain project-based service organizations are currently facing. To summarize, virtually every organization experiences the following challenges:

  • Unreliable forecasting means incoming demand is always a surprise
  • Poor visibility of resource utilization; to find the resource information they need they must look in multiple spreadsheets and/or make multiple phone calls 
  • Specialized, higher cost resources are consumed on low margin engagements and activities
  • Project execution methods are inconsistent, wasting resources on rework often cause delivery delays and customer satisfaction problems

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The following abstracts tell the stories of two real world service-driven organizations overcoming their resource management challenges and their achievements realized.

SRP in Clinical Research Organizations (CROs)

This leading service contract and research organization provides clinical services in Phase I-IV clinical research studies to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and device industries. The company has offices in 20 countries and 2,700 employees worldwide.

Prior to implementing SRP, their business issues included:

  • Unreliable forecasts (revenue, costs, hours) that led to missed delivery dates and the inability to drive profitability and margin levels of trials to target levels
  • Poor visibility of resource utilization, which led to poor project prioritization and valuable resources being consumed on low margin engagements and activities

Once they implemented an SRP solution including enterprise portfolio, resource, and project management, they reported the following benefits:

  • More timely and accurate information led to better prioritization of projects, skill set matching, and staffing of projects and thus increased revenue and better margins
  • Go or kill decisions were made more quickly based on more accurate and timely resource and financial key performance indicators
  • Improved responsiveness and timely project delivery to end clients has led to increased customer satisfaction and increased repeat business

SRP in Technology Services

This example features a customer in the technology consulting industry that provides global services, software, and processing solutions for financial services, education, and the public sector as well as support services for their large global client base.

Prior to implementing an SRP solution, they faced the following challenges:

  • Lack of visibility into resource availability and skill set utilization across regions were causing revenue loss
  • Project delays were a leading cause of poor resource utilization and availability problems
  • There was no unified view of financials across the business, so data was kept manually, leading to inconsistencies and confusion

During the solution implementation period, for the very first time, the company had access to resource utilization with a detailed view over time, which provided additional insight into issues that were previously hidden using the previous process.

Now with SRP:

  • They have one “system of truth” that allows them to view all global projects, resources, and financials enabling focus on the most profitable projects in alignment with corporate goals
  • Executives have access to real-time data based on key metrics and analytics that allow faster, better business decisions based on fact rather than “hunch”.

These are just two examples of customers who suffered from the lack of visibility into their resource situations and after implementing SRP using Planview Enterprise, are no longer blindsided by swings in demand. For more information about Services Resource Planning, download a copy of the latest IDC Executive Brief titled, Service Resource Planning: Systems for Effectively Managing a Project-based Business. I would like to hear from you. How are you dealing with the challenges of managing resource pools in your service-driven business?

Related posts: SRP and PSA — There IS a Difference and Blindsided: Why Service-Driven Organizations are Unprepared For Swings in Demand

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Written by Louise Allen Chief Product Officer

With more than 20 years of experience in all facets of bringing technology products to market, Louise leads the product management and solutions marketing teams for Planview, responsible for product strategy, positioning and roadmap for all three of Planview’s product lines. She is also a proud sponsor of Women at Planview, an initiative that champions diversity in the workplace and the community. Louise joined Planview from Quickarrow, where, as Vice President of Product Strategy, her efforts drove the company from self-funded startup to consistently profitable. Prior to this, she held leadership positions with companies including Tivoli Systems, an IBM company, and NetQoS. Louise received her BS in Business Administration from Trinity University, and her MBA from The University of Texas at Austin.