Process Improvement

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Requirements for resource / workforce planning

The (workforce) planning of (human) resources often takes a bit of time. Whereas it might be simple to schedule and fill recurrent shifts, in most projects various roles with different skills are involved. Often people work on different sites for different clients a week as well. Who meets who when and where? How are skill dependencies solved? Most times Excel is not doing the trick.

In the last 15 years we became experts in shift scheduling for market research call centers planning interviewers based on languages and skills, hence depending on the client's / project's needs. Agents can be self organized and have access to an online portal to book in or cancel shifts.

That said I am wondering how different requirements for resource / workforce planning in other industries are. Are demands completely different or probably very similar? Is there common ground? In general is the topic of interest?

I am looking for people (maybe) not completely satisfied with their way of planning (or their software solution) wanting to share requirements and discuss needs.

Looking forward to your feedback

Hi Oliver,

This generally would be a topic of high interest given the variety of factors involved. I lead business transformation engagements in a high-skill industry.

The points in your post are very relevant - skill is a major factor.

Then there is the availability of resources - understandably most organisations do not want to have underutilised staff on their payroll. So we have situations where we have the skill, but the resource is either not available or is only partially available.

For us, global mobility is third issue. We may have a resource with the requisite skill who is immediately available, but it would take 16-18 weeks to arrange for a work permit for an example project that's due to complete in 12 weeks.

Demand is usually for medium- and long-term projects (anywhere between 6 weeks to 3 years). We do have cases of resource-switching in the middle of engagements, but we have a strong enough process to handle such scenarios.

I am from a projectised organisation, myself - so a lot of the administration is handled by a central resource management group. Resources have adequate freedom to agree to or reject these projects, but they have to go through this central team.

We already do have a strong software solution that looks at a variety of aspects from resource availability, bench strength, time utilisation, expense management, and so on right through to invoicing and centralised PM reporting. So I personally am not seeing any gaps; but would be happy to elaborate more on the industry and some of the industry-practises, if required.

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