Has your team’s productivity and morale seen a dip recently?
Are there frequent instances of missed deadlines within your team?
Is your firm suddenly witnessing a rise in unplanned attrition and absences?
If the above issues sound familiar, then the root cause of these challenges may be the overallocation of resources in your firm.
To tackle them head-on, it’s essential for firms to implement a robust resource allocation framework. It will empower managers to strategically identify and assign competent resources and ensure optimal utilization. This will improve the resource health index and ROI, enhancing business profitability.
This article highlights key strategies to mitigate instances of resource overallocation and how SAVIOM‘s ERM tool can help.
But first, let’s begin with the basics.
2. Consequences of resource overallocation in an organization
Resource overallocation occurs when managers assign work that exceeds employees’ capacity, leading to them experiencing mental and physical exhaustion. As a result, they are stressed, fatigued and burnt-out. Consequently, they tend to take frequent, unplanned leaves which results in missed deadlines.
This triggers a domino effect, where other resources may have to step up to address pending or subpar work, which can increase their existing workload. This affects their work-life balance and increases disengagement, negatively impacting overall team productivity and potentially disrupting project workflows.
Furthermore, due to persistent overallocation, employees fail to deliver high-quality projects, resulting in client dissatisfaction and a loss in profitability. Moreover, failure to combat overutilization may prompt employees to seek alternative opportunities elsewhere, increasing the turnover rate in the firm.
Next, let’s explore how a firm can effectively address and mitigate resource over-allocation.
3. Best practices to mitigate resource overallocation
By implementing the following strategies, managers can optimize resource allocation and maintain a balanced workload for enhanced productivity. Let’s understand them in detail.
3.1. Check resources’ availability before workload distribution
When managers lack real-time visibility into resource calendars, including information on vacations, PTO, annual leaves, and public holidays, there is a risk of overbooking employees for tasks. This can lead to stress and burnout, impeding timely and budget-compliant project delivery.
Therefore, it is crucial for managers to proactively check resource availability before deploying them to projects/tasks. By doing so, they can ensure that the allocated work aligns with each resource’s capacity. This consideration improves workforce productivity and contributes to successful project delivery.
3.2. Track & optimize resource schedules in real-time
Frequently over-allocating employees to work elevates their stress levels and causes fatigue. Over time, it may compromise their mental and physical well-being, and lower their morale. To avoid this, managers should track employees’ current and future schedules and implement suitable resource optimization techniques to ensure balanced workload distribution.
For time-sensitive projects, managers can leverage the resource smoothing technique to deploy additional employees and delegate tasks to them. Conversely, for projects with flexible timelines, managers can implement resource-leveling techniques. Here, they can adjust the start and end dates per the resource’s availability. This way, by optimizing schedules proactively, employees can prevent the overallocation of resources.
3.3. Implement out-rotation and backfill technique
Organizations often manage a limited pool of niche-skilled resources, considering they are a costly asset. Due to this, when multiple projects with competing priorities require the same critical resource, managers may allocate resources beyond their capacity. This overallocation leads to reduced productivity and compromises project quality.
To mitigate this, managers can strategically apply out-rotation and backfill techniques. They can assess the ongoing projects that rely on critical/niche-skilled resources and determine if the project has reached a stage where it can progress without them. If so, the specialized resources are out rotated to another critical project. Simultaneously, as part of the backfill strategy, a competent junior resource occupies the vacated position, ensuring seamless project execution and delivery.
3.4. Leverage on-demand workforce as appropriate
When an industry experiences seasonal fluctuations, it often sees a surge in projects. To meet this increased demand, managers often utilize generic/ niche-skilled resources beyond their capacity, eventually causing overallocation. Therefore, to avoid such instances, firms can leverage a contingent/on-demand workforce.
For instance, in a software development project, the manager deploys an on-demand workforce for non-critical tasks such as QA testing and documentation. At the same time, the permanent resources focus on core tasks such as coding, debugging, system integration, etc. This practice keeps resource costs in check and saves the effort of the in-house talent for high-priority activities.
3.5. Facilitate multi-skill building and development programs
When firms consistently deploy senior key resources on repetitive, mundane tasks, it leads to disengagement, job dissatisfaction, etc. Also, allocating these employees to multiple projects can lead to resource overload, causing burnout. Hence, firms must provide multi-skilling and development programs to upskill their generic resources and hone their secondary/tertiary skills.
It will enable them to share the workload of critical employees, alleviating their burden. For this, managers can take various initiatives like shadowing opportunities, peer-to-peer coaching, conducting seminars/workshops, etc. This further allows them to deploy resources to tasks beyond their primary skill sets and helps diversify their portfolio.
Now, let’s understand how a resource management tool can help!
4. How can modern resource management solutions help avoid overallocation?
Saviom’s advanced resource management software empowers managers to effectively combat resource overallocation and improve productivity. Here is how:
- The tool offers 360-degree visibility into resources and their attributes, such as schedules, availability, competencies, skills, etc. This enables managers to identify the best-fit resources for projects, avoid instances of double booking, and prevent over-allocation.
- The real-time utilization, forecast vs actual reports, and color-coded heat maps provide insights into individuals’ utilization rates. This helps identify any instances of overallocation, and accordingly, managers can take course-corrective measures to optimize the resource health index.
In conclusion, these advanced features help organizations maintain optimal utilization of resources and increase their engagement, ensuring smooth project progress.
5. Final Thoughts
Mitigating instances of overallocation is crucial for ensuring the well-being of employees, maintaining project quality, and sustaining overall organizational success. By adopting the above-mentioned strategies, coupled with the next-gen resource management software, firms can ensure balanced workload distribution and consistently deliver projects on time, increasing profitability.
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