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Most experienced IT managers know how to connect IT workers with the right projects or tasks that match their skills. But most IT managers still don’t use good tools and data to manage because of the history that the tools that they used when they were IT workers were garbage-in garbage-out. In today’s competitive environment, only “right people for the right job” is not good enough. Successful completion of projects depends on constant monitoring and balancing available resources and changing demands.
IT human resource capacity management is not pure bean-counting since the judgments from the IT managers on “right people for the right job” are mixed into the counting. It is about transparency and commitment, allowing both IT managers and IT workers to monitor and get what they need to deliver projects. It also allows IT managers to minimize idle time and overuse of resources. With a comprehensive view of work and resources, IT managers can schedule, plan and manage resources more effectively, aligning them with the right projects or tasks at the right time.
IT human resource capacity management is the weakest link in most IT organizations today. Some organizations promote non-IT managers to manage IT organizations because they are more sensitive to business constraints and more willing to measure IT resource consumption and results.
If an organization follows a simple workflow for resource allocation (e.g., each project allocates a set of resources before the start of the project) and at any time it has the following up-to-the-minute information, it is clear that its leaders and managers have good control on their resource allocation and utilization.
Up-to-the-minute information of the above type often doesn’t exist in IT organizations, especially when people don’t understand how important it is. IT leaders often lose control of projects and tasks because their resource information snapshot nowhere resembles the up-to-the-minute reality.
By understanding the disadvantages of not having IT human resource capacity management, it is easy to see its significance. Without the right data, managers have little control over their projects and tasks.
The following is the list of common challenges in IT human resource capacity management that most IT leaders are facing:
1. Deadlines, planning and resource skills
IT resource capacity involves finding and effectively managing available resources to deliver projects within the time constraints. If you don’t know how to measure the resource capacity of your organization’s projects and tasks, your organizational efficiency may suffer—you may have too many resources assigned to some projects or tasks, while other resources may be overworked, with most projects and tasks under-resourced, leading to quality issues in projects and tasks, or even lost sponsors and supporters.
2. Plan for ongoing resource needs
Running an IT organization that services other organizations means balancing your resource time between working on current projects and planning future work.
Other organizations’ projects may abruptly end, expand or start for various reasons. In a post-COVID-19 world, these ups and downs appear to be more dramatic than before. If you don’t have a dynamic tool that can re-compute your resource capacity in real time when a project’s downtime or increased demand happens, some projects may be affected.
Demand problems stem from inconsistencies from the project managers or resource managers who are responsible for allocating resources to the projects. This could be due to being overly conservative in the project planning stage but weak in monitoring and slow in re-planning during project execution.
IT leaders are often caught by this problem because they couldn’t trust their managers but on the other hand they shouldn’t blindly trust their managers if they don't even have a way to get the up-to-the-minute right data to manage.
3. Ability to quickly and precisely reallocate resources
Sometimes, no matter how much planning and preparation managers do in advance, problems can arise. Project roadblocks may occur at any point in the project life cycle, from stakeholders changing their minds to realizing that you don’t have enough resources to complete the project, so managers need the ability to quickly and precisely reallocate resources.
Without the right tool for managers to timely know the occurrence of resource conflicts, and to quickly search and reallocate resources with appropriate skills in the resource database, which is automatically updated in real time and provides accurate resource data to make search and redeployment easier, it is very hard to do it right.
The designer of 8Manage understands that IT project resource management isn’t a single project issue but a multi-project issue. 8Manage was designed with a global resource database that caters to real-time changes and re-computation.
Since not all IT professionals are willing to enter a lot of information, 8Manage was designed to be able to function with minimal human input, even just the following:
After the IT organization has a simple start, it can use more 8Manage features so that its resource capacity management will have more sophistication.
8Manage resource capacity management can work with any project management methodology such as Agile and PMBOK.