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Avoid Scheduling Juniors to Do a Senior’s Job

Posted by  Martijn van der Hoeden

Why do good projects go bad? A better question might be, “How do you prevent a good project from going bad in the first place?”

With so many moving parts in play, there are countless things that can go wrong between the initial project planning stage and final phase of execution, but a few factors stand out above the rest. Three of the biggest failures that doom a project before it begins include rushed planning sessions, lack of stakeholder alignment and inadequately matching skills to objectives.

For many companies, the problem starts when juniors are assigned tasks that seem simple at first but actually demand skills that are outside their wheel-house. For example, juniors often feel pressure to give clients what they say they want, instead of listening carefully enough to discover what the client actually needs. Juniors may not have the depth or breadth of knowledge about the company’s capabilities to propose original but still practical solutions.

All of these issues can be prevented pre-launch by a more intelligent allocation of resources – in other words, putting advanced software to work on matching the right people with the right skill sets and seniority profiles to the right projects. Senior consultants have the necessary experience to predict and steer around a wide variety of roadblocks that often negatively impact costs or timeline. Seniors are better at recognizing hazardous patterns and can draw from a deeper pool of potential solutions.

Although everyone would like to put the right people in the right place, the main reason why resources aren't adequately allocated is due to the complexity of it all. Without intelligent software support, it can be nearly impossible to coordinate schedules while looking deeply enough into team member profiles to match seniority and capabilities with project needs.

Leading organizations, especially those in professional services, are maximizing their billable utilization by implementing resource scheduling software that is fully integrated with project management platforms to create an end-to-end solution.

Never forget that even though engagements and customers are a company’s lifeline, the employee experience is just as critical to success. In an increasingly competitive landscape where disruptive players and business models appear overnight, speed and agility win the day. Only enterprises powered by automation and the augmented workforce can take the lead in this new world.

A single solution platform that ties project management software with employee databases can help customer-centric businesses:

  • Engage a matching engine to shorten the time from customer request to team building.
  • Communicate clearly the goals and the initial tasks of project setup for stakeholder alignment.
  • Transfer budgetary line items directly from prior project plans to manage resources better.
  • Easily manage risk and compliance by folding in WWFT/BSA/ASM checks online.
  • Give staff a mobile app to register hours directly on the right engagement.
  • Update Gantt charts on the fly and present managers with real-time utilization overview charts.

Want to learn more about how enterprises are doing this in the real world? Join us for a seat at Unit4’s latest webinar: “Effectively allocate your resources to optimize your projects.” Gain insight and share knowledge on how advanced software is being deployed to optimize project performance on a recurring basis. Make sure that all of your projects have the resources they need to come in on time and under budget.

Martijn van der Hoeden

As Founder of the PSA Suite and Global Head of the PSO Center of Excellence, Martijn van der Hoeden drives to provide the Professional Services Organizations to improve their performances and maximize their organizations efficiency with the Unit4 PSA Suite.