Considering the role it plays in letting businesses make strategic decisions, it’s no surprise why data is hailed as the new oil. Everyday, millions of datasets are processed in order to understand the finer aspects of user behaviour, consequently aiding in ideation and strategy.
With a volatile economy, skills gaps and increasing demands, an overhaul of your workforce has to be necessitated. After all, they are the medium between your business and clients. From manning service desks and working on product innovation to nurturing client based accounts, business as usual falls into place so long as the right people are on deck. This is why skill-matches matter. It ensures that roles are tapping into an employee’s true potential and making use of their experiential prowess and competencies.
It starts with rechecking how visible this company data is. The range of visibility you have into market opportunities, inflight work, previous performances and the list of critical skills needed to staff work in the future are critical success factors to a businesses’ ability to lead in times of uncertainty. Without further ado, here are tips to maximize visibility over your talent pool ;
1. Manage your resources
No project can be taken up without confirming you have the right quality and quantity of potential to execute it. Resource scarcities or excesses, particularly human resources, can cause a misstep in your project planning. Your supply of staff has to not only be truly available but must also possess relevant experience and skills that get work off the ground. In this regard, a resource management software can help you spot schedule conflicts, skill crunches, clashing tasks and suboptimal workloads.
For one, it lets you access enterprise-wide schedules, which is the one dashboard where you can see which projects are active, paused or completed. And for another, it lets you manage resource allocations on inflight projects by visually displaying existing workloads.
This way, you can assess the situation and determine if the reasons behind a project getting delayed or halted is due to resource insufficiencies or skill mismatches. Consequently, you can roll out additional resources based on the project’s rate of progress.
2. Leverage freelance contracts
The freelance economy is gaining prominence, with an increasing number of sectors relying on their services. Hiring different staffing contracts, such as part-timers and freelancers not only boosts overall workforce productivity but is also a cost-flexible route for businesses to consider.
Firstly, freelancers bring in different work perspectives from their portfolio of prior experience. Capitalising on this lets businesses tap into subject matter expertise.
Secondly, workloads are optimally distributed across teams such that no one is overworked or under-allocated in the nth hour.
The best way to maximize visibility over several employment types at once is to measure your staff’s efforts against their full-time equivalents (FTE). Assigning a numeric weighting against the number of actual hours worked lets you gauge the skills utilised on the bandwidth available, thus finalising schedules for future work to accommodate multiple shifts.
3. Establish collaborative communication
Communication is finally getting the attention long overdue, now that more businesses are moving towards iterative agility when executing projects. It’s one thing to assemble teams and quite another to ensure its members work as a cohesive block. Team dynamics are strengthened when competent staff are able to leverage their skills and expertise onto the tasks they’re assigning, while helping fellow colleagues speed things along.
Distributed and remote teams, in particular, benefit the most from collaborative communication. For one, it ensures that no single person is left out of key decisions, irrespective of the timezones they work out of.
And for another, members and project leaders alike get wider visibility into task progress, team performance and milestones reached. Besides clarifying what needs doing and who will be doing it, communication improves engagement and efficiency.
After all, information made available at the earliest lets members know what is next in line and can prepare for the workload after reconciling the lessons learned.
4. Stay hyper-aware of volatility
Hyper-awareness refers to a heightened understanding of market uncertainties. Visibility over data plays a key role in the decisions you take, especially if it includes expense distribution reports and the nature of work expected to fill in the pipeline.
Consequently, you can replan the business roadmap strategically and ensure financial and operational growth sees an uphill climb in the long run.
Besides being a pivotal resource in curating the project portfolio, project managers have to be able to assess if the workforce capacity would have to reskill or upskill for incoming demands. The next generation of AI talent will be trained around advanced automation. It makes business sense then, to create new roles where technology can link human capabilities to workplace efficiency.. Hyper-awareness lets you involve stakeholders, investors and departmental teams on measures, from investing in training programs to procuring the right technology for your workforce to familiarise themselves with.
5. Centralise tracking measures
Projects and business activities are easier to track when the information is visible and retrievable. And databases that plug in centralised tracking unify multiple workflows, ensuring that risks and issues escalated don’t fall through the cracks.
What’s more, centralised tracking renders greater flexibility, whether it is to check in on a single project or on multiple, inflight projects. Rather than repeatedly request for information and wait indefinitely for answers, a dashboard that can be configured based on access, number of system users and project records can capture business-wide activities.
This lets you see how many projects are done, enroute to completion or are halted. It also delves into the performance against costs and resources allocated, which enables you to adjust a team’s effort estimates with greater precision.
Did maximising visibility help you in your journey into project management? Tell us what your experience has been like in the discussion thread below!
Aakash Gupta heads the sales and marketing wing of Saviom. As a widely published author on resource management and workforce planning measures, he advocates for optimized workforce efficiency and the role it plays in generating true business value. Connect with him to know how, and more.