October 17, 2014 at 3:14 pm #885
If you have different Managers forecasting for their needs, one forecasts for a certain demand while the other doesn’t. But what happens is a project that a manager has not forecasted for materializes and since you have the needed resources and you want to achieve high utilization of the resources, you do assign the resources. Later the project that was forecasted for materializes and the manager requests the resources. Now, the situation is you won’t be able to staff this project while the manager complains that he has forecasted for the project enough time before. Does anyone face such situations?
October 17, 2014 at 6:27 pm #873
In even the best forecasting methods, mismatches in supply and demand are inevitable. The good news here (your scenario) is that the company did get to apply a bench resource and the first person with demand got the person (better than a forecast is getting an actual deal). In the case(s) where the forecast happens to under estimate need, having a good strategy for peak-load needs is essential. Whether that is contractors, partners, temp staffing agencies, or some other source of temp help, a good peak-load strategy can be an answer. If the scenario you describe happens frequently, then revisiting the forecasting mechanism may be in order. Important to avoid the temptation to reward the better forecaster by isolating a resource as in the end then the company loses. If you have someone who consistently under (or over) forecasts, there should be some remediation or intervention for improvement in the future. Some companies also establish a forecasting accuracy index to measure those that are taking the process of forecasting seriously, and those who are not, so forecasting performance is visible to everyone.
March 11, 2016 at 6:56 pm #879
We have a significant issue surrounding resource allocations in terms of accuracy. Often what’s allocated (hardbooked to a named resource) is not a confirmed commitment to a project schedule but a forecast based upon an Margin Analysis or an unsubstantiated best guess number. In addition, we tend to have a ‘set it and forget it’ mentality, meaning PM’s are not adjusting allocations on a regular cadence (once per week at minimum). Due to this issue, RM does not have the critical visibility needed to perform our role effectively. Tasks such as filling staffing requests, identifying the resource bench and forecasting utilization take an enormous amount effort (data scrutinizing/scrubbing) before we can provide data–even then our level of confidence in the data is marginal. Due to this issue, RM has become the data ‘police’ and the effort and churn it takes for RM, PM’s and the resources themselves to get this data accurate is a tactical time consuming activity that is a costing our business a significant loss in productivity.
There seem to be a number of reasons this is happening.
At the project turnover state, automatic hardbooking of named resources (to MA hours) contributes to this issue.
The current qualification for hardbooking a resource is an Active/WAR project not a confirmed schedule
There are no consequences for PM’s
We forecast at the month level so there is more room for ambiguity – we are moving to a weekly allocation (testing now)
We have a number of support projects that are ad-hoc
Has anyone else successfully tackled these issues and have a good plan?
I’m also interested in the forecasting accuracy index that Randy mentions to bring visibility and consequences to the PM team.
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