Successful businesses depend on experienced resource managers to put the right resources on the right projects, at the right time, every time. The number of projects increases, timelines decrease and the demand for specialized skills continues to rise. Access to data is more important than ever for resource managers who often have the added burden of filling the gaps left by the limitations and inefficiencies of spreadsheets and outdated technology. A tumultuous 2020 added even more complexity to resource management and without the clarity and control a modern resource management tool provides, even the most experienced resource managers will find 2021 just as challenging as 2020.
The following are three areas that resource managers should look for technology improvements in 2021:
1. Fluid Workforce Management
During the COVID-19 pandemic companies across multiple industries were forced to reduce their workforces due to the sudden economic downturn. As demand for business services returns, many companies will need to embrace fluid workforces to deliver projects and adapt to fluctuations before they are ready to re-hire full-time employees.
Fluid workforces that combine full-time, part-time, and contract workers that work in-office or remotely have become the norm, and will remain even when working from home isn’t necessary for health and safety any longer. However, these constantly changing configurations can challenge resource managers who are used to having clear distinctions between where and how their employees work. Resource management software is working to keep up with these changes by providing digital workspaces that can be accessed wherever a team member may be and by providing appropriate levels of access to the information and tasks based on their role. These capabilities will make the modern resource management solution even more critical to managing a hybrid workforce that must stay flexible and well-utilized to succeed.
2. Change Management
As highlighted by Northeastern University, if the year 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that the only constant is change. And while businesses will never be able to predict changes, they can and should be prepared to handle them as effectively as possible. Well-crafted change management procedures and resource management solutions will help manage, implement and guide managers through the process.
The changes happening around the globe within work environments and the constant need to take on new types of projects to stay competitive may require some degree of change with every new project or every new client. These changes can range from small internal process adjustments to complete overhauls of the types of products and services you offer. In any case, change can have a negative impact on the health and productivity of teams when not implemented correctly. As such, resource management solutions will need to be more adept at staffing stronger cohesive teams to support change management throughout an organization. Doing so will ensure resources and clients are better equipped with the understanding of and capabilities required to implement and adjust to new roles, responsibilities and processes.
3. Intelligent Decision Support Systems
Resource management solutions aren’t just an effective platform for keeping team members coordinated, they are a treasure trove of data on team performance, timelines, and budgets. Modern resource management solutions are able to automatically update skills libraries based on work that has been done leading to faster resource matches and recommendations than a resource manager can do alone. With the right data, resource managers deploy the right teams on the right projects to ensure on time and on budget delivery.
Look to modern resource management solutions to provide intelligent decision support to not only leverage this data more than ever in 2021, but to provide the decision support needed to help managers increase their effectiveness, improve the performance of their teams, and the profitability of their projects.
While Artificial Intelligence will continue to play a role in resource management software in the future, it is important to think of it as a supporting element that helps make connections and speed up the discovery process of critical data, instead of an all-powerful algorithm that will take over the resource management process. Solutions will provide stronger and stronger data support for resource managers to make informed, effective decisions that drive business successful.
Looking to Optimize Resource Management in 2021
Learn more about how to field the best team, every time and see up-to-the minute progress against timelines and budgets so projects run smoothly, predictably, and profitably in Mavenlink’s free ebook, “Resource Management: What You Need to Succeed. Get Your Copy.
Ryan Montano is a technology professional with a passion for Product Management, Product Marketing, and Product Development. His areas of focus include B2B SaaS, Project Management, Analytics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, UI/UX design, and Startup Ventures. Ryan has spent nearly a decade in product development working closely with R&D and marketing teams on long-term strategic planning. This has allowed him to help shape countless key technology features and requirements that capture the essence of product value for clients.