by Page Grossman
When you’re an enterprise operating at a global scale with a team of employees working from home, one of your major concerns is proper resource allocation. When it goes wrong, your company will operate less cost-effectively, and completing projects will become more time-consuming. You may think you have enough resources, but find out in the middle of a project that you don’t.
When planning out your resource allocation process, you want to find ways to streamline the process and make it easy, especially when working with a remote team. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be difficult to properly and efficiently allocate resources for your project needs. Here are six ways you can simplify your resource allocation management.
1. Automate Time and Task Tracking
If you’re looking to simplify your resource allocation management for a remote workforce, one of the best first steps you can take is to automate your time and task tracking. When you’re managing a remote workforce, getting updates from employees becomes individualized, meaning managers are constantly checking in with staff.
With a resource management system that automates task tracking, you don’t have to ask employees for updates on what they’re working on. Instead, you can get real-time status updates through the software. Automated time tracking simplifies your resource allocation management so you know how employees are spending their time.
2. Plan Ahead for Time Off
One of the headaches of resource allocation management is approving time off for the right employees at the right time. You want to make sure that if someone is taking time off, you can still complete the project without them.
A strong team is interdependent, meaning they rely upon one another for different knowledge bases and approvals. When you plan ahead for time off and properly allocate time off to the right people at the right time, you avoid project delays. Proper resource allocation will also inform your hiring and training schedule to ensure you have the right employees with the right skills.
3. Clearly Define Tasks
One of the difficulties of a remote team is communication and knowing who is working on what aspects of a project. When allocating resources to a project, you need to ensure that each task is getting completed in the correct amount of time.
Clearly defining tasks means assigning team members specific, unambiguous tasks where the scope is clearly stated. You need smart ways to manage resource requests and to get the right people working on the right task. The larger your organization, the more complicated this process can be.
Avoiding ambiguity in your communication and assignments ensures that you aren’t wasting time and incorrectly allocating resources to your remote team.
4. Provide Flexibility and Trust to Your Employees
Your employees are one of the biggest resources that your company has. How they spend their time is crucial to proper resource allocation. While you need regular updates on the status of a project and for employees to track how they spend their time, you also have to invest in your employees. A low-cost way to invest in your employees is to provide them with flexibility and trust. This is especially important for remote teams.
Many managers’ first instinct is to tighten the reins on employees who are working remotely — require more meetings, more check-ins, and more status updates. This can constrict employees’ ability to work and waste time that they could use to complete tasks.
If you hire someone, you should be able to trust them to get their work done. Have a system for tracking task statuses and otherwise trust your employees to do their job. By providing your employees with trust and flexibility, you allow them to become experts in resource allocation for themselves. When each employee is their most efficient, it makes resource allocation management easier and more cost-effective for your company.
5. Set Productivity and Utilization Targets
A great way to simplify your remote resource allocation is to set productivity and utilization targets. These targets provide your resource manager with measurable goals for where resource allocation levels should be. As you track your resource allocation over time, you can start to notice how regularly you meet your targets. You can’t improve what you can’t measure.
When you set utilization targets, it makes it easier for your resource manager to track projects and the work being done.
6. Get Global Access to Allocation Levels
While your employees are your largest resource to manage, your company has many other resources, including remote resources. It’s important that your resource manager can access information about resource allocation levels from wherever they are. This is especially important when you’re managing remote resources and a remote team.
With global visibility into your resources, your resource manager can see the current resource levels and easily determine future allocation levels. With this information, your resource manager can better manage requests for resources. They can also see which resources are overworked and which are underworked to better improve resource allocation and keep employees happy.
Resource allocation is all about finding balance within a complex system. You want to allocate resources where they’re needed without shorting any other section of the company and also planning for the future. For proper resource allocation management, you need to sync employee schedules, map availability, and know who is working from home and when they’re working. For even more tips on efficiency in the enterprise space, check out our ebook.
This article is originally posted in Replicon.