In today’s hyper-competitive business arena, companies are under constant pressure — to deliver more in less time and with fewer resources. Pressure on high productivity is tremendous. A professional resource management tool can help you overcome the challenges of handling and allocating resources.
But not all resource management tools are suitable for every company and sometimes it is not about the tool but the size of the company. Look at our 5-years evolution of human resources planning. Throughout those years we went from simple to complex solutions, through which we can plan resources for the entire company. Maybe you can learn something from it.
When you have a few employees, commonly, you have only one project and you don’t need to plan the resources of your small team. The only thing that you need is your voice and good colleagues.
Active projects: 1–2
A successful project leads to more business with more developers. The first step is to divide one team into sub-teams. In our case: Web, Android, iOS, Design, Management, and QA team.
It is quite simple to plan capacities when you have smaller teams. Even if they cooperate on a project the necessity of software is not so urgent. The only thing that you need is to visualize it somewhere.
Active projects: 2–5
It’s becoming very hard to keep all projects/employees visually updated as you grow, so you are starting to realize that Excel is a great tool for everything. :) So you create your first excel sheet. It looks very bad, it is very hard to manage everything there but it fulfills your purpose.
Active projects: 5–10
It is pain to use your custom made excel sheet as I have mentioned before and you are going to try to find alternatives. I have found a resource allocation template that provides an overview of the human resources (expressed as work hours, project requirements). It was better than a custom made solution but you have to make much more effort to keep it up to date. This also requires to have more meetings.
Active projects: 10–20
What is the number when you realize that you have to move away from static and unreliable spreadsheets? In my opinion, it is 30 employees and 20+ active projects.
To ensure that your team is effectively deployed, you need two things:
The best way to plan capacities is to meet regularly with platform leaders, project managers, and sales. This is the best people who can help you with the business priorities of the team. In our case, we have a capacity meeting once per week.
Result of capacity meeting:
As you could see in the previous parts of the article, I have spent a really lot of time looking for the right visualization tool when I realized that it will be best to use the software made for my problem.
These solutions are pretty good and each of them has some great pros but also some cons. For us connection with the Atlassian is crucial since we are trying to benefit from a consistent environment:
We chose Tempo Planner. An effective tool to plan resources and report on capacity in Jira.
Connection to Jira offers us better reports. We can easily report planned time and logged time in tempo timesheet. Nice tools for project planning, since Tempo planner is not only suitable for the planning resources but you can also plan the whole project there.
We are looking forward to the next challenges which will come with 100+ employees :)
And what about you and resource planning? What kind of planning&visualization do you use? Let me know!