How to Combine Hard Data from Resource Management Software with Soft Data
Resource management is the process of planning, scheduling and allocating resources to complete a project. Good resource management ensures efficient use of resources, high-quality work, and keeps staff engaged while avoiding burnout.
Resource management software collects hard data that provides an unbiased look at agency operations. Combining hard data with soft data gathered by speaking with staff provides a holistic perspective on how your agency is running and reveals opportunities for optimization and reveals any productivity bottlenecks or issues. This blog will discuss how to merge hard and soft data to build a successful resource management strategy.
Using Data to View Staff Workload
Agencies have many projects on the go simultaneously, each with their own deliverables, timelines, and client requirements. Staying on top of each project is necessary, but without the right tools, it can be incredibly difficult and time-consuming to do so.
Resource management software provides data tracking for key metrics central to effective agency management. You can easily see how many projects are underway, who is working on each project, how much time each staff is spending on a project, and if projects are being completed on time. This data is key to informing staffing decisions, building estimates, and deciding whether or not to accept a new project. Agencies can also use this data to identify high volumes periods throughout the year and plan accordingly by preemptively hiring new staff or contracting freelancers.
Speak With Staff
Regardless of what the data shows, it is always important to speak with the staff directly. Subjective experience impacts work performance; even if a staff member isn’t technically overworked, they can still experience burnout. This can result from a number of causes including: difficult clients, poor communication, monotonous tasks, or lack of clarity of their responsibilities. A project can be draining even if it doesn’t take all of a staff member’s time. Why should you care about burnout? It kills productivity and efficiency and can spread through a team like wildfire. Helping a team recover from burnout is a much more arduous task than preventing it.
Putting it All Together
Hard data provides an overview of how work moves through the agency, and soft data fills in the blanks to complete the picture. For example, you may see via resource management software that a project has been pending in a certain stage for longer than normal, but the software won’t provide you with a reason why. Speaking with your staff will reveal the cause of the backlog, whether there are insufficient resources to move the project forward in a timely manner or an issue with client communication. Hard data alerts you to happenings, and soft data reveals the cause.
Insightful use of data is key to effective resource management. Utilizing resource management software in conjunction with speaking with your staff directly, you can ensure your agency is running at peak efficiency to maximize profits and satisfy clients.