Even the largest companies have limited resources. The careful allocation of those resources is vital for a business to reliably provide its goods or services to the market. From staff numbers to equipment purchases to budget dollars, business leaders must decide how to leverage finite resources wisely.
This is often easier said than done, though, and resource planning can quickly become a challenge for any leader. To help, seven members of Business Journals Leadership Trust share how a leader can develop a well-functioning resource plan for their company.
1. First determine actual resource availability.
We often underestimate the actual level of effort by people who are doing their day jobs on top of projects. The key step is a validation of actual resource availability and time commitment. – Gene Yoo, Resecurity, Inc.
2. Catalog what’s needed for optimal performance.
Identify your most valuable resources and account for their distribution. It is difficult to develop a plan when you are unaware of the parts of the plan. Taking a moment to catalog what your business requires for optimal performance is key. – Rachel Namoff, Arapaho Asset Management
3. Follow a SWOT analysis with research.
Conduct a SWOT analysis. You can also look to industry publications and webinars on this topic — many people are willing to share what has worked and what has not worked in their businesses. I look toward other cities and even our local organizations for interviews with business owners who share successes and failures. You may be pleasantly surprised by how open people are with information nowadays. – Jean-Paul Gedeon, JPG MEDIA
4. Prioritize what will move you forward.
Look at goals and tasks from a business perspective first. Will it move your business or your client’s business forward? Prioritize resources and individual tasks with this in mind. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
5. Take a look at your current team’s workload.
Understanding how your existing team is utilized is crucial. Develop reports that show how your team members are currently utilized, where are they spending their time and who might have some bandwidth. Understanding resourcing needs and availability will be your first steps in developing a resource plan. – Jared Knisley, Fizen Technology
6. Measure results and adjust accordingly.
We are a service business, and time is one resource we can’t manufacture. Using our time wisely is more important now than ever before. Scheduling and budgeting activities are critical to making sure everything gets done. Measuring results and adjusting budgets as you move forward is critical to staying ahead of demand. Response time is the No. 1 factor contributing to customer satisfaction in our world. – Jon Schram, The Purple Guys
7. Commit to making changes as needed.
One step to developing a well-functioning resource plan is to be open to making revisions and to not be so focused on the pre-planning stage. No plan fully survives contact with the execution. The art of planning is vital to any business’s success and is important to prepare you for disaster. – Jack Smith, Fortuna Business Management Consulting