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Resource Planning: Automate, Schedule, and Anticipate Rushes in Agencies and Consulting Firms

Agencies and service companies typically have an average visibility on their workload plan of 1 to 3 weeks. This makes any anticipation complicated and almost impossible to adapt recruitment and skills to commercial needs.

Of course, it is possible to accept the unexpected, new projects coming in along the way, and to adapt. Moderation, rather than overload, remains the healthiest mantra in this case.

How do you extend your visibility to several months? Here is the feedback from operational leaders of agencies and consulting firms who have successfully implemented winning habits and processes.

Improving visibility across all projects to anticipate unforeseen events

Who hasn’t experienced or suffered from the famous “crunch time” culture? We’re talking about the situation where the time sold to complete a project is running out without the entire mission being completed, all spiced up with synchronization issues since the graphic designer went on vacation the day before without getting the last crucial creative approved by the client to bill.

When project information is centralized on a limited number of people – whether it’s the project manager, the COO, or the production manager – visibility is often restricted and does not allow everyone to best anticipate the changes inherent in the life of the structure: vacation requests and departures, client absences during project validation phases, reliability in intra-team communications and with external parties, synchronizing schedules, and task relocations…

Above: Example of a project schedule on Furious – tasks and times assigned by person

To address this crucial issue, the idea is simple: for each project, you need to provide teams with simple metrics updated in real-time (project dates, project progress status, planned workload, billed workload) as well as visual schedules with the time assigned by person and visibility on each one’s vacations several weeks in advance. You can also indicate the absences or availabilities of clients with whom you validate project stages. The best is to receive alerts at specific times regarding the vacations of project stakeholders to anticipate as best as possible.

Following this first step, you must ensure clear visibility at least 6 weeks in advance on signed projects / ongoing quotes / available commercial pipeline. This is to be certain that your production teams are sufficiently staffed, otherwise, you will need to adjust and intensify commercial activations (in new business or existing business).

Decentralizing the production manager’s role and giving visibility to all teams is the first crucial step for smooth planning. Then, all you have to do is save time by automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks.

Staff your teams in 2 minutes flat upon quote signature

For a service company, chasing after spent time is unfortunately not just a game. Maximizing each collaborator’s time is the foundation of sustainable profitability.

If planning your teams’ time is a daily headache and doing so beyond 3 weeks is impossible, the solution could be automated time allocation based on available resources.

Staffing your teams is not just about project management. You need overall visibility on occupancy rates by skills for given and chosen periods, as well as individual time allocation levels. Are my teams spending their time on pre-sales? Pure production? Back-office? In this area, the pleasures are varied, and the allocation of billable time changes depending on the jobs (a project manager will spend 80% of their available time on billable tasks whereas, logically, a marketing position will be at 30% billable).

Above: The distribution of time allocations by person and occupancy rates by skills as seen on Furious.

Staffing your teams on a large project can take several days of your project managers’ or operations director’s work time; the solution lies in using a suitable business tool.

Plan painlessly and save time by automating with Furious

Designed by former service company leaders for their own use initially (to control their profitability, automate time allocation, and consolidate schedules…), Furious is today the business solution par excellence that will allow you to easily anticipate your workload plan 6 months (or even a year) in advance thanks to adapted and above all easily actionable features.

Converting sold time on quotes into scheduled time (by skills, individuals, or needs), vacation validation workflows, Gantt views of schedules by project (or by skills, or by BU), project progress status automatically sent by email to clients… Everything is designed to make your daily life easier and allow you to maximize your teams’ staffing in the long term.

Are you curious to know how Furious can take your service company into autopilot mode? Schedule a discovery call now right HERE (the trial is free!).

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