Agency resource management is all about efficient people management. It involves understanding who is available to take on more work and how to best allocate tasks to meet your goals.
When you manage your resources well, team performance and productivity improve. When you don’t, it can lead to burnout, turnover, and a decrease in your bottom line.
Read on to discover how to strengthen your resource management process to optimize your team and agency's performance. We’ll also include three top tips from our recent resource management webinar.
How does strong agency resource management boost team performance?
Resource management is the entire end-to-end process of capacity planning vs resource planning, scheduling, and resource allocation to maximize your overall business efficiency.
A resource can be anything required to accomplish a task or project, including materials, subcontractors, and labor (people). But, agency resource management focuses on planning, scheduling, and managing your people, since they are your primary resource.
What does this have to do with team performance?
According to a Gallup workplace survey, two of the five primary causes of employee burnout are an unmanageable workload and unreasonable time pressure.
In other words, when people feel overworked or are struggling to meet tight deadlines, they’re likely to burnout. And burning out your employees can cause a downward spiral of decreased performance and increased sick time.
With proper resource management, you can ensure workloads are leveled across employees, deadlines are reasonable, and no one is logging a ton of hours last minute to meet a goal.
How to strengthen your agency resource management
Recently, we hosted a webinar with Jacob Wright from Glow Social & Digital Agency to discuss how they are using Wrike to improve their resource management.
Here is his advice on how to strengthen your agency resource management:
Gain visibility into your team’s workload
Before adopting Wrike as their centralized software for resource management, time management, project scheduling, and delivery, the team at Glow really struggled with keeping on top of everyone’s current and upcoming workload.
“We used several SaaS solutions such as Google Sheets, Google Docs, Slack, just overall G suite products. We also used Harvest for time management and project budgets and Trello for our overall project management tool. But the dots really just did not connect.”
Without a single platform for tracking planned versus actual hours spent, the team felt like they were all over the place trying to manage resources. Without knowing where the problem areas were or who had the capacity to help, it was difficult to evenly divide workloads.
By adopting one software to handle resource management, Jacob and his team were able to gain visibility into who was scheduled to work on what and when. Now they can quickly see who has the capacity for more work and who needs help.
Easily distribute work hours
At Glow, Jacob’s team uses Wrike’s workload charts to easily assign and distribute work hours to best suit each team member’s job role and availability.
“We have workload charts sorted by discipline, department, and then project. We use them to forecast who has the bandwidth when planning our project teams based on planned hours or effort or what we budgeted for that project.”
But assigning hours in the beginning isn’t enough. Workloads can quickly change as priorities shift and tasks take more or less time than initially expected. To keep workloads manageable and avoid burnout, it’s vital that you can rearrange the team’s tasks throughout a project as well.
Fortunately, with Workload charts, you can monitor people’s overall workloads and task deadlines in real-time as things progress. So it’s easy to see when you need to shift things around in your resource allocation plan. Plus, you can quickly move work around or reassign people.
3 tips for teams who are new to agency resource management
If you’re new to agency resource management, here are three essential tips to get you started:
1. If it's not in Wrike, it didn’t happen
A rule of thumb that Jacob and his team live by is: “If it’s not in Wrike, it didn't happen.”
When you record all project assignments and hours spent in one place, it increases visibility and accountability. Not only does this make it easier to reassign tasks and smooth out workloads, but it also improves your future project planning.
Maybe you assumed a project would take 40 hours, but it ended up taking 60. You probably had to juggle a lot of things around at the last minute to avoid your team putting in overtime hours.
But, now you can plan for 60 hours right from the start the next time you have a similar project. If your actual time spent wasn’t captured in the same system as your plans, then chances are you’d make the same mistake next time and only budget 40 hours.
2. Support your team through the process
Implementing a new resource management approach can be hard. You’re asking your team to learn new processes and adopt new tools, and at least a few of them will likely struggle.
Whether it’s technical struggles (i.e., learning how to use the software) or a resistance to change, you must support and coach them through the process.
Jacob’s advice is to take the time upfront to not only train your team but also implement a strong support system.
“We want to make sure everyone is properly trained, everyone has the proper channels to reach out about issues or just overall Wrike questions. And then setting up Wrike champion users which are identified to help take some of the workload off of the implementation team so that they can focus on just actually developing the tool and deploying it properly across the organization.”
3. Embrace continuous improvement
The final piece of advice Jacob would like to relay is this:
“Always strive to improve your process and keep building on the Wrike foundation.”
Agile project management is all about continuous improvement and adaptability. Even if you’re using a more traditional approach to managing projects, it’s essential to be ready for change.
Whether it’s embracing a newly released Wrike feature or improving on your internal work processes, you should continually be looking for opportunities to improve your resource management.
As our product marketing manager Molly Jones says: “While consistency is definitely key, it doesn't mean that you have to stop learning and growing.”
Improve agency resource management with Wrike Resource
Adopting Wrike Resource and workload charts has saved the Glow team an average of 7–10 hours every week.
As Jacob explains: “With the use of Wrike resourcing tools and workload charts, we were able to eliminate a lot of the subjective and ambiguity behind employee utilization, so it definitely has saved us a lot of time post-implementation.”
If you’d like to see how much time and frustration Wrike can save your team, sign up for a free 14-day trial.