I recently sat down with PSOhub founder and CEO Martijn van der Hoeden to pick his brain about resource management and what he had in mind when he created the new resource management feature in PSOhub.
His vision is all about flexibility, the ability to choose what works for YOUR business, not some catch-all solution.
Here’s what the PSA software expert has to say about his resource management vision for small and large companies alike. You’ll also get a taste of what it’s like to actually use this feature to help easily manage your organization’s workload within the PSOhub environment.
Arguably the most important facet of the new resource management feature in PSOhub is the ability to choose your own path when it comes to managing capacity and workload.
At present, other resource management solutions will make you choose between task capacity and hours capacity; that is, managing your workload based on the tasks it requires versus the necessary hours to complete the project. Martijn wanted companies to have more agency and flexibility in this area. He explains:
What we are providing is resource management where you can manage your complete workload and capacity. And you can do that based on task capacity or hours capacity. Or combine both; it’s entirely up to the company.
PSOhub gives you the option to do resource management more pragmatically with task capacity or more detailed with hours. Or even in combination. If you use both, your workload will be super detailed and you’ll have the ultimate amount of control over what’s happening.
But even doing hours capacity management alone might not be necessary for a lot of small businesses. Here’s what it’s like utilizing both options in the PSOhub platform.
In PSOhub, you have a task backlog of all the activities and tasks not assigned to a resource (aka a person). Alongside this backlog, you can then see who is available and who's not per month per resource. On a task basis.
You can basically see what people still have capacity in a visual way to inform your decisions going forward as far as workload.
The result for small businesses? No one gets burned out. You know what people can handle and team members know exactly what’s expected of them.
It's a very easy way to do task capacity resource management and workload management because you can see how busy everybody is per user per month, and you can see how many tasks are not assigned to a resource on your task backlog. Then simply assign remaining tasks based on capacity.
“It’s less work because you don’t have to calculate any hours,” explains Martijn. “It gives you a very good indication of your workload, but it’s less precise.”
Step 1: Create your project.
Step 2: Setup your tasks.
Step 3: Assign your tasks via Project or Task Allocation Backlog and review your capacity
You can clearly see the tasks on the left that need to be assigned. On the right, you have a capacity overview to see who is busy and who has space that month. So, you check those tasks, assign them to the right resources and to the right month.
An added bonus? You can also see overdue tasks per resource. That way, you’ll know if people with capacity can handle the tasks they already have
To leverage resource management based on hours in PSOhub, you’ll need to establish capacity in hours per week. In the resource management feature, you’ll clearly see each resource’s time utilization percentage: the billable rate you expect from your resource (how many hours of that week is someone being productive versus doing internal work that can’t be scheduled to billable projects). The hours capacity management tool will empower you to know exactly how many hours per week your people can bill.
The place you’ll see this information is your workload sheet. You create one for each project where you can set up hours you expect to spend on a project per month per user per role. This workload sheet lets you see overall utilization of a resource in percentage, what they’re scheduled for, and where he or she is regarding capacity in real-time
If you take the time to calculate for each project how many hours you expect to spend for each contract line for each month and for each resource, of course it gives you more insight into your workload!
It's more accurate. The advantage is you can compare in the workload sheet the actuals versus the expected workload. But it takes more time, so that's a big downside for some. Hours capacity requires more discipline.
For your Resource Workload Capacity Sheet, this function is already available in PSOhub as the Calculation Sheet. What's new is now you can see it by resource instead of seeing it by project. Now you can easily tell who is overloaded with hours or still being utilized in the right way.
According to Van der Hoedem, “The companies that are really anal about resource management can use both options. If you use both options you have the most control.”
To use both task and hours capacity in the PSOhub environment, set up both features following the steps above. Remember again, this method requires the most information and the most discipline, so don’t bite off more than you can chew… especially if it’s not needed…
Which brings us to our final point in our first discussion of Martijn’s resource management vision for PSOhub. It’s an actual lived experience that got his wheels turning on the way to creating this new feature. All in the name of holistic, 360 Degree Project Management.
Martijn brought up an architectural firm (an industry he was steeped in for years creating PSA software). This company had 50 team members whose names were put on a calculation sheet with hours every single week to manage capacity. That’s a LOT of tedious, menial work. Martijn explains:
“That told me the whole story. And that got me thinking about a completely different way to manage your project. Yes, hours are important, but the most important thing is what you do during those hours.
For example [architecture], say a sketch design needs to be presented to the client by a certain date. Is it really important how many hours are spent on the sketch design? Or that it’s completed on the promised day for the client?
What’s most important is what people are doing for those hours and what needs to be delivered. So, I said [to the company] I think you should manage your project task-based, your capacity task-based. How many hours your artist spent on that sketch design isn’t interesting to you or to your client. The only thing that's interesting for you is that you can send the invoice. And you can only do that when the sketch design is done. Despite the number of hours. So why do you always want a weekly update of hours you need?”
This experience prompted him to develop task capacity for resource management along with the option for hours capacity. What’s best is left up to the user, not the developer.
“Sometimes we need to educate our users not to always want what they already have. Because if you always want what you already have, then nothing will change.”