Early civilizations like the Greeks and the Babylonians believed that the Earth was the center of the universe and that the sun, moon, and stars revolved around it. Today, many mathematicians believe that the reason there are 360° in a circle is because of the false assumptions made regarding the earth’s fixed rotation. Apparently, early astronomers concluded that the sun moved by a fixed amount each day, until it returned to its original starting position 360 days later.  (Early calendars assumed 360 days, not 365.)

A false assumption led to the idea of 360 degrees in a circle.

Ancient civilizations thought the earth was the center of the universe.
Courtesy of redorbit.com

Although it was originally built on a number of false premises, the concept of “360°” in a circle has come to signify that a person has a complete or total understanding of something, as in a 360° view of a relationship or a process. In business, we will frequently talk about 360° views of customers, sales, and even of the supply chain.

One key area that is frequently ignored by professional services company is a 360° view of their project resources. Although most companies recognize the value in tracking their employee’s skill sets, availability, and utilization, they also find this an extremely difficult task.

Luckily, project resource management software like OpenAir can simplify the entire process and provide management with the desired 360° view of resources in the following ways:

  • Real Time Updates – The ability to mobilize and deploy project resources can only occur when managers are aware of their current commitments. In large organizations, attempting to coordinate and update employee resource availability as projects begin and end can be quite challenging. Due to the complexity of the coordination and speed of business today, information that is even a day old may not be accurate. However, OpenAir tracks resources in real time based upon which projects they have been assigned to work on. Using this information, it can identify where resources are deployed, and when they are expected to roll off based on the project schedule. Since it is in real time, the information is accurate.
  • Skills Tracking – Another interesting element of project resource management software is its ability to provide visibility into employee talents, skills, education, and certifications. Using a tool like OpenAir, this information can become searchable. For example, if a customer requests special skill sets, the sales team can perform searches to identify the right resources to satisfy the customer. These searches can be performed on multiple factors, including demographic information, interests, experience, work preferences, or any other parameters that the company chooses to set.
  • Proactively Manage Resources – Another feature of project resource management software is its ability to automatically notify managers when resource utilization drops below certain thresholds. If the target utilization is set at 70%, email alerts can be sent to management when a resource drops below this amount. Email alerts can also be set up to trigger when resources are “on the bench.” All of this information can then be used by sales to forecast what projects they need to sell in the upcoming months.
project resource management software can help manage resources

Resource Management is of critical importance to professional service firms.
Courtesy of Dilbert.com

Once resources are hired, management needs to ensure that they have a complete view of everything they offer.  By using project resource management software, management will be able to gain a true 360° view into their resources. By using it to increase utilization, they will be making the firm more profitable. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us.