Cloud Coach

Managing Project Demand with Resource Requests

12–14 minutes to read29th of July 2016

Welcome to our sneak peek into the Cloud Coach Deep Dive Track for Delivery 2016Resource Management

Everyone knows that good resourcing is critical to delivering a healthy project, but proper resource management goes beyond just assigning the right people to the right tasks. Using Cloud Coach Resourcing tools, project and resource managers can not only match the right people with the right project, but they can also forecast which projects to take on, monitor when it’s time to hire additional skill types, and seamlessly manage projects in various locations around the globe.

In this session you’ll learn how to:

  • Use resourcing to manage project demand intake
  • Match the right people with the right project in a few simple steps
  • Oversee your resources and tell at a glance when they are over and under-allocated
 

The Problem

Business is booming at Company ABC. They have more potential projects than the ability to execute on those projects, and they need a way to properly balance their capacity with their project demand. They need a solution that will let them weigh these potential projects, see their impact on resource capacity, and then choose the best projects for the right time.

The Solution

Our project manager is going to use Project Charters to scope out and record the potential projects, Resource Requests to forecast the labor demand, and Resource Capacity to visualize how these projects will affect Company ABC’s resource pool.

 

Current Resource Capacity

Before our project manager scopes out upcoming projects, they need to see where the company currently sits, and what capacity they may be able to squirrel away for future projects. To see their work-type capacity at a glance, they’ll navigate to Resource Capacity and check out the next six months.

By looking at the Resource Capacity screen in Cloud Coach, our project manager can easily tell they have the capacity to launch more projects beginning in October. Great news! But how do they know which projects and how many they can afford to take on?

Scope Potential Projects using Project Charters

By using Cloud Coach’s Project Charters, our project manager can record the details of any potential projects they’re assessing, as well as relate them to other forcasting tools in Salesforce. Before our project manager jumps in, they need to add a few fields to the Project Charter to make it more applicable to their business.

First, we create a field for the potential project’s estimated hours. To do this, navigate to Setup, then Create, and finally choose the Project Charter object. Once we’re within the object setup screen, we create a new custom number field:

While we’re there, we also create custom fields for Estimated Revenue and Estimated Cost, a picklist for Level of Complexity, and a checkbox for Recurring. Finally, we create a formula field to calculate the potential operating margin based on our Estimated Revenue and Estimated Cost fields.

We have some fields, and our project manager is ready to give themselves a high five. But we’re not done yet. Those fields aren’t visible until we add them to a page layout. We can set them up in the page layouts section of the Project Charter object setup screen.

When we’re done, our Project Charter should look like this:

Create Charters for Project A and Project B Now that our Project Charter screen is set-up let’s create a couple of charters for potential projects. We’ve already scoped out our two projects, so all our project manager needs to do is enter the data and let the Projected Margin formula field do its work.

Looking at these projects, we can already see that while Project B will take an additional 200 hours, it also has a higher revenue potential. However, our project manager notices that the margin is lower on Project B, and the complexity is High which means there’s a chance that the project could be challenging to manage. There are pros and cons to both projects, but before we can make any decisions we need to see how those estimated hours affect our resource capacity.

Create Resource Requests to Forecast Capacity

In order to model the estimated hours for each project, our project manager is going to create a few resource requests so they view whether or not they have the capacity to take on both projects.

Let’s begin by navigating to our Resource Request tab, and creating a request for Work Type (Hours). That way we can make a request for future resources, even though we’re not ready to allocate them to an individual.

We create our first resource request by selecting the Business Analyst work type, selecting a date field, relating it to the appropriate Project Charter, and adding in the estimated hours we think we’ll need based on our Project Charter.

Once the request has been filled out, choose Save & New and create another request for Developer to resource the rest of our estimated hours. (Remember, we scoped Project A at 400 hours in our Project Charter.) Once our second resource request is complete, we can choose Submit for Approval on each of them and send those requests through an approval process.

Let’s go back to Resource Capacity and see the effect on our work type capacity.

Looking at these projects, we can already see that while Project B will take an additional 200 hours, it also has a higher revenue potential. However, our project manager notices that the margin is lower on Project B, and the complexity is High which means there’s a chance that the project could be challenging to manage. There are pros and cons to both projects, but before we can make any decisions we need to see how those estimated hours affect our resource capacity.

Create Resource Requests to Forecast Capacity

In order to model the estimated hours for each project, our project manager is going to create a few resource requests so they view whether or not they have the capacity to take on both projects.

Let’s begin by navigating to our Resource Request tab, and creating a request for Work Type (Hours). That way we can make a request for future resources, even though we’re not ready to allocate them to an individual.

Now when we look at our Resource Capacity, we can clearly see that our project manager can not take on both projects with their current staffing.

What’s a project manager to do?

Approve Selected Resource Request

Luckily for our project manager, they did a good job of scoping both projects, and we have the information we need to make a smart choice about which to choose for our business. Project A’s estimated revenue is lower than Project B’s, but the profit margin is significantly higher, the level of complexity is lower, and the impact on our resource capacity is lower. We can comfortably commit to the work without fear of over-allocating our team.

Once this decision is approved, our project manager can approve Project A’s resource requests. Since Company ABC is hiring in the next few weeks, our project manager will leave the requests for Project B as pending. They can reconsider whether they have the capacity to take on both projects once their hiring initiative is complete.

Let’s take another look at Resource Capacity now that we’ve approved Project A’s resource requests.

Our project manager can now see both the allocations that have already been resourced to individuals, as well as the Resource Requests that have been approved. And if they wanted to see that third level – the pending resource requests that haven’t been approved – all they would have to do is select the “Pending Requests” checkbox in the top right of the screen.

Now our project manager can see not only the allocated resources, but both levels of resource requests as well.

Conclusion 

Not only was our project manager able to scope out and document the potential projects using Project Charters, but they were also able to forecast the effect of those projects on their resource capacity by creating a couple of Resource Requests. Armed with the appropriate information, our project manager was able to make a smart decision about which projects to take on for Company ABC, without worrying if they had the staff to deliver on those projects.

It’s just that easy.

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