Resource Management

Understanding Project Metrics: Total Availability by Month

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In services, there is a constant struggle to manage supply vs demand.  A few questions to consider: Do you have the number of resources required to complete your work, and can you successfully handle taking on more work? 

How to Measure Total Availability by Month

A key metric your services business needs highlights availability against project demand. To understand remaining availability, calculate billable planned, estimated, and scheduled hours against total capacity. It is imperative to have visibility into both planned and scheduled availability to have an accurate forecast of who is actually free to take on work.

In this case, scheduled time is assumed as hard allocated (locked in and unlikely to change), and planned time is assumed as soft allocated (original plan and possible to change). Availability of resources is a fluid and imprecise metric, so through the analysis of both hard allocated resources and soft allocated resources, you can see the potential availability versus the truly unavailable people.

Decisions To Be Made

This information will help you understand if you have enough resources to take on new work. If a certain role, skill, or resource is constantly not available, consider hiring new individuals. If a certain role, skill, or resource is consistently available, make swift moves to assign them to billable work, or restructure the team.

Information Required
  • Total Monthly Availability: Available hours for a given resource over a month’s period.
  • Planned Availability: When a resource is unofficially put on a task, project, or client, the details are likely to change, and the resource will likely be shifted until the project scope is finalized.
  • Scheduled Availability: When a resource is officially put on a task, project, or client, the details are set in stone and the project is ready to be started. These resources are officially unavailable for any other work.
A Look Inside

In this example Mavenlink Insights report we are looking at resource availability for the duration of March through August. It appears the organization has an aggregate availability (or capacity left to use) of between 48% and 59%, depending how much of the Planned Resources needed are converted into Project Resource Schedules (Hard). Specifically, if we are looking for Engineers, the availability is around the mid 30’s%, and we will want to drill into detail to see who’s available.

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