The benefits of strategic competence and resource management

Strategic resource and competence management is a key focus area across many industies, including diverse industries such as management consulting, information and communications technology and retail.

Most professional services companies apply rigid recruitment processes with numeric, verbal and personality tests. Rounds of interviews are conducted to ensure the right fit for the job, and credentials are collect and verified. However, once resources have been employed, many companies quickly loose track of what resources and competencies exist and how these resources and competencies are orchestrated towards customers. In many cases, companies have much poorer data about competencies and resources in their internal systems than whats available on external platforms such as Linkedin.

At company level, lack of transparency of resources and competencies leads to a situation where the basis for decision making is incomplete and possibly misleading. Forecasts have poor accuracy and staff utilization suboptimal at the same time as costs related to temporary staff and overtime remain high. Low customer satisfaction and staff motivation due poor matching of customer projects and resources. Resource management related escalations are common and require a lot of management time.

At team level, line managers struggle to get their resources utilized and to build the case for retention and recruitment of staff. The planning horizon is only as long as current engagements, and poor or fragmented tools means that knowledge about resources and competencies remain in the heads of the individual line manager.
Line managers spend a high percentage of their time dealing with resource management administration due to lack of resource management support, reducing the time for more value enhancing work

At individual level, service professionals find it hard to manage their own utilization and have low visibility of relevant opportunities. Professionals are tempted to take on work for which they are over- or underqualified for and have little incentive to make their competencies visible.

Strategic resource and competency management requires a number of components to be put in place.

  • Forecast accuracy connecting the sales pipeline to resource forecast
  • Resource and competence accuracy and visibility, with tight integration to related HR processes such as recruitment, learning and development
  • Clear resource management, roles and responsibilities with separation of duties to ensure the right resource management decisions
  • A strong services culture that fosters ongoing learning and competence visibility
  • Ongoing measurement and evaluation to ensure ongoing improvement

With strategic resource management in place, top management have full visibility to ensure the right dimensioning of the organization. Middle managers have more time for client related work and to develop their teams. Resource managers are enabled to be effective based on end to end processes and tools. The matching of individual resources of competencies ensure the right person for the right job as well as ongoing growth and development. The need for temporary staff is reduced and over time is evened out thus creating a better working environment.

Although the competence and resource needs are very different, most of these benefits apply also to other services intense industries. Strategic resource management is a key differentiator in terms of customer satisfaction, talent retention and profitability.

Contact me now for a conversation on how your company can accelerate your strategic resource management journey.