Projects or Proposals? Which Ones Get the Resources?

by: Brian Campagnola (VP Business Operations)

Competing demands on resources to support both new business opportunities and ongoing project deliveries can be a significant challenge for professional services firms, especially during periods of business growth.

As a senior delivery manager, have you ever wondered how to complete all of those proposals in time while maintaining current project schedules? Do you live in fear of not being able to deliver all of the new business successfully if you win too many bids? This dilemma faces professional services organizations of every size and stage of growth sooner or later.

Resource management must be carefully planned to ensure client satisfaction as well as that of the company stakeholders. In my first professional services sales role many years ago, I was once told not to worry about how we would deliver the business I won, since project delivery was someone else’s problem. It was later in my career as a delivery manager that I came to appreciate the complexity of resource management and growth planning, along with its impact on the bottom line.

Senior management including sales, delivery, human resources and finance all need to be in alignment on the company’s resource planning and execution approach to mitigate the risk of under-performing project deliveries or mediocre proposals. Holding regular cross-functional resourcing meetings and matching the hiring funnel to the sales funnel are key elements of a successful resource management strategy. Customer satisfaction is earned through the consistent delivery of project commitments, which leads to the coveted follow-on business opportunities that all professional services firms cherish.

So as your company plans for growth in the coming year, consider adding this topic to the agenda of your annual planning session and be prepared for the success that is coming!

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