In this Chapter, we’re going to look at all of the ways to measure your resources – check-in on how your team is doing.
Since we’re focused on your team as the main resources here, let’s look at all of the ways that we can measure team progress and overall performance.
Earned Value Analysis
In advanced project management EVA is used as way to pulse check your projects – a way to make sure your time and budget are on track. The only thing to keep in mind about this particular metric is that it takes into account your entire project and does not look at the individual contributions of each team member. It’s a good place to start, to see if everything is on track. If it’s not, you can drill down and find out why.
Traditionally, this would take some math and complicated equations to figure out but, lucky for us, Easy Projects is a math whiz.
If you’re curious, you can quickly learn how to do an EVA with (or without) the math as explained in this video:
Resource Utilization Rate
The resource utilization rate is a valuable little metric used to calculate how much of your team’s time is spent working, expressed as a percentage. The good thing about this is that you can calculate it for every team member individually.
It’s also really easy to figure out:
Resource utilization = Busy time / Available time
Though this looks pretty easy to compute, the question of “time” arises. What kind of ‘time’ should we be calculating. Planned time or recorded time? It all depends on what you’re goal is. The formula below will help you see how under utilized or over utilized a resource is.
Resource utilization = Planned working hours / Available hours
If the percentage is low, it means that your team member doesn’t have enough work. On the other hand if the percentage is too high or over 100, someone is overloaded and you need to make adjustments asap.
Another way to look at this ( the preferred way) is with this formula:
Resource utilization = Recorded working hours / Available hours
This uses actual time recorded by each team member to calculate the actual percentage of resource allocation. The problem with this approach though is that it is done after the work has already been done so you can’t really go back and make changes. What can do instead is use this data for future planning.
Tracking metrics for your team can be tricky business. It tends to put people on edge because it makes them feel like they are being micromanaged. Make sure that you have a team meeting to discuss how progress will be tracked. It’s very important to be clear about this from the beginning so that there are no misunderstandings and so that you get the best possible data for the overall look at how your team is doing.
Treat your team well
People are what make projects happen. They are the most valuable resource and should be treated as such. Resource management is not just about getting a project done, it’s about treating your team right and respecting their limits for how much work they can accomplish in a given time period.
After all, a team that is overloaded and stressed out will not be happy. And unhappy team will lead to negative results and negative results will lead to a spiral of demotivation and some high turnover for your HR team to deal with.
But, since you have just learned to prevent that apocalyptic event from happening, we’re pretty sure you won’t have to worry about that at all.