Resource management improvement

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As the demand for IT Services increases, it becomes ever more important that we prioritise and manage our resources.  By doing this, we can provide predictable delivery to our customers as we support and improve IT at the University.  Historically, we relied on manual processes to manage the allocation of resources to services and projects.  

In August 2017, in response to a need to reduce the number of projects impacted by resource conflicts and availability issues, Phase 1 of the Resource Management Improvement Project (RMIP) implemented initial processes, supported by the Clarity system.  Phase 2 went live with an upgrade to the system and further process improvements in June 2019.  The new processes and system have now been implemented for the management of project resource in PPDG, Software Solutions and Infrastructure Services, and we have started to explore how we can best use the system to capture the demand and record time for ‘business as usual’ services. 

Much has been learned during these initial implementations, and resource managers have seen the benefits of visible availability and demand in their respective teams.  We are also beginning to make use of the information in Clarity to take decisions around the resourcing of projects and to obtain a longer-term view of the demand for different resource groups

The focus of the project is now twofold:

•    Embedding the changes delivered by phase 2 of the project to ensure we deliver the benefits of the change
•    Assessing how we can successfully implement resource management processes for services so that we gain visibility over the allocation and cost of resources across the range of services we offer

Project and Resource Managers started to use Clarity for booking resources in June 2017 and since August 2017 all staff who record time to projects have been using the new system for their weekly timesheet, instead of Project Server.  We expect to have all groups in IT Services using the project resource allocation processes by the end of the financial year. 

We have also run a proof of concept exercise for timesheets to record support and development activity with a single service team with a view to implementing the new process to the rest of IT Services as part of the next phase.

This project will deliver the following capability:

1. The right people in the right place at the right time: 

Greater visibility of resource capacity and availability will enable timely, effective decisions regarding the prioritisation of resource allocation across projects and service delivery.  This means smoother processes and will result in more effective resource utilisation across both our portfolio of projects and our services.  This will provide more efficient, and predictable project and service delivery for our customers.

 

2. Transparency and consistency

Recording the work that's actually done means we can demonstrate how we have spent the allocated funds – showing what's been achieved and what the actual cost was.  This means we can be sure that the method of cross-charging for services is fair and accurate and, over time, will enable us to become better at forecasting.

 

Contact

Project Manager: 
paul.morris@it.ox.ac.uk

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