How Synergy Enterprise resource planning helps architecture and engineering directors and project managers plan future project delivery
Resource planning is part of Synergy’s Enterprise forecasting and resourcing module. It shows directors and project managers which roles are required on projects, whether the practice has the required capacity for the project timeline, and the task allocation for the individual staff members assigned to that project. You can also manage availability for project work in the Synergy availability planner.
Resource planning and resource allocation are managed in a Gantt chart where projects are adjusted with a simple drag and drop function. Users can change the project timeline and start and end dates of the projects to see how that affects both the project role requirements, individual staff capacity levels, and the associated revenue forecast (by switching to the advanced forecasting view).
The Gantt chart shows roles or individuals under each project, so project managers and directors can quickly see that they have the capacity to deliver the project, and which staff members are more or less utilized.
The overall capacity of the practice is also shown in a simple, dynamic graph.
Read more about advanced forecasting and its role in the forecasting and resourcing feature set.
Project planning mode vs project delivery mode
Synergy Enterprise forecasting and resourcing module offers two modes — project planning mode and project delivery mode — useful at different stages of project proposal likelihood.
PROJECT PLANNING MODE
In project planning mode, resource planning shows the role types required for a proposed project based on timeline for the project, start and end date, and an algorithm for roles based on assessing project value, budget assumptions and required resources (this is unique to your business based on primary fee types and typical roles in your practice).
In this mode, Synergy resource planning won’t show specific utilization for individuals because they haven’t been assigned yet. However, it will show the expected utilization of each role type — e.g. an associate director, architect, engineer, project manager, director, and so on.
Once the likelihood of winning that job goes up (assigned by the project manager or director as a percentage), you can switch to project delivery mode to firm things up with more precise stage, task and invoice details.
PROJECT DELIVERY MODE
In project delivery mode, once a defined budget and work breakdown structure have been applied to the project, project managers and directors can assign individuals to each task.
Synergy resource planning shows who is available at each required role type, and what their utilization and capacity is. It’s easy to see whether a person has more or less time available for a task based on the other projects they are assigned to.
In a single screen, you can ensure your projects are staffed correctly and avoid overutilizing individuals by adjusting their other project commitments accordingly or assigning other people to that stage or task.
When resource planning for projects, there’s always the tricky proposition of people’s availability. Staff take leave, they go to conferences and seminars, they might be involved in research projects and lots of other activities that make them unavailable.
The availability planner lets project managers quickly and accurately plan their project resources. They can see if and when there may conflict in not having the right resources available and can approve unavailability based on capacity to do the work and meet deadlines.
Read more about the availability planner.