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Mavenlink Took a Step Towards Resource Self-Management

Earlier this year, Mavenlink announced a professional services automation (PSA)–supporting function for targeting and tracking the ratio of billable vs. non-billable time. Consultants get a useful feature, but what about the garden-variety IT knowledge worker? When do they get the ability to publish and track their own project vs. non-project target?

The new feature is called “Personal Utilization Manager” and allows the user to manage and gauge their utilization target as viewed through marking time as either billable or non-billable. It’s a necessity for professional-services-related businesses as they optimize revenue-per-salary-dollar-type metrics and establish triggers for growing or shrinking the workforce.

While the feature isn’t particularly game changing, the chatter at the time was more about the non-consultant and their ratios between admin, operational, and project work. Indeed, we’re still dealing with multiple buckets of project work, so it might be more like admin, operational, departmental projects, and strategic projects.

The resource self-management concept is appealing when we consider the insanity of our current paradigm:

  • Work demand comes from any number of sources in the modern matrix-style organization.
  • Project and portfolio managers allocate time and assign resources to work, although they likely have no control over the delivery of those allocated hours when more urgent needs emerge from the matrix.
  • The IT resources themselves are not required to forecast their capacity for project work.

Solutions like Mavenlink can address the underlying dilemma with resource self-management. People can maintain their own availability within the buckets described above, maintain the project vs. non-project split as changes occur, and then be expected to refuse overallocation.

The only way it doesn’t work is if you systemically rely on overallocation.

Simple, right?

Source: Mavenlink at SoftwareReviews, Accessed January 202

Our Take

The same mechanics used for billable vs. non-billable could be used for admin vs. operational vs. project. Resource self-management might resolve a lot of hidden friction in the existing model.

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