Highly skilled professional services organizations are facing a huge productivity slump. Profit margins are low, their methods lack efficiency, and employees are constantly rushing to meet impossible deadlines. By pushing for collaboration between coworkers, executives are making matters even worse. All company employees feel like they are doing one hundred things at the same time, there is constant miscommunication, and clients are left unhappy.
The problem is that these organizations hire people based on gut feelings, their project assignment methods are flawed, and they do not have a good mechanism in place for prioritizing tasks. Moreover, executives rarely track employees’ performance objectively, nor do they use that data to make better decisions for their companies. But how do we fix these issues?
Project management software do not promote efficiency
Step one is to realize that project management software programs typically fail to achieve their goals. These programs help to shift work around the company and enable collaboration, but at the end of the day, they do not really make the workflow more efficient. As a result, these systems lead to the wrong mindset. The company ends up with islands of efficiency in an ocean of wastefulness, for the following reasons:
They do not help to forecast how many people should be in each work team.They do not help to identify how individual performances influence the company’s overall sales. And they do not point out the company’s right dynamic balance between skills supply and demand;They do not help you hire the right people for your business;They do not optimize distribution of resources between projects, resulting in biased and empirical decision-making;They do not help to assign the right people to the right projects;They do not manage or improve utilization levels throughout your organization;They do not generate track records to help measure performance, from individual employees to company-wide metrics.
People tend to think project management systems aid productivity. Clearly, however, they do not.
HR Analytics: Going beyond subjectivity
Step two is to review Human Resources practices. Highly skilled professional service organizations are in need of more objective and data-driven HR systems to optimize and scale their operations. At the moment, however, executives only have access to subjective employees’ evaluations, which ultimately lead to poor results. This is what we call the HR analytics paradox: businesses rely on subjective metrics to support data-driven decisions.
In order to improve your company’s HR capabilities, it is necessary to learn how and when to hire the right people. Once they are on board, you need to know how to assign them to the right projects. For this system to work, it is essential to have access to an employee track record that can be translated into reliable data. These data need to be crunched and analyzed, in order to support data-driven HR decisions.
So how can you combine and integrate the flexibility of project management with the accuracy of HR analytics? How can your company keep learning and evolving?
Ultimately, you will need a complete an integrated workforce planning platform that will help you to:
Link your sales forecast to the company’s talent pool, predicting future talent needs;Manage your workflow to improve and scale operations, creating track records that are automatically transformed into reliable data;Assign the right people to the right projects, based on the data gathered. The system must give you feedback on these decisions, preferably using machine learning technology;Improve utilization all over your organization.
Machine learning: Productivity-boosting technology
Step three is to take advantage of machine learning technology. After the new system has identified the best employees’ track records, it will instruct you to apply a series of tests to them (personality tests, IQ tests and logical thinking tests). The results will serve as a parameter for hiring prospects who take the same tests. This method favors predictability and data-driven HR decisions, from hiring to in-house promotions. Also, in the long run, these test results can help you to create successful work teams and assign the right projects to them in order to have better outcomes. This is Big Data at your service.
Crunchflow is the next generation workforce planning platform for highly skilled professional services organizations. Integrating project management, HR analytics and machine learning, Crunchflow helps executives to assign the right resources to the right projects, manage performance, and predict future talent needs. The system supports data-driven hiring, improves business efficiency, and targets customer satisfaction and employee engagement.
If you want to know more, click here.
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