April 10, 2024 - 8 min

Tackling the Top 10 Resourcing Challenges at Q

				Photo of Marija Donkov

Marija Donkov

Resource Coordination Expert

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Explore the challenges of resourcing coordination at Q agency: from navigating scheduling conflicts to strategies that guide us towards success.

Imagine this: News of a new development project hits our desks, set to kick off in a week. The catch? The team still needs to be assembled, the window to identify the ideal team members is incredibly narrow, and the client’s technical requirements remain a moving target.

Navigating through these challenges requires more than just a good sense of direction; it demands agility, strategic planning, and clear communication. The Resourcing team is the one thriving on these challenges, turning problems into opportunities, and we look forward to giving you a glimpse into our daily lives. This post builds on the foundational insights shared in the first blog – from detailing our day-to-day operations to showcasing our team’s purpose and development.

With this blog, we aim to dive deeper into the heart of resourcing, revealing the challenges we face daily, the strategies we use, and the significant effect our work has on the overall success of the company. As we continue to explore the science behind resource management, we invite you to join us in discovering all the fine details of planning in the unpredictable IT world.

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10 Core Challenges in Resourcing

Resource Availability and Scheduling Conflicts

Coordinating more than three hundred resources with overlapping project timelines is a demanding operation requiring us to be prepared to act swiftly. The challenge grows with unexpected project extensions or urgent client requests. Ensuring the availability of skilled staff when and where they’re needed calls for detailed planning and a deep understanding of each team member’s skills and workload. Testing our ability to plan ahead, we adapt to ensure that every project has the resources it needs to start and succeed without overburdening the team.

Skill Matching and Workforce Evolution

⁤At Q agency, the core of resource coordination is the careful alignment of our internal talent pool with the unique technical requirements of each project and client. ⁤⁤This goes beyond just the skill-matching process, it involves the maintenance of a comprehensive, constantly updated database of every team member’s skills and expertise levels. This is achieved in close collaboration with line managers of every team member. ⁤⁤This database is pivotal in meeting the ever-evolving demands of our projects, allowing us to answer to changes with agility. ⁤

⁤Anticipating future resourcing needs is key to our strategy, highlighting the crucial role of our partnership with the Talent team. ⁤⁤They’re the ones to thank for finding external talent, filling any gaps, and ensuring we’re ready for new projects in case we don’t internally have anyone that fits the requirements.

Dynamic Project Requirements

⁤Every project at Q begins with a vision, however, the journey to completion is rarely straightforward. ⁤⁤Scope changes are a regular part of our daily workflow, demanding flexibility in finding a solution. ⁤⁤Adapting to these modifications without affecting other projects or our set utilization goals demands a dynamic and responsive strategy. ⁤⁤Most times, it comes down to being ready to adjust quickly, ensuring we always have the right mix of resources ready to address the frequent demands of our projects. ⁤

⁤A common scenario explaining this challenge is when, for example, a designer is required to stay on a project longer than initially anticipated, potentially conflicting with future assignments. ⁤⁤Similarly, if a developer concludes their role in a project sooner than expected, it can lead to unplanned downtime and unbillable hours. ⁤

⁤Adding to the complexity is when the details for a role in upcoming projects remain undefined due to unclear client requirements. ⁤⁤In such cases, further investigation with the Business Development or Presales team is necessary to get a more detailed description of what the client expects. ⁤

Balancing Priorities

Juggling multiple projects and determining which gets priority involves complex decision-making. Factors like project duration, growth potential, and the nature of the client relationship play crucial roles.

Your Turn to Decide: Imagine you’re a part of the Resourcing team. Here’s a challenge for you: Would you prioritize adding team members to a dedicated team of 30+ people for a long-standing, respected client we’ve worked with for over two years? Or would you kickstart an exciting discovery project requiring 5 team members in a new industry with significant growth potential? This decision highlights the real-world dilemmas faced in resource management. What’s your pick and why?

Managing Tight Deadlines

The title says it all – time is money, so time is of the essence. Acting quickly on resource allocation decisions can make all the difference between success and setback. Every day’s delay translates into lost opportunity and financial impact. That’s why being in sync with the finance department also plays a big role in our set of responsibilities.

Ensuring Efficient Information Flow

Good resource coordination depends on clear communication between all departments, from production development to finance, and talent to project management. It’s important to stay up to date on everything that could possibly impact team allocation and utilization. Some of the information we need to be able to make a move are updates on upcoming projects, new hires, skill progression of team members, and someone’s satisfaction with their current workload or project. It’s a detailed process of sharing information, where every piece of information makes a difference.

The Necessity of Backup Plans

⁤Every project would unfold precisely as initially planned in an ideal world, however, reality often proves different. ⁤⁤Having multiple fallback plans along with one master plan is not just advisable; it’s essential. ⁤⁤Each alternative comes with its own set of prerequisites and dependencies that align through time like a Tetris game where we try to fill in as many gaps as possible.

Keeping Reports Up to Date

The challenge lies in making our reports accurate and reflective of the current situation within the ever-changing environment. Most reports will show the utilization of resources and current status on the bench and all ongoing projects. Such a level of accuracy ensures that decision-makers at Q have the most relevant information at their fingertips enabling them to make important decisions swiftly.

⁤For example, a typical morning might begin with two React developers ready to be assigned to new projects. ⁤⁤However, by the end of a series of strategic meetings, these same developers could be fully allocated, resulting in us turning to our colleagues in the Talent team in hopes of bringing someone new to the team. ⁤

⁤Maintaining this level of accuracy requires a blend of technology and tool utilization, process discipline, and a proactive update culture within the team that we like to nurture. ⁤

Always Seeking a Win-Win Situation

Balancing project demands with employee wellbeing presents a unique challenge. While we may not be directly responsible for overseeing employee wellness, being aware of our team’s aspirations, needs, desires, and satisfaction plays a big role in planning. Overallocation can lead to burnout, threatening both project outcomes and employee retention. Our goal is to manage workloads effectively in hopes of facilitating healthy work-life balance in collaboration with line managers and those responsible for employee wellbeing.

Cultivating Team Harmony

⁤Technical skills are just one piece of the puzzle, how team members interact with each other can significantly influence a project’s outcome and overall satisfaction that affects efficiency. ⁤⁤Ensuring a good cultural fit and positive team dynamics is crucial for creating an environment where everyone can thrive. ⁤It’s something we like to call quality resourcing. We try to practice this approach as frequently as possible when the limited availability of resources permits it. To make this happen, we primarily collaborate with line managers in production and project managers to optimize team composition as effectively as possible.

a scrabbled wooden block spelling the word 'prioritise'

Strategy Meets Challenges

⁤To successfully tackle all challenges listed previously, we have four core strategies that are essential in day-to-day operations. ⁤⁤These strategies enable us to be prepared not just for what’s around the corner today but to actively participate in shaping future plans. ⁤

We aim to maximize the potential of advanced planning tools⁤ for resource management, project oversight, and communication. ⁤⁤Beyond using these tools for project allocation, tracking people’s availability, time logging, and reporting on various metrics, we constantly seek to enhance these processes by integrating the tools via API. ⁤⁤These integrations offer better visibility for the future and save great chunks of time. ⁤⁤Key tools in our arsenal include Ganttic, Teamwork, Slack, and internally developed apps. ⁤

Our skills database is crucial for keeping an eye out for available technologies within Q, ensuring quick matches between project requirements and technical expertise. ⁤⁤This precision is achieved through regular updates from line managers responsible for performance reviews and skills assessments, providing a view of our team’s capabilities and growth. ⁤⁤We have this data updated directly in our resource planning tool which enables us to use various views, filters, grouping, and reports to pinpoint the right talent for new projects. ⁤

⁤Having an agile approach is our motto for thriving in the world of unpredictability. ⁤⁤Remember the importance of having multiple fallback plans? ⁤⁤Well, this strategy equips us with the speed and flexibility to act swiftly, no matter the challenge. ⁤

⁤Streamlining communication is something that enables our team to act like one and a steady flow of information ensures perfect harmony among team members. ⁤⁤This open dialogue is crucial, ensuring quick decision-making and synchronization. ⁤⁤Regular weekly syncs with line managers, directors, and other colleagues, along with established communication channels, empower us to thrive in this dynamic environment. ⁤

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Can’t Anyone Allocate Resources?

In smaller agencies, it’s common for individuals responsible for various tasks to take on resource allocation responsibility alongside their primary roles. Project managers, product owners, key account managers, and team leads often find themselves juggling their core responsibilities with the complex demands of matching project requirements with the right talent. While this approach might seem manageable on a smaller scale, it’s a practice that can stretch resources thin, resulting in lower efficiency and visibility.

Introducing a dedicated resourcing team in a larger agency drastically changes this dynamic. It allows those who have been doubling their roles to refocus on their areas of expertise. Project managers can dedicate more time to guiding their teams and overseeing project milestones. Product owners can fully immerse themselves in user needs and product strategy. Key account managers can concentrate on nurturing client relationships, and team leads can invest more time in mentoring their team members.

The necessity of a dedicated resourcing team becomes apparent in larger agencies, where its absence can be felt as a critical gap. Making the strategic choice to establish such a team ensures operational excellence and enables every professional to thrive in their specific domain. The real question is about maximizing effectiveness, allowing each team member to contribute their best.

person holding jigsaw puzzle piece


Diving into the top 10 resourcing challenges at Q agency, we’ve seen just how tricky but ultimately rewarding planning resources can be alongside all other tasks that we do in administration and process building. The journey through scheduling clashes, finding the perfect skill sets, rolling with project changes, and keeping reports up to date shows the real need for a savvy, dedicated resourcing team.

This team is all about more than just assigning people to projects. We’re continuously trying to build a solid backbone that keeps the agency’s goals sailing smoothly while having multiple fallout plans if the initial one doesn’t work. With resource coordination in our hands, project managers, team leads, and other colleagues get to dive deep into what they do best, boosting outcomes across the board.

Bringing in advanced planning tools, keeping an eye on our skills inventory, staying agile, and keeping everyone in the loop have totally changed the game for us. It proves that while figuring out all the moving parts can get complex, the impact is great. Amid constant shifts, our resourcing team has grown from just filling spots to becoming key strategic partners, helping to steer Q’s future at every turn.

So, can just anyone allocate resources within a larger agency? Going through resourcing challenges that we’ve tackled at Q, the answer’s a reassuring nope. It takes a team equipped with the right tools, insights, and strategies to turn these challenges into victories. As we move forward, the resourcing team will continue to be the cornerstone of problem-solving, ensuring that we not only meet the demands of today but are also well-prepared for tomorrow’s opportunities.

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Photo of Marija Donkov

Marija Donkov

Resource Coordination Expert

Since summer 2021, I've been a part of Q, diving headfirst into the exciting world of Resourcing right after graduation. My happiest moments are those rare times when my inbox hits zero at the end of the day and the tools are perfectly updated, feeling like a small victory in the vast universe of resource management.