Overview of Resource Negotiations within EPM Live

Answering the question ‘Who is working on what, and when?’ with confidence can be a challenge for many organizations. The EPM Live Resource Negotiations feature brings sophisticated insight to any business by allowing project managers and resource (department) managers to collaboratively manage resource assignments via a data-driven negotiation process.

Although EPM Live offers resource management solutions that fit all maturity levels, the data-driven negotiation process is a highly desired toolset for any size organization in which the Project Manager and Resource Manager roles are distinct people. Rather than guessing at whether your department or team can take on the CIO’s next pet project, you can reply with certainty of the ability and impact when agreeing to deliver additional work.

A few assumptions for a data-driven negotiation process to be successful include the following:

  • Estimated project work is accurately recorded in the system
  • Each resource has a department and manager
  • Project managers are forecasting resource requirements against roles (not named resources) using Resource Plans
  • Resource/Department managers are managing in-progress work so that it completes on time (allowing new work to start on time, as agreed)

If you don’t have the above assumptions met, you may have some variation of a data-driven negotiation process in place. Within EPM Live Resource Negotiations, a resource commitment is not complete until both the project manager and department (resource) manager accept the named resource that has been assigned.

Here’s a look at the indicators available during resource negotiations:

Resource Negotiation Icons

Resource Negotiation Icons

 

Let’s take a high level look at the two key participants’ interaction during resource negotiations.

 

Project Manager creates a Resource Plan using generic roles

The Project Manager builds his Project’s Resource Plan. As soon as the Project Manager enters a row, it is private by default. Some rows may stay private while others are public. No negotiations will take place on private rows.

When the Project Manager saves the project’s resource plan, he will be prompted to make the private rows public, and if he elects to do so, then all currently private rows become public. Negotiations will be initiated for all public rows.

An email notification goes to each resource manager for the proposed resources:

Notification email to Resource Manager

Notification email to Resource Manager when Resource Plan is saved with rows made public

 

At this point of the process, the project manager will wait for the resource/department manager to review the proposed resources and take action.

 

Resource/Department Manager reviews resource plan and assigns named resources

The Resource Manager clicks the dynamic link to launch the Resource Planner. The Resource Planner will show those resources from her department who have been proposed. Alternately, the Resource Manager may manually launch the Resource Planner for her resources. During this part of the process, the Resource Manager needs to analyze the availability of her resources and make a decision on whether the proposal can be accepted, needs to be changed, or must be rejected.

Resource Managers can do the following:

  1. Make changes to a row: change the resource assigned or the allocation value. The row status stays as Negotiate. The RM column changes to accepted and the PM column goes Blank.
  2. Reject a row:  the row status stays as Negotiate: the RM column changes to Rejected and the PM column stays as Accepted.
  3. Accept a row:  the row status changes to Commitment and both the PM and RM columns display the Accepted icon.
Resource Manager actions with resulting status in the Resource Plan

Resource Manager actions with resulting status in the Resource Plan

 

When the Resource Manager saves the resource plan, a notification email goes to the project manager for any proposals modified by the Resource Manager.

Negotiations (or re-negotiations) will continue until a commitment is reached on each row. A history of the negotiation process is stored for each row, so the managers can review what previously happened during the negotiation process.

Note: See the process flow diagram at the end of this blog post for a detailed look at how resource negotiations work based on the actions either manager makes during the process.

At the end of the day, executives can understand over allocation or under-utilization across their entire organization based on actually committed resources. Using the Resource Analyzer, department leads or executives will be able to compare a resource capacity scenario against the committed work, which ultimately allows them to accurately answer to the organizational ability to complete planned work.

To learn more about how implementing Resource Negotiations can have a positive return for your team, contact info@epmlive.com or your designated Account Manager.

 

Additional information for existing EPM Live customers

Already up and running with an EPM Live site app? Turn on Resource Negotiations by following the steps in the 4.3 Admin Guide Resource Management chapter. Select “Resource Management – Resource Planner Administration” for detailed instructions.

Once Resource Negotiations are enabled, have users visit the 4.3 User Guide Using Resource Negotiations chapter for help.

 

Resource Negotiations – Detailed Process Flow Diagram

Resource Negotiations Process Flow

Detailed Resource Negotiations Process Flow