Pharmaceutical and R&D businesses are driven by projects. Some are clinical trials or drug programs, while others are more operational in nature (such as process improvement). Regardless, managing resource demand to ensure proper staffing for these projects is crucial. Without the ability to project resource demands and manage gaps in capacity, companies risk making poor business decisions – not only for today, but for the future too. Imagine missing study timelines or under-estimating a clinical study cost because you couldn’t accurately project your resource demand and match it to your capacity (aka headcount) – this could lead to potentially disastrous results.
Having the ability to build a demand projection plan lets you address upcoming critical business needs by combining project schedules and time allocations. This will give you a much-needed increase in visibility and control over resourcing. It sounds simple enough, but it can be complex and come with a unique set of challenges.
But is that enough? “What are your resources working on?” is a question a manager is often asked today. It’s not easy to get these answers from resource management systems today. Most tools are complex and require heavy maintenance. A robust RM tool will give the answer quickly by providing visibility to the breakdown of what work is being done by which resources. Being able to know if you have capacity to commit to additional work, and the right skill set in the resources, will support portfolio related decisions too.
Viewing multiple (theoretical) demand projection schedules (also known as “scenario planning”) and the filtering on specific roles or time periods is essential to the demand projection process. Companies today need simple answers about resources at their fingertips to meet goals and objectives. Having the ability to accurately forecast resource demand is key and having it tracked in a single location can minimize surprises and improve communication across the organization.