Agency Resource Management Essentials: Resourcing Current Projects

Agency Resource Management Essentials: Resourcing Current Projects

August 3, 2023

Managing resources is a fundamental part of running a marketing or creative agency. This process can be divided into three main areas: resourcing for current work, reporting that covers both current and upcoming projects, and rightsizing your staff to grow and scale while remaining profitable. In this first of our blog series on agency resource management, we’ll dive into resourcing current projects.

Resourcing 101: Balancing Agency Workload

You can start to balance workload within your creative agency by setting the project team for all signed projects. Keep in mind the needs for the project, not just who is available. Projects can slow down if you don’t have the right people assigned, particularly on bigger projects.

Once you’ve assigned internal resources to all current projects, you’ll have a clearer view of where you need to plug in freelancers. Don’t get carried away, as the cost of freelancers can sneak in and balloon the project budget. Put a check in place by establishing a process for when to bring in freelancers, looping in Resource Managers before any are officially brought on to any project. Also look for ways to streamline the freelancer invoice process, making it easier to keep project costs up to date.

Two main KPIs will help you track your overall agency workload: Actual Utilization and Freelance Ratio. For actual utilization, calculate the total hours you estimate each resource will spend on each project as a percentage of their total available hours. When estimating the freelance ratio, review the total costs spent on freelancers compared to internal resources, and be sure to tally the total on a regular basis.

Improving Agency Efficiency with Capacity Planning

Now that your current projects are properly resourced, it’s time to look ahead to your upcoming projects. It’s important to set a regular cadence for this, refreshing plans weekly if possible for accuracy. Updates from your Project Managers are the most essential here, but don’t forget to have department heads and Resource Managers report on bookings weekly as well. 

Beyond the short term, take time for longer-term project planning where you include any opportunities coming up over the next few months. These longer-term plans won’t need such frequent updates, but you should review this every month or so.

What should you keep an eye on to make sure your Capacity Planning is on track? An important KPI here is your Planned Utilization. This should be a weekly view of your future workload, and calculated using your hours booked or utilization.

Aligning Under One Agency Management Solution

If you’re tired of cobbling together multiple tools to manage both your agency resources and finances, it might be time to switch to an all-in-one solution. Deltek WorkBook will help you streamline management of your projects, people, and agency finances in a single solution purpose-built by agency experts. And with PCI’s solution specialists, implementation of Deltek WorkBook can be a breeze. We even have a quick-start software package for boutique agencies. Sign up for a demo of Deltek WorkBook today, and stay tuned for the next blog in our Resource Management Essentials Series: Reporting and Forecasting!

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