Signs your time management & resource processes need work

Q1: The Initial Signs That Told Me Our Time Management and Resource Allocation Processes Needed an Overhaul at Rise at Seven.

I joined Rise at Seven in December 2023, and my first task was to forecast our workload for the next three months. We were about to grow rapidly, so getting a grip on our calendars was one of our top priorities.

So I started at the beginning reviewed our time management and resource allocation processes. Since there was no overlap with the previous Ops team, I suspected some things might have slipped through the cracks. I was right.

When I looked at everyone’s calendars, how we tracked utilisation, and took into consideration our reliance on gut instinct, a few red flags stood out:

  • Lack of Clarity on Target Numbers: When I asked the team how we came to our 80% utilisation target, no one could explain it to me. This showed a gap in the teams understanding on how utilisation was calculated and more importantly communicated in the team, which led to…
  • Stress Among Juniors: Junior team members were worried about hitting their utilisation targets. In my experience, juniors shouldn’t stress over this as its something they cannot control; it’s a concern for senior management, and if this is happening it usually leads to poor time tracking…
  • Ineffective Time Tracking: Surprise, surprise our time tracking was inconsistent. People logged their time sporadically, and it didn’t always reflect their actual workload. This made it hard to get an accurate picture of how time was spent and if anything was slipping and showed we were missing a crucial part of everyones day in their calendars…
  • No Non-Billable Work in Calendars: Tasks like admin work, new business development, and personal development plans (PDP) were missing from calendars. This often led to a last-minute scramble to assemble teams for pitches and other critical activities which then effected everything else over and over again. It was a cycle that had to be broken.

Fixing these issues became a top priority for the business in order to improve efficiency, reduce stress in the team, and ensure fair resource allocation across the team.

I’ll be discussing how we tackled these challenges head-on in the rest of this series, as we looked to create a more transparent, supportive, and organised work environment at Rise.

Tomorrow, I’ll continue this series with question 2: “Can you share some of the biggest challenges you faced when trying to align the team’s actual work with the schedules that were in place?”