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Libby Marks

IT Resource Management: 10 Major Headaches, Resolved 💪

Feeling the pain of managing resources in your IT team? Here are the top headaches we hear - and how four real clients have fixed them.

Whether you have a growing software studio, or provide IT services within a wider business, resource management can cause headaches. 

From justifying priorities to internal stakeholders - to confusion over capacity to take on new work - IT resource management can make your head spin. 

Luckily, we have a panacea for the pain. 

Hundreds of IT businesses use Runn daily to relieve the agony of unclear allocations, harmful burnout, capacity confusion, and more.  

Which of these rings most true for you? 

1. A growing business means growing complexity

Growth is good. But unless your systems scale with your success, you could come unstuck.

Spreadsheets and manual resource management work while you’re small and perfectly formed. 

But grow beyond a ‘two-pizza team’ and spreadsheets become ineffective. 

  • They take ages to analyze…
  • And then they don’t give you the info you need... 
  • It’s out of date or incomplete…
  • And you can’t make confident decisions

When Lola Tech expanded its client roster, it felt growing pains due to manual resource management. 

‘We were just using spreadsheets for project planning, tracking resource availability, capacity planning…everything really,’ explains Nick Boni, Director of Digital. ‘And with the influx of new clients, it all started to become a bit messy.’

Understanding all the different spreadsheets floating about becomes a problem after a while. It might be okay for the person who created the sheet. But for everyone else, it can be a total headache to try to answer even basic questions like, when's that project finishing? Is there a placeholder here? Who's it for? - Nick Boni, Director of Digital, Lola Tech 

Read the Lola Tech case study.

Keeping track of what everyone was working on, whether they had capacity for new work, what hours needed billing, and at which rate… Lola Tech lacked clarity on everything. 

Implementing Runn gave Lola Tech the visibility they craved.

Capacity became crystal clear. Bottlenecks were obvious before they became a problem. And the time spent on resource management itself was much reduced. This was a major perk for Nick, who says Runn has ‘freed up a lot of my time to focus on more strategic aims’. 

2. You’re suffering skills shortages

Skills management can be tricky. As your business grows, it’s harder to keep tabs on who knows what. This makes it more challenging to find and assign the right people to projects. And even harder to align your collective capabilities to organizational strategy. 

In the current labor market especially, with attrition being quite high, people come and go. So when someone leaves, how do you know if it’s left a gap in the team’s skills? This was a problem we faced. - Cindy Tan, General Manager of IT Planning, TPG Telecom

Read the TPG Telecom case study.

Runn makes it easy to keep track of everyone’s skills, experience, interests, and development opportunities. Just search and filter your resource pool until you find the perfect person for each project. 

You can also run reports to spot overutilized individuals and skill sets, to inform your upskilling and recruitment strategy. 

3. You crave more clarity on allocations

Allocations are where the magic happens - aligning your talent with opportunities to shine. But they can also be the biggest source of risk in your projects. 

Allocations made on gut feel and guesstimates mean you might schedule the wrong resources. 

  • Allocating work to someone who is already over-capacity - risking delays and burnout
  • Overlooking someone with capacity for work - or specific skills for a particular project
  • Missing an opportunity to upskill someone through a project that stretches them

Runn provides allocation clarity for everyone. PMs can see who’s allocated and who has availability - so they can optimize utilization rates, and pair people with perfect projects. And individuals can see their tasks now and in the future, which is very beneficial, as Lola Tech’s Nick Boni explains.

Runn definitely improved productivity. There’s much more transparency - the team has a much better idea of where their time sits. Runn very clearly shows the team their allocations, which means that they always know what I’m expecting of them. And having that in place has really cut down on a massive amount of to-and-fro communication.

Project services company, TribalScale, has also benefited from being able to visualize allocation across their entire portfolio in Runn. ‘Our projects are fluid. We live in Runn because our allocations are constantly changing,’ says Chief Revenue Officer, Rich Gigante.

4. You don’t spot capacity until it’s too late…

Spare capacity is an amazing opportunity. For software agencies, it’s the chance to sell more time to clients. While for internal IT teams, it's an opportunity to tackle another priority project. 

It's a massive plus-point for me…being able to accurately forecast and spot when we have capacity makes an enormous difference. We can really clearly anticipate if we have the availability to upsell to a client or initiate conversations about additional work, for instance. - Nick Boni, Director of Digital, Lola Tech 

However, many IT teams fail to spot spare capacity until it’s too late to use it. You need a way to identify capacity far enough in advance that you can reach out to new clients, for example. 

Alas, spare capacity doesn’t appear as a clear-cut month of unallocated resources. And it can be very hard to spot by staring at a spreadsheet. 

A resource management platform like Runn visualizes utilization and capacity - now and in the future - so you can easily spot opportunities for additional work. 

5. You need a better way to bill clients

Being able to bill clients accurately is a basic requirement in software businesses. You need to ensure clients are billed properly for the work they’ve received - and that neither you nor they are unfairly out of pocket.   

We are a pure time and materials business, so we do really depend on being able to track our time accurately. If we can’t do that, then we can’t accurately bill our clients. - Nick Boni, Director of Digital, Lola Tech

But you’d be surprised how many struggle. With teams and individuals juggling multiple projects and clients, it’s easy to lose track of time spent, especially without an efficient time-tracking system. This can lead to hours wasted on manually monitoring billable hours, cross-referencing spreadsheets, and double-checking documentation. 

A resource management platform like Runn has time-tracking built-in. Team members quickly and easily log their hours as they work, and this is automatically tallied and added to client invoices. This means quicker, more accurate invoices - and less risk of clients questioning unclear charges.  

6. Planning takes soooooooooo long

With spreadsheets, any type of planning takes time. A lot of it. Whether it’s planning projects or forecasting capacity, Excel just doesn’t cut it. And yet that’s what a lot of IT businesses still use.

TGP Telecom’s IT department had this problem. Their reliance on spreadsheets made capacity planning a grueling process - and left them open to gripes and grumbles from internal stakeholders.

We built an Excel model for capacity planning. But we were only able to model on a monthly level, rather than down to weeks or even days. We couldn’t get down to the granular level of resource skills. Without a proper capacity management tool, we were not able to explain why we couldn’t get certain projects done; why we couldn’t commit to the projects that our business units needed. - Cindy Tan, General Manager of IT Planning, TPG Telecom

Having identified planning in spreadsheets as a major time sink and risk to project planning, Cindy was impressed with the intuitive planning tools in Runn - particularly, the time it saved.

‘The capacity planning we had done in Excel - which had taken weeks - well, when we did that same work in Runn, it was completed in two days. Now that we are familiar with Runn’s features, we think next time might be even faster than that,’ says Cindy. 

TPG Telecom can now sequence a pipeline that factors in resource constraints - making it more feasible and achievable - and allowing them to manage stakeholder expectations more effectively.

8. Overtime is all the time 

Demand for IT services is always growing - and there aren’t enough IT specialists to go around - so many of our clients feel perpetually under pressure. ‘There is no “off-season” says one of our customers. ‘Our team is always busy and it is a constant struggle to maintain healthy utilization that protects staff wellbeing.’

Without a formal resource allocation system, overutilization can fall through the cracks, leaving employees exposed to toxic workloads. This is bad for individuals and for business, as burnout leads to reduced engagement and productivity, and eventually staff attrition.  

A resource management platform provides a visual overview of utilization at individual, group, and organization level. This makes it easy to spot which people and skills are most under pressure - and provides hard data to support recruitment requests.  

The IT department at TPG Telecom found Runn especially valuable in this regard. With a 600-strong team, Cindy Tan, General Manager of IT Planning, faced scrutiny when requesting additional resources.

In a large team, it can be hard to articulate what everyone is working on and the skills gaps we currently have. The result was that we were always coming up against the question: “Hey, what are all these people working on?” Our executive team was so surprised by the clarity that Runn gave us.

Being able to demonstrate high utilization of existing resources allowed Cindy to advocate for her team and justify any request for more resources. 

9. You get unreasonable requests 

In a busy team or business, you often have to push back against requests that would put your people under undue pressure. Whether that’s from an over-optimistic sales team that hasn’t spotted capacity crunches, or from internal stakeholders who all think their project should be the top priority. 

It can be difficult to parry these requests without things getting political - especially if the requests are coming from higher up the organization. Having firm data to demonstrate resource constraints and capacity helps you advocate for your team and protect them from over utilization. 

Being able to show overutilization is so helpful for explaining why something has been delayed, or why something cannot start yet. When we can show our stakeholders that overutilization is so high, they can empathize and understand the constraints of the situation. It helps facilitate conversations about priorities, about moving things back if needed, because they can clearly see that we’re at capacity. - Cindy Tan, General Manager of IT Planning, TPG Telecom

You can use Runn to provide at-a-glance evidence that quickly highlights resource constraints, or provide more in-depth reports for people who need a little more persuasion. 

10. You want to see the wood & the trees

IT resource management is about balancing the big picture with the smallest details. It’s a tough ask without the right tools.

A resource management platform like Runn lets you see the wood AND the trees. You can monitor business performance and health with a bird’s eye view of your whole portfolio. But also drill down into granular detail about people, projects, and allocations. 

Digital services firm TribalScale uses Runn for reporting on a project-, person-, and business level. They use these reports to not only understand the day-to-day tracking of projects but also the bigger picture.

I go to Runn to look at the status of a given project, where we are at with a client, whether we are tracking towards a particular business goal, the utilization or billability rate of the team - basically the health of the team and the business. - Heather Page, Chief of Staff, TribalScale

Read the TribalScale case study

LolaTech also says it appreciates Runn’s reporting - especially our easy-to-understand data visualization. ‘In previous roles, I’ve used some platforms which are so data-heavy. But I found that Runn visualized the information I needed so well. It made it very easy to follow,’ says Nick Boni. 

The result is faster, more confident, data-based decision-making - the sort that helps you spot opportunities, avoid risks, and boost business performance.

11. You aspire to be people-centric 

The last headache is how your people feel about working in your business. In a competitive candidate-driven IT talent market, you can’t afford to alienate them.

Perhaps why so many IT firms are committed to becoming more people-centric as part of their recruitment and retention strategy... From balancing workloads to improve work-life balance, to providing software that doesn’t make IT professionals’ eyes bleed!

Having looked at Runn's competitors, LolaTech wasn’t impressed. 

We were pretty surprised by how poorly some of these tools had been built! Like someone had just taken a spreadsheet and colored it in. We tried a couple of well-known tools, but they didn’t really hit the mark. As a software development company, we do have pretty high standards!  

‘We’re a people-first company,’ says Nick, ‘but the tools we were using didn’t really reflect it [...] There was a really unhealthy relationship between work tasks and time.’

Finding Runn was a game-changer for the exacting tech firm. It accelerated processes (such as reducing invoicing from days to hours) and improved clarity. 

But it also supported its people-first agenda by providing a tool that was both effective and easy to use. ‘The UI is really nice and simple, very easy for people to get used to,’ says Nick.

Resource management headaches are a thing of the past with Runn. And you can try it - with your OWN data - for free for 14 days. 

  1. Simply sign up with your email address - no credit card or commitment needed
  2. Upload a project or two - or use our sandbox data if that’s easier for you 
  3. See how much clearer and easier Runn makes…well, everything!

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