As you already know, assignment is an essential element in the smooth running of a company. Indeed, managing assignment can sometimes be complex, but if it's managed properly, it will be the driving force behind your performance.
Here are a few best practices to help you optimize your assignment process:
First of all, we need to establish clear rules of assignment to ensure smooth coordination between assignment managers and employees. But what does "clear" mean? Everyone involved must understand not only their role, but also their rights and duties in the process. Project managers should be required to make assignment requests at least 48 hours before the start of the project, to avoid them being rejected or not processed.
Imagine that your employees are working on several projects at the same time. Without well-defined rules, the allocation of resources could quickly turn into chaos. To remedy this potential chaos, good practices need to be put in place. This may involve the use of assignment tools, the establishment of clear priorities for each project, and the definition of preparation deadlines for each task and project.
By defining preparation deadlines, you avoid unnecessary emergencies, leaving room for better use of available resources and more efficient project execution.
For their part, assignment managers must acknowledge receipt of the request within half a day, and provide a response within two working days. A good practice would therefore be to carry out the assignment on business opportunities prior to signature. This procedure creates a framework that facilitates communication and decision-making.
assignment requires a dedicated person (or team) to manage the process effectively. There are several options available to you, of which there are 5 main ones:
This type of organization implies that one (or more) employees are hired full-time to manage the assignment project. In general, these profiles are responsible for a defined perimeter: a business unit, an agency, a group of consultants...
This mode of operation assumes that one or more employees are responsible, at different levels, for managing assignment within the company (in addition to their job descriptions).
Under this organization mode, it is the project leaders and managers who directly assign the consultants to the projects for which they are responsible, according to their needs at the time. They select the collaborators within their business units and create their project teams autonomously.
At IT services companies, sales representatives and business engineers are in charge of assignment. They manage the entire discussion chain with the customer.
In this mode, one or more people in the company (of small size) are entrusted with managing assignment in addition to their own activities, for a limited period (6 to 18 months). This mode is based on "delegation", and the people in charge must be true Swiss Army knives.
To choose the best option, you need to take into account a number of variables, such as the size of your company, the complexity of your projects and even your corporate culture.. Making the right choice when it comes to assignment management can make all the difference between a harmonious, productive team and a chaotic work environment. So take the time to assess your needs and resources before making this crucial choice for the success of your projects and the satisfaction of your employees.
Setting up a regular assignment ritual is also an excellent practice. Whether you opt for weekly or bi-monthly assignment committees, or decide to manage managers' assignment requests "on the fly". A assignment ritual will ensure better coordination and preparation for the assignment forecast for the coming month. Why not consider holding a assignment meeting on the first Monday of every month?
The purpose of these regular meetings is to provide an opportunity to readjust resource requirements and reassess priorities as the project evolves. This ritual becomes a kind of "checkpoint" that facilitates communication between the various parties.
For example, at Napta, only 10% of companies with over 1,000 employees hold weekly assignment meetings. For companies with between 75 and 1000 employees, 72% hold weekly meetings.
Finally, involving managers and employees in the assignment process makes a huge difference. Managers could suggest collaborators during assignment requests, and collaborators could have access to incoming sales opportunities to visualize upcoming opportunities.
It's also a good idea to offer employees the opportunity to express their interest and highlight their skills (LINK: What place for skills mapping in assignment ?) in a project via a "likes" system, or give them access to pre-staffings before final approval. These little touches make employees more engaged and valued, as they give them a sense of control and ownership over their work.
Would you like to find out more? We've got plenty of resources to help you go further.
To complement this topic, read our white paper "Which metrics should you follow to manage your assignment and improve your decision-making?