Resource management
Project planning

Your assignment tool needs to do more than just allocate resources. Here's why

March 17, 2023
5 min
Your assignment tool needs to do more than just allocate resources. Here's why
Agathe Placet
Content manager

At Napta, we meet, interact and exchange with partners and managers of consulting firms and IT services companies (digital services companies) as well as with their employees every day. 

From operations managers to CIOs, from assignment to project managers and team managers, everyone agrees that the last few years have had a profound effect on the business as well as on the aspirations of employees, and in particular on the place they should take within the company.

And if the business and the employees' expectations have changed, the process of assignment, the common denominator between these two elements, is forced to change.

Gone are the spreadsheets on which the names of employees are moved in front of projects as if they were anonymous resources. Instead, we need much more comprehensive systems, processes and tools that take into account the needs of the company, but also the skills and interests of the employee.

Putting people back at the center of the assignment process seems to be a given today, but it took a combination of several elements and a natural evolution of the market to get there.

This article allows us to come back to these factors that place theIT services companies or consulting firm employee at the center of the assignment chessboard before talking about the renewal of the assignment tools, more 360° than ever.

The employee is at the center of the process at assignment, the sine qua non of successful project management

The Covid-19 crisis acted as a super gas pedal of latent trends.

On the one hand, consulting firms have had to demonstrate a "resilient profile" in the words of Elie Girard, CEO of the Atos group (source: Les solutions numériques), even though more than 70% of the managers ofIT services companies declared that they had taken or were thinking of taking short-time working measures to safeguard a certain level of activity. (source: In Extenso).

On the other hand, employees have progressively reaffirmed their desire and need for fulfillment at work. The big quit and even more so the silent quitting were strong signals of this.

As we emerge from the crisis, business has picked up again. According to Numeum, the trade association for IT services companies and ITC, the market for digital services companies has grown by an average of more than 5% in 2022.

But so is the war for talent in the recruitment market at IT services companies . In the words of KYU Associates, French IT services companies "are now competing with their international counterparts on their own territory" due in particular to the widespread use of teleworking by employees.

As a result, consulting firms must both ensure their ROI in order to develop this famous "resilient profile", a lesson learned from the past crisis, while developing a real employer brand externally, but also internally in order to exist in this war for skills.

The assignment tool, used until recently to simply position employees on assignments, must now go much further to be truly effective. It must integrate many other elements such as the availability of the employee, of course, but also his or her progression of skills from one mission to another as well as his or her desire for evolution.

What to expect from a tool of assignment in terms of functionalities, but also of benefits for a consulting firm or a IT services companies ?

A tool of assignment taking into account the complexity of the market

Long gone are the days when the columns and rows of your spreadsheet were enough to organize a project and its stakeholders.

Your project is no longer made up of boxes where you have to fill in the deadline and the budget, but of a whole set of changing parameters: shifting availabilities due to the volatility of the market, skills that must themselves constantly evolve to be up to date with technologies and techniques, but also increasingly demanding customer expectations who expect to receive a tailor-made business proposal quickly.

Your assignment tool must therefore both: 

This is how your assignment software becomes a 360° management tool for your business.

As you can see, your assignment tool becomes the central point of a set of data and gathering such a lot of information opens the way to many other opportunities, starting with allowing you to optimize your assignment even better and anticipate risk situations even better.

A tool from assignment to move from reaction to anticipation

The increasing complexity of projects due to an ever-increasing number of parameters to manage (skills, availability, aspirations, etc.) and their multiplication within consulting firms or IT services companies logically results in an increase in risks.

From double data entry to conflicts between assignments, from a margin that has deteriorated too much to a deadline that has passed, your tool assignment tool should be your alarm bell to notify you, but also your compass to guide you out.

This is why one of the most appreciated functionalities, if we consider a softwaresuch as assignment , is the simulation of project teams. By playing with different scenarios, it is possible toidentify the best possible combination to respect your workload, whether it is human, material or temporal, but also the expected ROI.

And if, despite all these precautions and simulations, it turns out that such and such a risk occurs, it is also the duty of your tool assignment to notify you in order to react as soon as possible.

Finally, the anticipation made possible by your assignment tool must go beyond the financial aspect and extend to the employee's skills by allowing you toidentify the skills your team is lacking and thus propose the right training path to the right employee.

The assignment tool deployed within the consulting firm or theIT services companies must therefore take into account all this complexity of the market, to allow to anticipate the risks to better prevent them and all this, while fulfilling its main mission which is to ensure the success of the customer's project.

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