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Growing Your Consultancy Faster Through Early Project Resourcing

By Rob Bruce, Vice-President of Sales, at professional services automation leader Kimble Applications.

Consultants are smart people, but when it comes to being a fast growing consultancy and early project resourcing, they would do well to think of what they’d advise clients to do. Perhaps it’s because their best thinking is saved for their clients that many consulting organizations miss a few tricks when planning for their own future. A prime example of this is project resourcing – as a firm’s growth accelerates, the strategic connection can be lost with this crucial undertaking.

A small firm of only a few consultants meets its project resourcing needs largely by word of mouth and collective knowledge. Everyone knows what’s in the pipeline, how likely it is to land and when, what skills will be needed, the consultants who have these skills and when they’re next available for an engagement. But once you grow to a certain size this is no longer possible. There is then the very real danger that project resourcing will start to be viewed merely as an admin task and the appreciation of all the subconscious strategy that went into it in the early days will be lost.

If you want your business’ growth to be smooth, sustainable and quick, you can’t afford to lose sight of the role that project resourcing effectively – and early – has to play. Effective resourcing means higher utilization and therefore higher margins: this much we all understand. But if you can maintain a seamless link between project resourcing requirements and upcoming resource availability, you’re cooking with gas.

If project resource managers can see what’s in the pipeline, including the skills and timelines required, they can:

  • Work to make the most appropriate consultants available at the right times
  • Minimize resourcing conflicts (whether due to competing project requirements or project manager preferences)
  • Match people to roles that help develop them professionally, increasing job satisfaction and company loyalty
  • Contribute to more accurate financial forecasting

Meanwhile, if senior management has a view of both the pipeline and the resourcing projections, it can:

  • Maximize utilization by strategically directing business development efforts to match the talent likely to be available
  • Win more business by lending benched consultants with relevant experience to pre-sales efforts where they are most likely to succeed
  • Identify how the demand for different skills rises and falls, which lets it manage training and recruitment accordingly, flex pricing to reflect supply and demand, or even suggest investment in the creation of a new services portfolio

And the further out the pipeline goes, and the more current every detail of potential projects is kept, the more powerful these capabilities become.

As a small consultancy, you had that capability, even if you didn’t realize it at the time. But just because you’ve grown, it doesn’t mean that you’ve lost the ability to drive further growth through early project resourcing. You can get it back. It just needs to move from word of mouth – and the heads of senior management – to a more formal mechanism that everyone can access. Then your consultancy will really be set for smooth, sustainable growth.

If you have any questions on resource management or how Kimble Applications can help your organization, please reach out to Rob Bruce at [email protected] or (617) 487-9692.