• Henry Vu

The Importance of Resource Management in the COVID Era

Oh no, not another COVID business editorial!! Ok, maybe this is just that, but you have to admit it’s pretty hard to write anything about the current state of business without acknowledging the coughing elephant in the room.

This article dives into three key business trends that have emerged in the COVID Era and why we think Resource Management is a critical tool for success in today’s business environment.

Even if there is a return to an in-office work environment, remote work is here to stay. Because of this, we think the insights below will be highly relevant for the foreseeable future.


The office environment looks different

Remember the Pre-COVID office:

  • Everyone was in the same office building most of the time.

  • Absence was quickly and easily noticed.

  • Workstations were visible.

  • Meeting attendance, participation, and engagement was easy to gauge.

  • Keeping tabs on employees was much easier via cubicle drop-ins and casual, unscheduled catch-up discussions.

Resource Management in the Pre-COVID environment:

For many, it was possible to get by with hands-on management of employees and their workload. Managers could see work being performed and were at arm’s length most of the time. Maybe this wasn’t the most efficient way to manage workload, but the environment did make it possible to stay on top of resources through physical interaction.

The new COVID Era office:

  • Employees are commonly working from home, mostly unsupervised.

  • An entire day can go by without anyone noticing that an employee is not working.

  • Interactions are limited to web conferencing and phone calls, which are typically scheduled events.

  • It’s hard to know what people are working on and how much time they are devoting to work without a system in place. Managers simply cannot be as hands-on as they used to be.

How Resource Management Helps in the COVID Era:
A Resource Management system can provide real-time information about the workload of individuals and teams. While physical presence might be missing, a manager can still closely monitor work efforts and assess current workloads to keep resources productive and consistently utilized. Over time, you should find that you’re getting more priority work done by managing with data rather than by feel.


Dedicated, onsite work is no longer required

Remember Pre-COVID onsite work:

  • Many clients demanded that project resources work onsite full-time.

  • Whether it was a productivity driver, a security protocol, or a mix of both, onsite was a common delivery format for service companies and onboarding departments.

  • Pricing models typically revolved around daily or FTE-equivalent rates.

  • Scheduling resources consisted of blocking full days of work on a weekly, monthly, and sometimes annual basis.

Resource Management in the Pre-COVID environment:

Once placed in a role, a resource was considered fully utilized for the duration of the assignment. Managing onsite resources was often as simple as tracking the location of a resource on a calendar or timeline spreadsheet.

The new COVID Era work mode:

  • Most work occurs remotely and in a less dedicated fashion.

  • Companies have moved to a different delivery model with resources assigned to multiple client projects concurrently.

  • Pricing models are shifting to hourly or fixed fee.

  • Scheduling and managing projects is much more complex when resources are no longer dedicated to a single project or client.

How Resource Management Helps in the COVID Era:
A Resource Management system can organize resources working on very many projects at the same time. Utilization levels can be forecasted in real-time on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis so you can identify spikes and gaps in workload and take action. Time that used to be spent traveling can now be used to more broadly deliver customer value and expand relationships.


Slowdowns are more common

Remember the Pre-COVID pace:

  • For most, an overwhelming sense of “busyness” was the norm.

  • Office buildings were fast-paced and chaotic.

  • Backlogs and service wait times were standard.

Resource Management in the Pre-COVID environment:

When everyone feels insanely busy and overworked, management tends to relax process standards. Logging time, updating tasks, and proactively balancing workloads are looked at as administrative tasks that get in the way of getting work done. Resource management may have been effective in calming this chaos for some, but many fell out of discipline and let systems and processes die.

The new COVID Era pace:

  • WFH has work/life balance built-in and is naturally a bit slower pace.

  • With the economy cycling between confidence and uncertainty, companies now may face short-term surges of work and intermittent downtime.

  • During downtime, progress can be made on backlogs and internal initiatives.

How Resource Management Helps in the COVID Era:
When work comes in waves, it is incredibly important to manage with data. This means keeping workloads balanced to avoid short-term burnout and to keep resources engaged and utilized during downtime. When managed well, downtime can bring an incredible opportunity to improve processes and tackle internal projects.
If you are at all concerned about your team being downsized due to slowdowns, Resource Management can prove that you are productively utilizing resources on priority work.


We’re as optimistic as anyone that things will return to “normal” in 2021. We’re also very confident that it is possible to be successful amidst uncertainty. Like other paradigm shifts, this one presents opportunities for positive change. Those who adapt and remain open to change will be in the best position to thrive long-term.