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Resource forecasting for products and projects

The upfront resource forecasting and the management of resource availability are still major challenges for most of the companies. Here an “agile” management approach is needed, since the upfront forecasts of “how much”, “what type & quality”, “when” and for “how long” will inevitably be mostly wrong. This would lead to longer time to market, and higher risks due to resource shortages, as well as possible waste when available resources cannot be fully utilised. Thus to maximise your ROI and growth, your company and its managers need to understand and know how to apply the best techniques for making sure that the needed resources are sufficiently available at the right time – particularly to minimise time to market, project costs, manufacturing and sales costs, and risks. These needed resources, which must be highly competitive and “state of the art”, include manpower with the right skills, high quality management, equipment, materials, and the suppliers, as well as “know-how” and knowledge.

Turning 'Theory' into 'Practice'?

This workshop gives some particular attention to “resource management” as part of the overall “agile” management approaches. It explores “agility”, its “pros and cons”, and discusses the best balances between over-rigid and over-agile. This workshop will be run as highly interactive, with facilitated experience & opinion sharing between the delegates and workshop leader.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for Senior product and marketing managers, major project leaders from the product / services development (NPD) department, R&D, resources forecasting & development, product marketing management department from all industries and services

Key areas to be covered in the programme and documentation

Dealing with challenges of accurate resource forecasting and timely resources availability
• Qualitative and quantitative metrics of uncertainty
• The inevitable backwards or forwards slip of lead-times, of all types of projects: NPD, R&D, capital development & infrastructure projects, training projects, etc.
• Evaluating current physical and manpower resources

Agility: smoothing the temporary ups and downs of being either under-resourced or resources under-utilised:
• Use of contractors, consultants, flexitime, “on-call” short-term contracts, outsourcing
• Critical path planning
• Holding reserve capacities to ensure 100% manning along critical path
• Trade-offs of costs of holding reserve versus late time to market

Formation of the planning hierarchy of strategy, tactics, business plans, projects, capabilities and competence
• Linking together and mutual consistency of all the various plans in the hierarchy
• Top down and bottom up iteration: analysis and synthesis
• Direct and Indirect manpower
• Management, professionals, office and works staff
• “Too tight stretch planning”, or “Too loose” planning
• The best balance?
• Video learning: “Catching the Wave”; Dealing with the accepted uncertainty of exploratory projects, e.g. for disruptive innovations.

Forecasting aids:
• Uncertainty and statistical metrics
• Likely, best, and worst case analysis
• Algorithms and models
• Value chain analysis
• Standard costs and times

The need for agile management in NPD, R&D, and management generally
• Managing by “correction of deviations from plan”, versus “steering as we go – event driven”
• Budgeting for agility
• Metrics: predictive and results orientated. Metrics scorecards
• Re-planning: as a “deviation version of the original”, or as a “new plan”
• Best efforts upfront planning versus “it will evolve”

Keeping too rigidly to the plan (e.g. NPD stage-gate process, Biz Plans and Budgets) versus allowing too many changes:
• Achieving the best balance between: Needed changes are not allowed and too many unnecessary changes impede progress
• Examples: NPD, product definition, “creeping elegance”, design freeze, etc.

Marketing survey projects, upfront and during the project and dealing with latent needs, Kano delighters, and disruptive innovations
• Recruitment, up/downsizing, and training
• Technology development projects
• Market promotion, distribution network and product launch projects
• Production start-up: vendors and in-house

Benefits to you

• Getting useful tools and techniques for upfront forecasting and development of required resources
• Optimising downstream: assuring timely availability of resources during projects (NPD, R&D, Capital & Infrastructure & Marketing etc. projects)
• Finding the right balance between “over- agile” and “too structured – rigid” management approaches to optimise management processes and to maximise ROI and business growth
• Finding the best ways to manage forecasting of resources needs during the whole project

Companies already benefiting include:

Duration of Course

2 Day Course

Course details

This course is currently only available as an in-house option. For more information, and a quote, contact our team on +44 (0)20 3002 3057, or by email at

Looking to train larger teams in this subject?

dzingim@marcusevansuk.comTailored in-house/in-company training courses and bespoke strategy workshops designed and delivered on-site throughout Europe according to your specific requirements.

All management, personal development and project management public courses featured in our Course Directory are also delivered on an In-Company basis.

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Further information

UK Enquiries: +44 (0) 203 002 3057

Non-UK Enquiries: +420 (0)2 5570 7246

North American Enquiries: +1 312 540 3000 X6714 or - Marketing Manager EMEA - Professional Training

UK Enquiries: +44 (0)20 7647 2383 :
European Enquiries: +420 (0)2 5570 7246 :


"This course will allow my company to develop its existing strategies to a much greater and hopefully profitable level."

Managing Director, Tarmac