It’s Wednesday. You have a deadline. Your staff is stressed. There is no more internal bandwidth to tap. You’ve already bribed your team with pizza and beer, gift cards, comp time, and a bonus. This has to be done by the end of the week. You need to find an outside resource to chip in and get the project over the finish line on time.
A little advice, start the apology email to your client now because there isn’t enough time to find help, negotiate a deal, get them up to speed, get the work done, run the work through QA, get client approval, and get it out the door. It’s too late.
Resource planning is the drudge work of project management. No matter how you slice and dice multiple projects with limited resources, there never seems to be enough time. What can you do? Blame biz dev for overcommitting, of course, but after that, the job still has to get done. In an alternate reality, the outside help would already be onboarded and ready to work.
Now is the time to start building a safety net in case you need them in the future. Don’t wait for the next emergency. Getting ahead of staff bandwidth problems with an adaptive staff is like having a Swiss Army knife in your back pocket. You’ll be ready for almost anything.
Sounds great, right?
How do you know what kind of help you’ll need in the future?
Here are a few questions you can answer to build your safety net now. Copy and paste these into a doc and take 5 minutes to write your answers. It’s the best 10 minutes you’ll spend all week.
- Over the past year, what skills have you used the most?
- What skills will you need based on the projects in your sales pipeline?
- What skills do you need on occasion, but don’t have in-house?
- List the types of projects you do over and over with repeatable deliverables.
- If you had an outside team ready to do that repeatable work, how would you manage the process?
- If you could add new skills to your team, but don’t want to hire full-time staff, what would those be?
- Do you have the tools and resources in place to make adaptive staffing work within your current operations?
- If your current team knew that the repeatable production could be outsourced and they could concentrate on the more in-depth creative work, how much happier would they be?
- Can you put a price on happiness? (OK. That one’s rhetorical.)
That wasn’t so hard! I bet you could answer those questions from the top of your head. Now that you’ve got a plan, it’s time to put it into action.
You can start building your team by reaching out to your network and building it on your own. You’ll need to find the talent, interview candidates, negotiate rates with the people you select, build out your operational plan, and factor in the cost of doing all the work to make it happen.
But there is a better way!
Uncompany helps businesses build and operationalize their adaptive staff. It’s all we do every day. Our clients have expanded their services, adjusted their staffing on the fly due to unforeseen circumstances, and increased the bottom line. They keep fixed staffing costs to a minimum while having an experienced team of freelancers waiting in the wings. Our clear and upfront hourly pricing, group onboarding, and simple processes make it easy to build a freelance bench that you will actually use to run your business.
If you’d like to find out more about how to make your team happier while reducing risk and delivering on the promises biz dev made to your clients, we are here to help. Fill out the form on the sidebar and we are happy to hear your needs and answer any questions you have… just don’t wait until it’s too late.