Quality of the Optimization for Resource Planning Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

Quality of the Optimization for Resource Planning Model by C. Santos et al. (2013)

Any multinational organization with more than 100,000 knowledge workers is faced with some profound challenges in harnessing this pool of talent for a diverse set of information technology projects. The resource planning function for Hewlett Packard's Enterprise Services business segment was especially challenged in this area, prompting Santos et al. (2013) to provide a refined model that can be used to identify optimal supply and demand solutions in highly uncertain environments. This paper provides an evaluation of the quality of the implemented approach for the refined modeling method developed by Santos et al. (2013), including its strengths and weaknesses as well as simplifying assumptions that were made in the development of the model. Finally, an analysis of the respective strengths and weaknesses of the developed model is followed by an evaluation of the sufficiency of the effort that was used in the validation process. A summary of the research and important findings concerning this initiative are provided in the paper's conclusion.

Review and Evaluation

Evaluation of the quality of the implemented approach for the modeling methods

Although every resource planning situation will be unique in some fashion, the overall objective of resource planning is to develop optimal solutions for matching workforce resources with dynamic job requirements (Santos et al. 2013). As the world's largest technology company, the resource planning process used by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services (hereinafter alternatively "HPES" or "the company") was faced with three primary constraints that affected the modeling methods needed as follows:

1. The scale and complexity of the models. Thousands of professionals with diverse service delivery roles and skills must be matched dynamically to a myriad of projects and jobs in countries worldwide.

2. The uncertainty of labor supply and demand. Most demand information comes from estimates of future project opportunities by the HP sales force. The main sources of demand uncertainty relative to a project are whether HPES will win it, when it will start, and what its associated labor needs are; on the supply side, the availability of workers is often uncertain because of attrition.

3. Matching resources and jobs must consider multiple attributes. A well-defined objective function for matching is not readily available (Santos et al. 2013, p. 153).

Strengths. This HP subsidiary enjoys the combined totality of the tacit knowledge of more than 100,000 workers worldwide. Indeed, this business segment accounts for nearly one-third of the company's total 330,000 employees (Business profile 2013). Moreover, the HPES segment is well situated to take advantage of the proliferation of computer-based networks in organizations of all types and sizes (see stock performance graph at Appendix A). For instance, this business segment provides: (a) enterprise information management solutions for structured and unstructured data, (b) IT management software, (c) security intelligence/risk management solutions as software licenses, (d) software-as-a-service, and (e) hybrid or appliance deployment models (Business summary 2013). Taken together, these products and services are all value-added opportunities for this business segment assuming that it can overcome the several weaknesses involved in the modeling process which are discussed below.

Weaknesses. Although the Solution Opportunity Approval and Review (SOAR) model used by HPES provides workforce supply and demand matching, its previous resource planning methodology has the following limitations.

1. Resource managers lack visibility of the project funnel because SOAR staffing decisions are decentralized. A resource manager can look only at the resource requirements and search supply in a specific business domain, with no communication between other domains of service.

2. SOAR either does not consider the uncertainty of resource demand or treats it in a primitive way -- HPES staffed project opportunities with a win probability over a pre-specified threshold. This approach often led to suboptimal solutions because it completely ignored the resource demand incurred by those opportunities with win probabilities that are less than the threshold.

3. Because of limitations (1) and (2), many last-minute decisions had to be made manually based only on managers' experiences and subjective discretions; these types of last-minute decisions were costly because HPES had to resort to a more expensive contingent workforce to fill gaps on a frequent basis.

4. Matching relied primarily on management judgment or soft matching rules, which resource or project managers implicitly implemented. No unified and systematic approach to performing such soft matching existed (Santos et al., p. 153).

The diagram in Figure 1 below depicts the high-level description of the resource planning problem that was confronted by Santos et al. (2013):

Figure 1. High-level description of the resource planning problem at HPES

Source: Santos et al. 2013, p. 154

In addition, according to Santos and his associates (2013), demand is non-determinate in this model. For instance, Santos et al. report that, "In particular, whether a project opportunity will be won, its starting time, and its workforce requirements (determined by the scope of work) are uncertain" (p. 154). Likewise, supply is also indeterminate in the model. In other words, "The number of employees available over the planning horizon is affected by attrition. They might also be engaged in ongoing projects for longer or shorter periods than expected" (Santos et al., p. 154). These uncertainties are not unique to HPES, of course, but they are accentuated by the number of knowledge workers that are involved as well as the complexity of the project opportunities that are involved. According to Ravesteijn and Zoet (2010, p. 2), "Knowledge workers are workers that work with intangible resources. Knowledge workers are individuals whose work effort is centered around creating, using, sharing and applying knowledge." The resource planning model refined by Santos et al. inevitably involved uncertain factors such as how many knowledge workers with the requisite expertise and tacit knowledge needed for a given project opportunity would be available at the project's launch, as well as throughout the pendency of the project's completion and implementation. The hierarchy of the job attributes used in the model developed by Santos et al. is presented in Figure 2 below.

Figure 2. Hierarchy of job attributes used in the Santos et al. model

Source: Santos et al., p. 157

The uncertainty of the availability of such knowledge workers is inextricably interrelated to their perceptions of satisfactory remuneration and benefits which inevitably differ from individual to individual and from time to time, as well as over time (Droege & Hoebler 2003; Heerwagen, Kampschroer, Powell & Loftness 2004). For example, Ghosh (2008, p. 216) emphasizes that, "The hyper-competitive business environment is experiencing an intensifying fight for knowledge workers, the key to enhancement of productivity in which rests on designing ways and means to retain key performers in the organization." The former resource planning model use by HPES had a mixed track record of success in formulating optimal labor supply and demand solutions. In one glaring case, though, this business unit's inability to respond to order backlogs cost the company nearly $120 million in sales (Houston & Goggins 2008).

Simplifying assumptions made in the development of the models

The main assumption made by Santos et al. (2013) was that all project opportunities are independent of each other; however, it is reasonable to suggest that any number of enterprise resource planning projects currently underway at HPES share some common goals and overlapping requirements that should be taken into account. Therefore, this assumption was inappropriate for providing a robust short list of solutions that could be compared for similar project opportunities to identify opportunities for resource sharing and the selection of knowledge workers with the tacit knowledge needed to coordinate these solutions across project opportunities.

More generally, the entire resource planning approach involves certain assumptions concerning its efficacy and appropriate for identifying optimal labor solutions in uncertain supply and demand situations. In this regard, Doving and Nordhaug (2010, p. 293) report that:

Resource planning comprises the strategies and routines [a company] has elaborated in order to be better prepared to analyze and develop its human resources, and depends on the extent to which it invests attention and effort in elaborating these strategies and routines. [It is] assumed that such investments increase the firm's capacity to plan deployment and development of competencies for organizational ends. (p. 293)

Simplifying these assumptions will involve a focus on identifying and quantifying the tacit knowledge that is available in the talent pool for project opportunities. In this regard, Doving and Nordhaug (2010, p. 293) add that, "The resource-based view of the firm focuses on the quality of resources owned or controlled by the firm, rather than on the firm's investment in capacity to manage such resources." Unfortunately, there remains a paucity of timely and relevant research concerning how best to identify and quantify the irreplaceable and intangible qualities of tacit knowledge in resource planning analyses. As Doving and Nordhaug (2010, p. 294) emphasize, "Both from a practical and a theoretical point-of-view there is a relative dearth of knowledge about the firm-specific preconditions enabling or encouraging the firm to invest in resource planning."

Strengths and weaknesses of the developed model

Strengths.…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Quality Of The Optimization For Resource Planning" (2013, August 14) Retrieved December 6, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/quality-of-the-optimization-for-resource-94563

"Quality Of The Optimization For Resource Planning" 14 August 2013. Web.6 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/quality-of-the-optimization-for-resource-94563>

"Quality Of The Optimization For Resource Planning", 14 August 2013, Accessed.6 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/quality-of-the-optimization-for-resource-94563

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Petco Workforce Planning Workforce Planning at Pet Co

    PetCo Workforce Planning Workforce planning at Pet-Co The Importance of Workforce Planning Linking the Needs of Staffing With Workforce Planning The Importance of Workforce Planning At Pet-Co General information about Pet-Co The Business Model Analysis of Pet-Co The Pet-Co strategy HRM Considerations Company Profile in a Nutshell The Workforce Planning Model Setting the Strategic Direction Conducting a Workforce Analysis The Demand Side of WorkForce Planning The supply side of workforce planning Workforce Demand Forecast Workforce Supple Forecast Conducting Gap Analysis Develop Strategies Implement Strategies Monitoring, Evaluation and Revision Functional Considerations of

  • Human Resource Management How Human

    This phase also includes the definition of market-competitive base salaries, merit increases, benefits, bonuses and incentives. It is also the area where benefits are budgeted for and offered. Many practitioners and managers both see this as the most critical phase of the HRM lifecycle for retention as a result (Ulferts, Wirtz, Peterson, 2009). In fact it is the development of jobs that have a wider span of responsibilities and

  • Supply Chain Planning Under Uncertainty

    Results from the study by Petersen, Ragatz and Monczka show that effective collaborative planning depends on information quality, and the trust level firms share. The authors purport: "Collaborative planning activities between supply chain partners are expected to lead to better performing supply chains" (Petersen, Ragatz & Monczka, Introduction section ¶ 1). In addition, numerous other researchers have also explored the perception relating to supplier alliances, that enhanced collaborative planning

  • Shaw Industries Quality Improvement Deployment

    Adding to the confusion is the need for creating a more stable set of quality management, audit and compliance systems and processes that can scale with the company over time. This latter point is why the use of Six Sigma, lean manufacturing, the adoption of an ERP system and the development of entirely new workflows for NC/CA and CAPA are taking place. The need for compliance and also the

  • ERP Is a Vital Resource

    Studies of the effects of channel management and customer management integration with ERP systems indicate that the greater the level of pricing, costing, and quoting system collaboration, the higher the return on investment (ROI) of these systems. Studies specifically suggest that when five or more systems are integrated together, there is a corresponding increases of up to 30% in profitability as a result (Rosenbloom, 2007). Analyzing this dynamic of

  • Enterprise Resource Systems the Company

    Some manufacturers have sought to improve their profitability by becoming more horizontally integrated in their supply chain management operations, but it does not appear feasible for the company to acquire the vendors that supply its component parts so viable alternatives must be identified that can facilitate the supply chain management process vertically. As Choy, Lee and Lo (2003) point out, "Very few manufactures now own all the activities along the

  • Qi Plan Part III Managing and Improving Quality

    Managing and Improving Quality Methodology for implementation of performance measurement Information technology applications of Mayo Clinic How benchmarks and milestones are involved in quality Performance and quality measures are aligned to the Mayo Clinic's mission, vision, and strategic plan Quality assurance and improvement is incorporated through various techniques. The organizations that is willing to invest in their growth and attain a satisfactory level of consumer satisfaction through quality improvement. The quality measures that are incorporated


Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved