There are many potential roadblocks to completing projects and managing resources that lead to inefficiencies, higher costs and delays. A new model for managing projects and resources has been designed to address these challenges, so you can get the most value from your resources, service delivery and vendors. The following article will describe the “Studio Model,” discussing how it can save your organization time and money while ensuring higher-quality project delivery.

Challenges Addressed by the Studio Model

Businesses continuously aim to achieve goals and objectives such as being more efficient, increasing profits, reducing waste and delivering a higher quality product with a shorter time-to-market. The more successful a company becomes, however, the more projects they are likely to have in their portfolio and the more compliance and risk management issues will come into play. Established and growing businesses typically use a variety of inconsistent models to complete projects and manage resources, leading to increased spending, inefficient use of resources, and projects completed with unpredictable results. These models may include:

  • Internal resources
  • Project teams
  • External consultant project teams
  • Staff augmentation
  • A combination of some or all of these models

Holistic View of the Studio Model

Typical approaches are cumbersome, inconsistent and ineffective due to differing costs, incentives, skillsets, onboarding processes, resources and levels of accountability across different vendor and supplier models. The Studio Model, on the other hand, provides a holistic, efficient and cost-effective solution to meet the ultimate business goals of

  • reducing overall project spending,
  • optimizing use of resources (both within and across projects),
  • improving the quality and consistency of projects delivered, and
  • providing a framework to improve collaboration and knowledge management.

The Studio Model comprises numerous components and methodologies to meet the demands of businesses’ project portfolios. This includes a set Management structure responsible for managing governance, demand/capability, portfolio, agreements and reporting, as well as overseeing issues such as risk, compliance and change management. Management also works closely with project teams and other resource pools to set up processes, tools, templates and standards. The Studio Model is an ongoing effort to manage and optimize resources over time, helping businesses increase expertise, build capabilities, retain knowledge and minimize attrition.

Steps and Key Activities to Launch and Manage the Studio Model

Once a Management framework has been established, here are a few basic steps and activities that must be completed to launch and manage the Studio Model in your organization:

  • Creating the Playbook. It all starts with the set of processes, tools, templates and standards that are incorporated into a “playbook” provided by the Studio. The Studio playbook includes custom toolkits, or reference manuals, for Studio Managers, Leadership Team Members, Studio Resources and other personnel.
  • Setting up the Team-Site. Studio Management also creates a project-specific team-site that contains knowledge management and a collaborative environment with project-specific policies, procedures, tips and tricks, as well as internal, industry and general studio information.
  • Onboarding, Training, Utilization and Performance. Once the resources are on the projects, the Studio Model will manage their onboarding, training, utilization and performance to better meet the business’ strategies and goals. This ensures resource consistency in cost, quality, availability and share-ability across the project portfolio.

Variations of the Studio Model

There are two variations of the Studio Model that can be implemented at a high-level: Enterprise and Line of Business. The Enterprise variation is centrally managed and funded, relying on a single, comprehensive pool of resources with broad skills and experience for enterprise and non-enterprise projects. The Line of Business variation is funded and managed by the business unit or line and has multiple studios and resource pools focused on skills, experience and domain knowledge, as well as a dedicated Studio Model Manager for specific projects.

Benefits of the Studio Model

The Studio Model is designed to improve administration, efficiency, accountability and quality. And the best part is that with each phase of implementation, the business sees more value and benefits.

  • Administration is streamlined to reduce the time it takes to achieve productivity, on-boarding and new project ramp-up, and the time and cost burdens on client management, administration and procurement. The Studio Model helps managers forecast resource demand, identify performance trends and improve resource capacity management, and the Studio Service continuously improves and realigns to meet the current demands.
  • Efficiency increases as resource utilization and productivity increase, ensuring consistent resource management and project delivery with opportunities to leverage resources across projects. The Studio Model also optimally aligns resources to project requirements.
  • Accountability increases with set service levels and consistent expectations for resource usage, performance, cost and other metrics. With continued improvements and a long-term point-of-view in regards to issue and risk management, everyone on the projects will be accountable for their tasks and projects.
  • Quality also goes up as customer satisfaction increases and the risk of duplicate work decreases. Project delivery will be more consistent and predictable, and the need for client project oversight and review will be reduced.

With all these benefits, in addition to noticeable cost reductions, it’s easy to see why the Studio Model is a long-needed addition to the project and resource management landscape.