Did you know that the average ‘bench time’ of consultants is 30%? That means that consultants in IT Professional Services Firms are not working for nearly a third of their time. This is a significant amount of downtime that can lead to demoralization and poor morale throughout the firm. If you don’t want your consultants to start looking elsewhere for work, you have to start finding ways to keep them busy.
In this blog post, we will discuss tips on how to manage consultant downtime and get more value out of their downtime.
Why Manage Consultant Downtime?
Managing consultant downtime is critical for IT Professional Services Firms. Consultants who are not busy get demoralized quickly, and it causes poor morale throughout the firm. This can lead to a decrease in productivity and a lack of motivation among team members.
Moreover, having a team that is sitting on the bench is not cost-effective. IT Professional Services Firms spend a lot of money on their consultants and having them sit around idle means that the company is not getting its money’s worth. By efficiently managing consultant downtime, you can get more value out of your investment and increase profitability.
Making the Most of Bench Time
There should never be a reason for a consultant to have nothing to do. Client billing might be the priority, but supporting marketing/sales, writing articles, developing IP, writing case studies, etc., are all value-added tasks for every consultant and should be part of their KPI’s.
Providing training and having people work on new technologies also allows you to be ready for these types of projects when clients ask for them. Consultants should always have something to work on, even if it is not billable to a client.
Who Should Be Managing Consultant Downtime?
Managing bench time should be the responsibility of Directors or Partners. Having project managers will also help you forecast the utilization of your consultants in advance. They can also assign them to internal projects in progress.
Directors or Partners should work with project managers to develop plans for consultants who have downtime. This can include assigning them to internal projects or developing their skills through training or certification programs. It’s essential to have a plan in place to keep your consultants busy.
Measuring Consultant Utilization
Measuring consultant utilization is crucial to managing downtime. IT Professional Services Firms should track the percentage of billable hours and the percentage of non-billable hours worked by their consultants. This will help you identify consultants who are not busy and ensure that they are working on value-added tasks.
Moreover, the utilization rate is also critical for forecasting your business’s revenue and profitability. By measuring consultant utilization, you can predict future revenue streams, identify areas for improvement, and increase profitability.
In conclusion, if the 30% downtime statistic applies to you, you have a third of your expensive staff who can be used to develop the firm. This is more than enough to support growth if downtime is properly managed.
Managing consultant downtime is critical for IT Professional Services Firms. By providing your consultants with value-added tasks, training, and development opportunities, you can keep them motivated, engaged, and productive. With proper planning and utilization tracking, you can ensure that your consultants are working to their full potential and that your business is profitable.