Resource Allocation: Steps and Tools for Optimizing Resources

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., July 31, 2002 -- In the face of limited budgets and smaller staffs, successful companies employ comprehensive resource allocation tools to achieve critical strategic objectives and maximize valuable assets, according to a report by research and consulting firm Best Practices, LLC. Leading companies utilize an eight-step, integrated resource allocation system to funnel limited resources into the most critical, profit- driving functions.

"Best Practices in Resource Allocation," available at, reveals how top managers use assessment tools to forecast the effects of their allocation decisions. Successful companies standardize language, evaluation criteria, reporting formats and processes to normalize individual managers' personality styles and forecasting biases. For example:

* One company uses a balanced scorecard to analyze allocation options based on their impact on performance measures.

* Another pharmaceutical company analyzes all investment decisions by ranking them on a -3 to +3 scale based on a project's predicted impact on each measure. Highest scoring projects receive first claim on resources. This system tries to fairly balance economic returns with long-term corporate objectives.

The best practices and benchmark metrics in "Best Practices in Resource Allocation" are drawn from interviews with top executives at the benchmarked companies. The report includes:

* Case studies of more than 40 companies across a dozen industries

* Detailed metrics and sample scorecards to use for comparison benchmarking

* Strategic rationale and tactical implementation for successful resource allocation

"Resource allocation sends a clear message to an organization - especially during crunch time," said Chris Bogan, president and CEO of Best Practices, LLC. "It focuses money and employee time on the critical tasks that allow a company to reach its most important goals."

Download a summary of "Best Practices in Resource Allocation" at For more information about the report or other benchmarking studies, contact Jan Blanchette at 919-767-9240 or at


Best Practices, LLC is a research and consulting firm that conducts work based on the principle that organizations can chart a course to superior economic performance by studying the best business practices, operating tactics and winning strategies of world-class companies. For more information, call 919-403-0251 or visit

Key Findings

Process Definition and Standardization

  • Employ a standardized Resource Allocation process across all product groups.
  • Standardize language, evaluation criteria, reporting formats and processes to normalize individual managersí different personality styles and forecasting outlook biases.
  • Ensure the business planning, investment decision process, and/or resource allocation process are coordinated in terms of time, events and people.
  • Employ multiple quantitative measures by which to evaluate resource allocation requests

    Collaborative Behavior

  • Ensure cross-functional linkage through group performance rewards, overlapping responsibilities, integrated planning procedures and office layout.

    Learning and Continuous Improvement

  • Employ continuous testing to refine the allocation process and its elements.

  • Regularly review performance-to -forecast data and use them to fine-tune resource allocation decisions and the resource allocation system.

  • Employ a quarterly, trimester or semi annual budget cycle to allow allocation fine-tuning.

  • Support continuous learning by tracking quantitative measures on specific initiatives, projects, managers and divisions from year to year or period to period. In this way, decision makers can develop a historical perspective concerning individual manager forecasts and their potential forecast biases.