7 Strategies To Confidently Resource Your Consulting Engagements

By Chelsea Williams
Senior Copywriter
Feb 13 2024 read

Bringing in new consulting business is exciting. But, as you know, the real challenge begins the moment a new client signs on and you’re tasked with making sure you have the hands on deck to fulfill your promises for the duration of the contract.

If your people resourcing practices are inconsistent or ineffective, you could grapple with:

  • Inaccurate billing and revenue loss
  • Overworked or underutilized staff
  • Poor delivery and consultant performance
  • Slow and inefficient decision-making

You’re not alone: ProSymmetry’s State of Resource Management report indicates 41% of service-based teams struggle to allocate people to projects due to a lack of visibility into resource availability.

Adequate visibility is the solution to the above problems — and a key step along the path to making your firm more efficient and profitable. However, gaining said visibility requires a full-fledged plan rather than just one or two tactics.

We’ll dive into seven actionable strategies designed to help you achieve truly informed resource allocation and capacity planning for your consulting engagements.

 1. Get Granular With Automated Time Tracking

For precise results, you need precise insights. To determine the feasibility of each engagement, you need to know how your team’s time has been applied historically and how that has to change to comfortably take on new work.

If your consultants deduct their time from one pool of hours or rely on manual individual time tracking, you’re likely dealing with inaccuracy and inefficiencies (perhaps hidden) that negatively impact billing and people allocation for the next engagement.

Make the change!

Choose a platform that automatically tracks activity and logs time against work objects such as sales, tasks and retainers.

How automated time tracking impacts your… 


How automated time tracking impacts your…

  • Team → Minimizes administrative burden and reduces errors
  • Efficiency → Ensures every billable hour is accounted for
  • Delivery → Provides critical data for project planning

The most tangible outcome of good time tracking? You and your team make smart decisions that accelerate each new engagement and support strong client profitability.

2. Understand Your Current Workload in Detail

A detailed grasp of your team’s current workload gives you the confidence to assign new work efficiently and realistically. Every one of your consultants should be able to work at optimal capacity while maintaining their well-being.

Without visibility over what your team is working on right now, you may inadvertently overcommit resources, creating a risk of burnout and compromising the quality of consulting services your clients receive.

Make the change!

Increase visibility with a tool that consolidates time tracking, team and project insights and client work tasks, plus displays team availability in real time.


How workload visibility impacts your…

  • Team → Reduces stress and improves retention
  • Efficiency → Supports better engagement prioritization
  • Delivery → Frees up the right resources at the right time

The most exciting benefits of making sure each engagement gets the attention it deserves? Sky-high client satisfaction and opportunities to expand or develop your team.

3. Refer to Real-Time Data To Optimize Utilization

Your team’s time and skills don’t just need to be allocated — they need to be optimized. Utilization rate is a key indicator of how well you’re resourcing at any given time. But you can’t fix a problem you can’t see.

Using approximate time logs (or no data at all) will leave you without a clear picture of utilization. You could be guessing or relying on consultants’ words to determine which of them can and should take on upcoming work.

Make the change!

Gain access to a real-time utilization dashboard that confirms the balance of billable and non-billable time.


How utilization data impacts your …

  • Team → Shows who’s over- or under-utilized for better resourcing
  • Efficiency → Empowers you to assign work quickly and confidently
  • Delivery → Simplifies redistribution of consulting assignments

The utmost potential of getting a handle on utilization? You can maximize billable hours and maintain momentum when responding to new client requests.

4. Perfect Work Assignments With Skill Tracking

When consultants aren’t a good fit for clients, they may not be able to provide the level of service your firm promises — despite their talent. Assigning work while considering ability and experience improves operational efficiency and client outcomes.

All of your team members are capable, but the power of their unique backgrounds and specializations may not come through if they’re mismatched with clients. Ultimately, your client profitability and retention rate could suffer.

Make the change!

Use a platform that allows you to enter and track employee skill sets, filter by skills and link skills to work or milestones.


How skill-based assignments impacts your…

  • Team → Promote higher-quality work and professional growth
  • Efficiency → Enable consultants to solve problems faster
  • Delivery → Drive consistent client satisfaction

The biggest motivating factor for diligently tracking skills? You could have a greater chance of landing recurring client contracts and increasing employee retention.

5. Apply the Power of Dynamic Auto-Scheduling

The unpredictable nature of consulting and personal schedules creates lots of pivot points that can increase the risk of unhappy clients. Even if your consultants don’t track granular tasks, there are easy ways to make them more efficient and impactful on the job.

You might be assigning new engagements purely based on the projected end dates of existing ones. But what happens when there’s a change? Are you prepared to respond quickly and attend to all clients equally?

Make the change!

Take advantage of a tool that reschedules assignments and edits dependencies as necessary as your team logs time and work.


How auto-scheduling impacts your…

  • Team → Removes the need for manual rescheduling
  • Efficiency → Automatically aligns resources with needs
  • Delivery → Provides peace of mind that all engagements are covered 

The most promising reason to start using auto-scheduling? You’ll spend less time on non-billable administrative tasks and, therefore, minimize overhead and costs.

6. Implement Proactive Capacity Forecasting

Knowing you have the team to make good on today’s commitments is one thing, but tomorrow could feel less certain. Once you’ve built efficient processes to resource for your current work, it’s time to invest in reliable methods of planning for future engagements.

Reacting rather than anticipating can cause last-minute scrambling and prevent you from ever “catching up” on resourcing. Whether you have in-house consultants or outsource new work, a lack of information puts you at risk of being in the dark about capacity. 

Make the change!

Use a smart schedule dashboard to create groups or view individual capacity over upcoming weeks and months.


How capacity forecasting impacts your …

  • Team → Improves workload distribution
  • Efficiency → Helps you avoid bottlenecks in new engagements
  • Delivery → Opens the door for more clients and services

The main motive for focusing on future capacity? The opportunity to gain a competitive advantage and plan for growth with more effective financial forecasts.

7. Improve Decision-Making With Integrated Insights

Timely decisions can make or break a client relationship. Even if most of your consulting engagements go well, there will inevitably be moments when you need to reevaluate. That’s when it can be transformative to know exactly how well-utilized your team is or how profitable a client is.

Your resources might be allocated efficiently, but what’s the impact? Disjointed data doesn’t provide you with the numbers nor the confidence to analyze where your firm stands or proceed with big business decisions.

Make the change!

Integrate all client work functions in a platform that auto-generates the data you need about each stage of consulting work.


How full-picture data impacts your …

  • Team → Informs them about the impact of day-to-day work
  • Efficiency → Drives faster conclusions and visibility for all leaders
  • Delivery → Sustains smooth operations for the long term

The greatest draw for having all insights in one place? The potential to develop a complete picture of your firm’s operations and allow clients to realize their ROI sooner.

Be Ready for Upcoming Commitments

The details of proper people allocation are often overlooked because they can feel complicated. But with the right tools, you can spread the workload wisely and predict what you’ll need to optimize efficiency, keep your engagements on track and, ultimately, increase your firm’s profitability.

In the same report we cited in the introduction to this guide, ProSymmetry concludes that 70% of companies that invested in software with built-in resource management features experienced a significant increase in process maturity. 

➡️ WillowTree is a good example. This digital product consultancy scaled by 11X in seven years using Accelo’s time-tracking and capacity-planning features.

These improvements are achievable for your firm when you invest in an end-to-end solution to support your resourcing needs from the beginning of the client journey all the way through to delivery, payment and contract renewal.

Book a demo of Accelo to get a preview of the power of a client work management platform to improve your people resourcing.


About the Author


Chelsea Williams is Senior Copywriter at Accelo, where she shares unique insights with service professionals and tells user stories via blogs, eBooks, industry reports and more. She has over 15 years of B2B and B2C writing experience — primarily in tech, sales, education and healthcare. Chelsea is an AWAI-certified Master Copywriter trained in brand storytelling and microcopy.

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