Q. My company is in the midst of a reduction in force, and security is one of many areas being required to provide senior management with an analysis of time, cost of services and programs, and staff utilization. What is the most effective way to approach this exercise, keeping in mind that the goal is to maintain our current level of full-time equivalents?
A. The first thing you should do is to perform a staffing capacity analysis to determine which tasks being completed are mission critical and which are optional. Decide who does what and whether their tasks comprise the most effective use of their time.
Most staff work more than 40 hours a week; however, much of that time may be spent on noncritical – or optional – tasks that could either be eliminated or performed by someone else. For instance, a manager who averages 60-plus hours a week may spend 10 of those hours performing tasks that would be better suited for an administrative staffer.
Know the capacity levels of your staff and look for ways to effectively transfer duties accordingly. Develop a spreadsheet or chart to present to senior management that shows in a nutshell what your staff spends its time doing. Keep in mind that your primary objective is to demonstrate the criticality of those tasks in regard to functionality of the department as a whole.
Do a time-cost analysis on these positions and duties to determine the best use of your staff’s time and resources. Then present this data to senior management in a way that shows the true cost of security.
Visit the SEC's YouTube channel for an on-demand presentation on defining the total cost of security.
Answer provided by Bob Hayes, Managing Director, Security Executive Council.