Resource management is the process of determining which resources are needed, in what quantities, and when, to complete a project. This process not only helps to determine how projects will be completed but also helps to predict the costs and timeline associated with the project.
Below are 7 steps and 4 tips for creating and presenting an effective resource management plan.
7 Steps for Creating a Resource Management Plan
1. Determine the Resources Needed for the Project
Determining which resources are needed to complete the project is the first step in resource management. This information can come from project and resource knowledge—understanding the goals and tasks of the project and comparing them to resource skillsets—or by using previous successful lookalike projects as a guide. Using previous successful projects as a template not only helps eliminate upfront project management work but also helps to better predict success in your current project.
Some resource management tools will allow you to create a wireframe of a resource management plan. This wireframe is a resource management plan with “unnamed resources” that indicate the demand for a certain role without requiring you to fill in the actual name of the resource. This helps you block out your needs in advance so you can have a better view of project needs before making specific resource allocation decisions.
2. Match the Right Resources to the Right Tasks
Effective resource management means being able to align your project needs with the resource best-equipped to manage those needs. Make sure the tasks you set align with the skillsets of the resource and that the resource has the available time to complete the project.
3. Budget the Right Amount of Time for Each Resource
It takes a special skill to schedule just the right amount of time for certain tasks to be completed. The profitability of the company relies on the most efficient use of resources possible. However, project managers must also avoid overscheduling their resources, otherwise, deadlines may be missed and the quality of work may suffer.
4. Schedule Resources Based on Projected Availability
After the project needs are determined, the project manager must schedule resources. This is an important step in resource management because it helps to more accurately predict when a project will be completed.
To accurately schedule resources, the project manager should not only consider what needs to be done with the current project, but also any current or recurring projects the resource’s time is already committed to completing. A resource management tool that shows current hour availability, tentative allotment, and booked hours can be extremely helpful in making the right scheduling decisions for your project.
5. Keep a Pulse on Project Progress
It’s easier to resolve a challenge before it becomes an actual problem than it is to try to repair the damage after the fact. This means that the earlier you can sense trouble in your resource or project management, the easier it will be to find a solution. Keep a pulse on your project by checking in regularly to your resource management tool and see how actual performance compares to projected resource allocation. Are there any bottlenecks, any areas where the project is stalled, any resources that have more (or less) capacity than expected, or any resources that need additional help or coaching?
6. Expect to Make Adjustments
When you’re dealing with the human factor of resource management, it’s important to expect that not everything will always go as planned. Recognize that you will need to make adjustments based on slow approvals, scope adjustments, or other unforeseen challenges. Resource management software can help make informed adjustments based on resource availability and workload.
7. Perform Post-Project Analysis
Upon completion, compare your projected resources and scheduling to the actual resources used. Were you off the mark with any of your estimates? Does anything about the way you distributed resources need to be changed in the future? Besides looking at the reports, it can also be helpful to check in with your resources to see if they felt the project went smoothly or if they have any ideas for improving the process in the future.
4 Resource Management Planning Tips:
While you’re creating and presenting your resource management plan, the following tips can help improve your success.
Don’t Overcommit Your Resources
One of the biggest downfalls for tech, SaaS, service, or other labor-based businesses is overcommitting people and resources. Not only does this decrease job satisfaction and increase the risk of turnover, but it also results in lower work quality, missed deadlines, and diminished innovation.
Set Incremental Deliverables
It can be useful to your progress to set incremental deliverables when creating a resource management plan. This can help create a better sense of progress with your client as well as help keep the project on track internally.
Monitor Unplanned Work
Unplanned work happens, and it can reduce the productivity of your project. Keep an eye on unplanned work, hidden delays, and work “disrupters.” Once you have a feel for what causes disruptions—and when—determine whether to mitigate these distractions or to allot for the extra time needed to manage this unplanned work.
Organizational psychologists have shown time and time again that multitasking is far less effective than single-tasking. Try to limit the number of parallel tasks your teams have to focus on at any given time to increase their productivity, reduce switch-tasking, and improve performance.
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Get started today for free with the Mavenlink’s Resource Management to see how easy it can be to improve your resource management process. Click “Try for Free” below to start your free trial now.