According to the traditional definition, project management was only about scheduling and managing the project tasks. But in its wider meaning, it also includes how you are managing your resources as per your organization’s requirements and vision. It’s a known fact that resources are a very important component of project management. If your resources are not assigned properly to various tasks, your projects could fail or get off-track. So, resource management is a vital aspect for an organization applying project management approaches. As a project manager, managing multiple projects, you need to handle all the tasks, schedule resources, and track the status and timelines. How you do the planning, streamlining, and management of your team impacts the success of your projects. Implementing a resource management software eases resource planning, scheduling, and resource management for you. But before moving forward, let’s see the definition of resource management.
Defining Resource Management
The process of prioritizing and gaining necessary resources to deliver a project on time is called resource management. But what all is included in the term ‘resource’? It includes manpower, equipment, machinery, finances, technology, services, facilities, etc. One needs quite a few skills for effective resource management in project management. To succeed at resource management, you should ensure the following:
- Provide clear insights:Resource management depends on detailed insights into what your team members are working on and what is time duration it will take them to complete it.
- Set priorities: It is important to set clear priorities within all the tasks of a project. It is also vital to state the expectations for everyone involved clearly and then share them with all the stakeholders.
Tracking the status: Resource management also means providing regular status updates throughout the milestones and project life cycle.
Top Resource Management Skills Required in Project Management
Managing your resources in an effective and optimal manner involves the following skills:
The resource planning stage of resource management is the first step where you need to identify the resources needed for the project. This is like laying the foundation for the project where you estimate your resource requirement which includes taking into account all the what-if scenarios. If you do this, you will know how your timelines will be impacted. When you do resource planning and effective resource management during the project management process, then you will not overshoot your budgets, and there will be perfect communication across projects and teams.
After you gain clarity of the resources at hand, you can easily match up the demand and supply. You could have peaks and troughs in terms of resource demand in your project plan. But as you are aware of the availability of resources, you can “smooth” the schedule to enable a flatter demand curve. You should also schedule your project milestones sensibly. The smoothing process requires moving the goalposts and you will have to utilize the buffer time here. What is meant by buffers here? It means some additional supply of resources that can prevent disappointment and timeline misses down the road.
Once you have decided on the list of people to join your project, you can go ahead and book them in the relevant tasks or projects in the resource management tool. At this stage, you need to make the best use of the resources at hand and monitor their performance, and utilization on a regular basis. This step of project management will help you avert under or overutilization while also avoiding employee burnout. You will also get additional benefits like improved visibility of organization-wide resources, precise bookings, and easier and faster decisions over bookings with other project managers.
Flow to Work
This method of assigning tasks prioritizes knowledge and adjustment of skill sets. So, rather than allocating work to a resource, you align people to where they’re required the most. If you have writing skills, you can be aligned to any tasks or writing projects when needed. In this method, the project managers assign the capacity to assist. So, resources flow to work, depending on their competency and availability. This resource management approach has many benefits as it offers flexibility and hence a more satisfied team.
At times, the project managers need to adjust the schedule of projects to meet the timelines. For this, it’s a good idea to use resource levelling. If you need to amend or modify an existing plan using resource levelling, you can categorize or merge activities as per the availability of resources, so that there are no resources that are under or overutilized.
Another important skill you need for effective resource management is project onboarding. What does that mean? It is introducing your team to the key goals and deliverables of the projects they would be aligned to. This enhances transparency, brings in clarity and your team also trusts you more as their project manager. This not only means sharing all key project information with the team such as all data, documents, etc, but also the Statement of Work, project plan, and weekly or monthly project status reports. If you use a resource management tool to assign team members to various projects, then you can easily collaborate, set up communication channels, and your team can also access everything easily.
Measuring and reporting
When you collect relevant project data like availability, capacity, time entries, etc, you can easily measure the performance of all the resources and your team. But how can you measure resource utilization? Resource utilization can be measured by using this formula:
Resource utilization = Busy time / Available time
If you use resource management software to do so, you can compare bookings of resources along with their availability in just a few clicks. The subsequent metric will tell you if you are using a resource’s time properly, or in case they are overbooked or underutilized. You can also use this data to compare planned billable time with their actual recorded work time. This helps in determining if you are using your resources productively or not.
Why Use eResource Scheduler for Resource Management?
A top-rated resource management tool, eResource Scheduler helps in resource planning, scheduling, and management. The configurable fields of this AI-enabled tool enable you to save information according to the requirements of multiple resource types. With this award-winning software, you can do reporting depending on the project type. What’s more? The resource availability report of this tool displays integrated data at every level of the business – be it resource, team, location, etc. You can fetch multiple units and views too. eResource Scheduler assures you to augment your resource utilization from 18 to 30%. As a project manager, you don’t need to worry about schedules and completing projects on time and within the set budget. The real-time updates about any scheduling changes and the visual and comprehensive reports help to highlight any forthcoming loopholes. So, check it out with a free trial soon and improve your resourcing decisions.