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Businesses execute projects and to do so, they need to manage different types of resources through a process known as resource management.
What Is Resource Management?
Resource management is the process of planning, scheduling and allocating resources to complete a project. Usually, project managers oversee the resource management process, but there are other leaders who might take this responsibility. To do so, they need to use resource management tools and techniques such as project management software.
ProjectManager is a robust project management software with Gantt charts, real-time dashboards and other resource management tools to help you monitor your project resources. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.
Why Is Resource Management Important?
Resource management is an important process for many disciplines such as project management, portfolio management and business management. Here’s how it helps in each of those fields.
Resource Management In Project Management
Resource management is very important when managing projects. It’s important to identify your resource requirements during the initiation and planning phases of the project life cycle so you can estimate costs and create a project budget. Then it’s important to make sure you schedule the right resources at the right time so your project plan is completed on time.
Resource Management In Portfolio Management
Resource management is even more important for project portfolio management than it is for managing individual projects. The reason is program managers, portfolio managers and project management offices (PMOs) need to ensure they allocate resources strategically to manage multiple projects simultaneously. For example, they can minimize costs by using the same resources across projects.
Resource Management In Business Management
The way in which you manage your business resources greatly affects its ability to function and grow beyond project management. Managing resources effectively has a myriad of benefits for your business such as helping you cut down costs, streamlining your operations planning and maximizing your profits.
Types of Project Resources
Project resources can be simply defined as anything that’s needed to execute project tasks, including the people executing the work. Here are some examples of project resources.
- Raw materials
- Human resources
- Machinery and equipment
- Financial resources
- Information and data
Resource Management Process
As stated above, resource management is an ongoing process that starts during the project planning phase and continues until project closure. This is known as the resource management life cycle, which is made up of four stages that project managers should understand to properly manage project resources.
- Resource analysis: The process of gauging your current resource availability to determine what resources are missing for the execution of a project or action plan.
- Resource planning: A resource plan explains what your project resource requirements are and how they’ll be met. More importantly, it guides the team when it comes to resource management, so it should include information such as general guidelines, a description of your project resources, their quantities and when they’re needed.
- Resource scheduling: You then need to ensure that those resources are readily available. To do so, you’ll need to simply align your resource schedule with your overall project schedule and have a solid supply chain in place.
- Resource allocation: Resource allocation is an ongoing process that’s simply defined as picking the right resources at the right time to achieve project tasks. For example, there are critical tasks that need to be prioritized when creating the resource schedule.
- Resource tracking: You’ll need to keep track of the performance of your team. Use timesheets, workload charts and other resource management tools to track the work of your team members.
Most project managers use resource management software to help them as they move from one phase of the resource management process to the next.
Resource Management Software
Resource management software has tools like dashboards, Gantt charts, timesheets and workload charts to keep track of resource availability, resource utilization, resource allocation and resource tracking.
To see exactly how ProjectManager can help you manage your resources, watch the short video below. Choose between Gantt charts, workload calendars, timesheets and project reports to simplify your resource management experience. Watch the video to learn more:
Resource Management Techniques
Project managers implement the following resource management techniques to forecast, plan, allocate, level and optimize resources during the execution of a project.
1. Resource Forecasting
Project managers must do their best at estimating what resources are needed for a project and how those resource requirements fit with the organization’s current plans. To do this, you must define your project scope to identify all project tasks and their required resources.
2. Resource Allocation
Resource allocation consists in evaluating available resources, capacity, resource schedule and the tasks that need to be completed to find the team members with the most relevant skills and make sure they have all the project resources they need when they need them.
3. Resource Leveling
Resource leveling is the process of re-assigning work to a project team to solve overallocation or scheduling issues. By thoroughly understanding what your team members can offer, you can assign tasks based on their abilities to maximize resource efficiency.
4. Resource Utilization
Careful resource planning is equally as important as resource tracking. Project managers need to keep track of resource utilization to spot any resources that aren’t being used efficiently. Then they can simply reallocate those resources or make changes to the resource management plan.
5. Resource Smoothing
Resource smoothing simply consists in delaying non-critical tasks to complete a project on time with the available resources. This is done by using the slack or float on each of those tasks to delay them without affecting the critical path. By delaying non-critical tasks, you can move your resources for the completion of critical path tasks and circle back to the least important activities.
Now that we’ve learned about the different resource management phases and the techniques you can use, you’re ready to get started with resource management. This free resource plan is a good tool for beginners. It allows you to list your resources and keep track of their availability and costs.
However, our resource plan template needs to be manually updated and shared with the team. That’s time-consuming, which is why most project managers use resource management software to help streamline the process.
How ProjectManager Helps With Resource Management
Resource management was developed to manage the resources in your project, which requires visibility into resource availability, workload and more. ProjectManager is project management software that gives you real-time data to make more insightful decisions when managing resources.
Plan Resources With Interactive Gantt Charts
Resources and costs can be scheduled with tasks on our Gantt chart project view. Once you set a baseline, you can also consult the planned versus actual progress of your overall project to get a head’s up if there’s a problem with resources. The progress bar tells you the progress being made on a specific task according to the planned effort. If you’re not meeting your baseline, reallocate your resources to stay on track.
Manage Workload and Keep Teams Productive
Your team is your most valuable resource. You can set up your team’s availability, workdays, holidays and PTO regardless of where they work. Once they start working, you don’t want to burn them out or leave them idle. Our color-coded workload page lets you see at a glance whether your team members are overallocated or under-allocated. A balanced workload leads to a more productive and happy team—and happier teams are more productive.
Track Your Resources With Real-Time Dashboards and Reports
You’ve planned your resource management, but as you execute the project, you have to monitor those resources. If you don’t keep an eye on how you’re using resources, you risk going over budget or missing deadlines. Our real-time project dashboard automatically collects live data and displays it in colorful graphs that chart six project metrics. In one click, you can generate reports that go deeper into the workload, time, costs and much more. All reports can be filtered and shared with stakeholders as you see fit.
Our software helps you plan, manage and report on project resources. You can allocate and track resource costs, see your team’s availability to make assignments and monitor everything with dashboards that act as instant status reports. Get everything you need to manage resources all in one place.
Related Resource Management Content
When you’re managing resources on a project, there are a lot of balls to keep in the air, and that process can get complicated and confusing. However, with the right online tool, you’re able to plan, monitor and report on your resources with great control and accuracy. ProjectManager is online project management software that gives you the tools you need to steer your project to successful completion. Try it for yourself.