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6 Steps To Define Your Resource Planning Strategy (Infographic)

Resource Planning

Resource planning is an effective remedy against project failure. So it’s logical that it would be an integral part of project management. But for those unfamiliar with the term, it won’t help if you jump into the process with guns blazing. In fact that could have the opposite effect.

Instead it helps to first create and define a resource planning strategy.

If you’re new to this concept, don’t worry. This article will provide you with all the information you need to develop your own unique strategy for a resource plan that’s both effective and efficient.

First we’ll go over what exactly resource planning is, and why it’s important to strategize with the help of an infographic on project failures. Plus, we’ll give you 6 steps to help you define your own resource planning strategy.

Definition of Resource Planning

Resource planning is the act of allocating and utilizing resources (people, machinery, tools, rooms, etc). Its aim is to maximize resource efficiency, while simultaneously giving an overview of resources’ availability and capacity.

Resources can be anything your company utilizes to get tasks done – ranging from humans to machines, and meeting rooms to computer software.

That’s the official resource planning definition. However, in the real world, it’s not always so clear cut.

Many times the resource planning that occurs in most offices boils down to what the PM decides to do with their resource pool. And it amounts to how the project manger achieves an overview of who’s doing what and where things are. Meaning it’s often resource management using Gantt charts in one or other way to get an overview.

Try resource planning yourself with a free 14-day trial of Ganttic.

Why Do You Need a Resource Management Strategy?

Short answer: Without one, your project might fail.

Long answer: This infographic shows important project failure statistics. And it’s evident that a lot of projects begin without having their goals clearly defined from the get-go.

  • 75% of IT project leaders believe their projects are “doomed from the start”.
  • 70% of companies report having at least one failed project in the last year.
  • 64% of projects meet their goals.
  • 17% of large IT projects’ budgets go so badly they threaten the existence of the entire company
project failure statistics infographic show that defining and having a resource planning strategy is better for your team, organization, and goals

What’s the point of sinking millions of dollars into a project you believe is “doomed from the start”? With proper tools for resource management and project planning, you can eliminate that 17% entirely.

Read on: For some more tips on strategic planning, check out our article and infographic about the process of building a strategic plan. 

6 Steps for Building a Planning Strategy

How can we keep our projects from failing? Start with a plan! Keep these 6 elements in mind when planning your project or executing your business strategy.

Step 1: Plan

When building a plan, you need to make sure that you can execute it. And that you have the right tools to help bring you plan to fruition. Using clunky software will not help in this regard. So ditch those spreadsheets and choose something that will.

In Excel, not only are you wrestling with cells, but also struggling to format data types. Not to mention cutting and pasting your way around merged cells. This isn’t to say that Excel can’t achieve great things. But because it’s meant for so many purposes, the process can take so much longer than necessary.

With features such as drag and drop, you click when you want your task to start, drag it to the desired end point and release. Title your task and you’re done! And one step closer to achieving your goals.

Paired with a flexible timeline in which you can zoom in and out of a time period, you are looking at an accumulation of hundreds of hours saved in your resource planning efforts.

Then with the different available views tabs, you can utilize custom data fields to have your resource data listed in multiple ways. The same set of data can be sorted by location, by roles, by projects, unsorted, and more! Meaning all resources are shown and you have a report view as well.

You can easily allocate resources to multiple ongoing projects without overbooking anyone. You can view one project at the time or the whole portfolio. The combination of views is endless, and so is your collaborative abilities. And speaking of collaboration…

How much time can resource management save every year?

Add together all the times you’ve had to spend a whole day reformatting Excel cells when the project timeline changed. And how much time you’ve spent emailing and re-sending modified schedules. And the amount of hours spent tracking down available resources when a project goes long.

Taking those annoyances out of the equation can help illustrate just how much time is wasted planning with improper software. And why an alternative is absolutely necessary for anyone interested in more efficient planning.

Step 2: Collaborate

When Excel as released 30 years ago, work places tended to focus more on top down management. Now, with new practices such as agile and lean management, and new ways of working such as remote work or virtually dispersed teams, there is a lot more need for collaboration. Or at least some input from your team.

In Ganttic, it’s not only easy to add new users, but you can add as many users as you’d like. Plus, the amount is unlimited. Meaning you can have unlimited sharing, unlimited teamwork and unlimited collaboration.

And if you prefer having one PM to create and share the schedules, you have that opportunity as well. With custom user permissions, you can decide if you users have full-fledged administrative or editing rights, viewing rights, or viewing rights for just a small portion of the project.

Read on: If you are still using Excel for your virtual teams, it’s high time to break that habit. Check out our article on why you should  quit Excel for your virtual project management, and find out some ways you are losing money and hindering your projects if you continue to use spreadsheets. Plus, some suggestions on what tools you can use instead.

Step 3: Adjust

Have you ever tried viewing an Excel sheet on mobile? What about editing data on a tablet? We’re all grateful for the invention of the touchscreen, but mini spreadsheets, cells, and touchscreens just don’t go together. Let’s not even get started on the nightmare of trying to file-share a spreadsheet. The solution for instant accessibility on-the-go is to utilize the technology that you are already using for your daily life – Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar.

In the screenshot above, you can see what the Google Calendar synchronization screen with Ganttic looks like. Choosing between one or two way sync, you can decide what exactly your team will see when they check on their GCals. Project names, task titles, notes and data fields will all appear in their apps. Meaning even if you have a remote or field team, everyone can stay connected.

Once your team syncs all their Gantt charts to their Google Calendars, they are able to access their plans from their mobiles or tablet calendar app. Even without internet connection.

While it’s not exactly a Google Calendar Gantt chart, it is the easiest way to have your work plans available right from your pocket.

Step 4: Launch

We need our data for a variety of purposes. For a client meeting, we don’t want to end up sharing our entire clientele data. For a board meeting, we want to present the important numbers instead of Bill’s social security number.

While Excel allows you to save your data in many file formats, you are not able to extract the data that you need without having to do it manually. But with an intuitive resource planning software, you are looking at a simpler way to export your data.

In Ganttic, you can create an automatic report of your data and set it to go out to anyone you want, in any time interval you need. In the screenshot above you can see that this report will be sent to the boss on a weekly basis. And If you don’t want your plans to be sent automatically, you can also create a custom report, download it in your preferred format, and send it on to whomever needs it. Clients, freelancers, your therapist, anyone!

Step 5: Review

When you are using spreadsheets, you are vulnerable to a whole list of possibilities of losing your data. On top of corrupted files and viruses, you are also looking at the potential loss of your devices, which may lead to unbacked-up files being lost as well.

Having your data on the cloud is more than just convenience, but it is also addressing the security issue. As seen in the screenshot, the very same lock symbol appearing in bank websites and government websites means that you have a secure connection. Having a secure connection also means that the site’s certificate is valid and its identity has been verified by a trusted third party. You can be sure that you don’t have to worry about data theft.

Step 6: Succeed!

Do you have the funds to cover the cost of your plans? And is the software you’re using helping or hurting in this regard?

For businesses, Microsoft charges a sum per user per month regardless of usage. At Ganttic, the cheapest plan we offer is free.

Free resource planning software? Yes!

You can have an unlimited number of team members using the plan and have an unlimited amount of projects, reports, views, and tasks. As long as you are only planning ten or fewer resources, your plan is free forever.

This is to support small and medium sized businesses and only charge for what you use. When your business starts to grow and you need to upgrade, the price that you pay for Ganttic is still way less than what you have to pay for Microsoft Office’s licensing fees. And because you pay per resource, not user, there’s a lot more flexibility in getting the right scalable plan for you.

A stitch in time…saves your plans!

No matter your organization’s size or industry, every team everywhere is able to benefit from strategic planning. Thinking ahead to how you will execute your projects and tasks will prevent expensive potential failures from occurring. If “a stitch in time saves nine,” think how much you can save with not only the right strategy, but the right tool to complement it.

Stop worrying about project failure and focus on getting your projects delivered on time. Sign up for a free trial. Try Ganttic for free
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