6 Steps To Define Your Resource Planning Strategy (Infographic)

Categories: Resource Planning
Resource planning is an effective remedy against causes of project failure. However, you need a strategy for resource planning to be effective and efficient. Here we’ll go over what exactly is resource planning and why it’s important to strategize. 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) to achieve maximal efficiency of those resources.

That's the official resource planning definition. In the real world, resource planning is often simply something a project manager does to know 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. 

resource planning definition

Why do you need a Resource Management Strategy?

Short answer: Without one, your project is likely to fail.

Long answer: This infographic shows important project failure statistics.

  • 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

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 on the specific steps to take in building a strategic planning process. 

6 Steps for building a planning strategy  

Keep these 6 elements in mind when planning your project or business strategy.

Step 1: Utility


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 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 is an excellent example of the great things that Excel can achieve. But because it’s meant for so many purposes, the process is much longer than necessary. 

With an intuitive date picker as shown above, you literally only click twice to achieve your goal. Once, right after the start date is selected, and twice when the calendar for the end date pops up. 

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

Step 2: Collaboration

These views tabs bear a resemblance to browser tabs and this is because it is meant to provide similar convenience as well.

With these views tabs, you can utilize custom data fields to have your resource data listed in multiple ways. In the screenshot above, the same set of data is sorted by location, sorted by roles, sorted by projects, unsorted, 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.

Step 3: Accessibility

google calendar sync

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. Once Roger in the screenshot above syncs all the Gantt charts to his Google Calendar, he is able to access his plans from his mobile or tablet calendar app, even without internet connection.

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

Step 4: Export


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 simple drag and drop of the type of data for your report. Now all you have to do is to give yourself a pat on the back for all the time that you have saved from not customizing reports the stone age way.

Step 5: Security


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 green lock 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: Costs


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?

You can have an unlimited number of team members using the plan, 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 have to pay for Ganttic is way less than what you have to pay for Microsoft Office’s licensing fees. 

To start executing these 6-step resource planning strategies, sign up to try Ganttic for free for 14-days.

Author: Patricia Goh