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Resource Planning for Multiple Projects

As we slide into 2024, the landscape of project management has evolved into a complex maze. This is an era where 59% of project managers find themselves routinely juggling 2-5 projects concurrently. And it’s not just about orchestrating projects to successful completion. It’s about ensuring that each project receives its fair share of resources.

Making matters worse, in a post-pandemic world, it always seems that there’s more work with less resources to do the job. While this makes the need for adept multitasking skills even more apparent. It also means project mangers are forced to step into to their roles with a unique blend of expertise, technical acumen, and seemingly, a proficiency in the art of juggling.

In this landscape, mastering the delicate balance of resource allocation has become an indispensable skill for those steering the ship of multiple projects. And this article is here to tell you exactly how to do that.

What is resource planning in project management?

Planning resources for projects is the act of allocating your resources to multiple ongoing projects. It can include planning:

  • Staff – your project team, the whole department, freelancers etc.
  • Machinery – production lines, vehicles or even laptops.
  • Rooms – meeting rooms, conference rooms, office spaces etc.

Handling multiple projects at once demands a delicate balancing act. This makes resource planning a critical element to ensure that projects are adequately staffed, equipped, and on track to meet their respective goals. The good news is, resource planning done right will improve project progress as well as the motivation and engagement of your team.

Resource planning challenges when managing multiple projects

No matter the amount of projects you got on your plate, it’s important to go into any situation with a resource plan. Because the absence of a resource planning strategy can lead to overworked teams, missed deadlines, and compromised project quality.

Resource Allocation Conflicts

With limited resources, conflicts arise when multiple projects demand the same skill sets or personnel simultaneously. Balancing conflicting resource requests becomes a delicate task to avoid bottlenecks and delays.

Overallocating resources, whether intentionally or unintentionally, can lead to burnout, decreased productivity, and compromised project quality. Identifying and mitigating overallocation risks requires vigilant monitoring.

Skill Set Mismatch

Assigning resources without the necessary skills to specific tasks can result in inefficiencies and rework. Understanding the skill sets of available resources and aligning them appropriately with project requirements is essential.

The availability of skilled resources is finite, and shortages can occur. A limited resource pool may lead to difficulties in securing the right expertise, potentially impacting project timelines and quality.

Competing Project Timelines

Projects may have different timelines and deadlines. Aligning resource availability with project schedules becomes challenging, especially when projects have simultaneous critical milestones.

Determining the priority of projects and allocating resources accordingly can be challenging. The varying strategic importance, deadlines, and goals of each project require careful consideration to avoid neglecting critical tasks.

How to plan resources for multiple projects

As it is with everything else in Ganttic, planning using different views starts from your data and the way you have set it up. And as you already probably guessed, it has a lot to do with your custom data fields.

Get an Overview

To do it right, you need to have an overview. To get that overview, you need different views of your general resource plan. Hundreds and maybe even thousands of resources all in one list isn’t a way to go. If you are wondering what are the best practices for resource scheduling using different views, you have come to the right place.

List all the different views of your general resource plan that you might need. Perhaps you are a department manager? One with different kinds of resources? Perhaps your team consists of individuals with different skills. Maybe you have freelancers? Anything that comes to mind, write it down.

To create views of those needs, you must enter that data to Ganttic. You can add parts of that information to resources, part of it to tasks and part of it to projects.

Add your data

List type custom data fields are the data fields with a list of values. To add a list type custom data fields you have to add a name to it (Location) and then add the values (Madrid, London, New York etc). After you have added the data field, you can select a value for the specific resource, project or a task from a list.

List type custom data fields are used for grouping and coloring. They can also be used for filtering.

Add the information about the resources to the resource dialog. That can be information about resource type (i.e. if it’s your staff, a piece of machinery or a room etc). It can be information about the department the resource works in. Or in which office the resource is located. The data you can use for grouping resources. One resource can be in several resource groups.

List type custom data fields in tasks can be used as an indicator of task progress or any other kind of task data that you’d like to color code. It’s the same with projects.

Curate the plan

In Ganttic, a view is essentially your resource plan. If Ganttic is not your resource planning tool, and you are using an Excel template for resource planning, the template is a view. It has various properties like the length of the time period, the number of resources you see and the colors of the Gantt charts. If you change the time period of your resource plan from a week to a month, the resource plan looks like a whole new thing, right? That’s the beauty of views. You’ll see things differently.

We weren’t kidding when we said you should really map out your needs. Any data you have added can be used for creating views.

You can filter stuff out using text type custom data fields. Or sort projects by a certain milestone. You can filter out all of the projects that a certain project manager is working on if you have added user type custom data field like that to your projects.

The good thing is, you can always add new custom data fields. Nothing is broken if you can’t come up with everything you might once need right now.

If you have any further questions or need personal recommendations, contact our support team!

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