In the world of project management, success hinges on your ability to harness resources effectively. Imagine your project as a high-speed train, and resource allocation planning as the tracks that guide it to victory. Without a well-thought-out plan, your project may derail before it even leaves the station. But fear not, resource allocation planning is your ticket to a smooth ride towards your goals. Get started with our guide and 5 actionable tips for improving resource allocation planning.
What is Resource Allocation Planning?
Resource allocation planning involves the strategic allocation and distribution of various resources to tasks, projects, or activities in order to achieve specific goals and objectives. This can include human resources, equipment, materials, and more.
At the end of the day means it’s all about balance. And even if it seems tricky to walk this tightrope of project management, where you juggle people, time, money, and materials. With a resource allocation plan it actually is possible!
Benefits of Resource Planning
We all know that managing resources is essential because it helps you deliver projects on time with less cost, stress, and conflicts. Check out a few more benefits you’ll see from implementing an effective allocation plan.
Steers Projects Clear of Roadblocks
Every project encounters roadblocks. It’s inevitable. But with resource allocation planning, you’re armed with a map to navigate these challenges. When you can see the bumps in the road ahead, you can plan for detours, ensuring that your project keeps moving forward.
Raises the Efficiency Bar
Efficiency is the name of the game. And with resource allocation planning, it ensures you’re not overloading your team or overspending your budget. As well as guaranteeing that resources are used efficiently and effectively. It’s all about doing more with less and delivering excellence.
Prioritizes Resources’ Time
We glorify being busy. We glorify having a lot on our plates. Managing time (and doing it effectively) is becoming a topic that’s being discussed more and more. People are time-blocking their every action to scare away the horrible waste of time that is procrastination. There are hundreds and maybe thousands of apps for do-to lists. And since time is your most precious resource, with effective allocation planning, you instantly become the timekeeper of your project. You can allocate the right amount of time involved in project schedules and task estimates. Making sure everyone’s time is being put to the best use.
More Easily Adapt to Change
Projects are like living organisms. They evolve and change. With resource allocation planning, you’re agile and ready to adapt. Whether it’s unexpected delays, new priorities, or sudden resource constraints, you can pivot gracefully, like a skilled trapeze artist.
5 Tips for Improved Resource Allocation Planning
You know about different types of resource planning and how to use resource planning tools. You have drawn together a number of reports to analyze and perfect the way you are planning resources. Now, you are going to learn how to use that knowledge to your advantage. Here’s a few tips to keep in mind.
1. Keep Optimization at an Optimal Level
When you are planning resources, you are most certainly trying to make sure that those utilization percentages wouldn’t run over a hundred. Somehow, when it comes to your own life, you tend to act like you have found the eternal source of energy, don’t you?
You work over hours, you go to the gym, you attend the baby shower of a colleague you don’t even like, you go golfing because someone said you should, you try to cook at home on as many nights as possible, you read the book that your friend recommended, you try to fit a year’s worth of television into one week, you keep yourself posted with the latest trends in your field of work, you make time for your family, your parents, and your friends. You feel like you have to do it all. But you don’t. It’s that simple. You just don’t have to do it all.
Set priorities. Go to events you really want to go to. Make room for some alone time at the expense of some social gathering you know you wouldn’t really enjoy. Be honest with yourself and others. You should plan your own time as wisely as you are planning your projects.
You wouldn’t drag and drop irrelevant tasks. Stop taking on tasks that unnecessarily drain and exhaust you. It’s okay to say no.
Real World Case Study: Innopolis Engineering
When organizations need to improve their resource utilization rates, take a cue from Innopolis Engineering.
Innopolis Engineering uses Ganttic for resource planning. And to do that, they needed an overview of their resource schedules. The schedules give input to their other teams and departments. For example:
“If a department has an opening, they’ll evaluate it and decide if there are enough resources to take on a new project.Therefore, we use Ganttic to estimate the workloads of our resources and forecast if and when we can take on new projects.
We also do quite a lot of utilization planning.
The Management Board actively has its eye on the planner to make sure that no employee would be overbooked with any project. The utilization of our departments is also something we constantly analyze. For example, during the next three months, our goal is to keep the utilization of each department over 80%.”
Find some more advice by reading our case study of Innopolis Enginnering.
2. Multitasking is Not a Real Option
It’s quite late already. You have one more form to fill in before you can head home. You think you’ll just deal with it while eating dinner with the family. It’s better that way, huh? You’ll be there, right? Not really.
That’s what you should call a bad compromise. Nobody really wins. You will get home from office earlier. Yes. You will get the form filled in, too. But it will take much longer than it should. Your family won’t feel like you are there. They’ll feel you are always busy with something else. Even if you don’t have someone waiting for you at home, you still shouldn’t take your work home with you. It’ll come at the expense of your well-deserved free time.
Instead of trying to multitask, plan better. I know, it doesn’t seem to be much of an advice if it’s coming at the time when you are mixing and matching your work and personal life like socks that have lost their mates in a freak show that we call a washing machine.
Nevertheless, you have to start somewhere. If you have been tricking yourself into believing that you can multitask your whole life, you have a pretty tough road ahead of you. However, you should do it anyway. Schedule yourself in a way that would boost productivity.
3. Breaks are Your Friends
From the types of breaks where you take a year off once in every seven years to the types of breaks where you just eat your lunch during lunch. Yes, the latter means no emails during lunch hours. Yes, that means really taking a break. Like realllllly.
Every once in a while, even take it up a notch from that. Leave your phone behind. Just chat with your coworkers. Not about work but what’s going on in their lives. Or maybe about that interesting centerpiece in the middle of the table. Just not work. Okay? Okay.
If you want to give your brain even more wholesome break than that, go eat alone. Look at the walls. The people around you. Breath in every smell. Just be. Even if being alone isn’t your cup of tea, it will be interesting if you keep your mind open about it.
In addition to lunch breaks, you should be taking a number of tiny breaks throughout the day. You are probably planning pretty lengthy tasks for your resources in Ganttic. But when estimating tasks’ length you have learned that you should never be too optimistic. You leave time for breaks and for the unexpected. That’s what you should do while making a to-do list or a plan for yourself, too.
Be realistic. Allow yourself to be a human. There is no way you are fully concentrated for the whole length of your workday. That’s why you should plan breaks. Deliberately, constantly, and throughout the day. Every day. And don’t forgot about those longer breaks. Sometimes called vacations. Schedule some of those while you’re at it.
4. Leave Room for Resource Reallocation
You see that a task is taking a bit longer than you have planned. You know you have a resource that you can allocate to help with the task. So, you do it. That’s what resource allocation planning is about, right? You aren’t expecting your projects exactly the way have dragged and dropped your Gantt charts. You always leave room to do some allocation. Why should it be any different with your own plans?
Expect your initial resource allocation plans to go wrong. Make plans, but don’t be too rigid about them. Do a kind of a risk analysis in your head every time you make a plan. Be ready to allocate more time and effort when needed. Look at your personal life as tasks. It might seem a bit wrong to do it but leave emotion out of it.
Just don’t let resource allocation syndrome take over your life.
For example, if you feel like one of your relationships isn’t going as well as you want to, allocate more time and effort to it. Yup, it’s going to be at the expense of something else but after you have set priorities like discussed before, it won’t be a problem.
5. Have Goals and Milestones
Setting milestones helps your projects’ progress. You have to pinpoint those specific moments in your projects’ timeline to help your team to stay on track and you to determine whether or not your projects are on the right course and pace. Aaaand it works the same way with life.
I could say that nothing happens if you don’t set goals but that would be wrong. Things happen. You will probably still accomplish something. Things. Probably. Yep. Not the sort terms you would like to see anywhere near your project portfolio or your personal life.
So set goals. Set goals that are specific and achievable. As well as long-term and short-term goals. Either way, set goals that are measurable and realistic. Make decisions according to them. If doing something helps to achieve your goal, do it. If not, don’t. Set milestones to check your progress. If it seems like a goal you have set isn’t what you want anymore, feel free to adjust your sails.
Just don’t give up because things get though. Give up if the only reason that you are trying to get to the goal is the fact that you have set it. If you have conquered the mountaintops that you have set your eyes on, find new ones. Exactly like you would do with your projects.
Ganttic for Improved Resource Allocation Planning
Follow these tips for some better resource allocation planning. If you find yourself looking for a bit more help, turn to Ganttic.
Whether you’re new to resource allocation planning or a seasoned pro, at the end of the day you need an overview of where your resources are, and what they are engaged in. Ganttic is resource planning software that can give you that overview. With features like visual Gantt charts, skills management, drag and drop scheduling, reporting, and utilization calculations all the features you need are at your fingertips.