Resource Planning: 6 Ways Ineffective Resource Planning Is Affecting Your Project
1. THE PROJECT TEAM DOESN'T FEEL VALUED
Since resource planning has a lot to do with matching tasks with the resource that has the right skill set, ineffective resource usage might lead to the point where your team doesn’t feel valued. You wouldn’t want to work in a place where you would feel that your skills don’t bring any added value and you are totally interchangeable, would you? Well, your team feels the same way.
Even if you do your best to make your team feel valued in other ways but still don't give them tasks that would challenge them and make them feel valued, you will be the reason that will make them want to change jobs. Map out your resources’ skill sets with a resource planning tool and give them tasks accordingly.
2. UNEVEN RESOURCE UTILIZATION
If your resource planning is ineffective, you might overwhelm a few of your resources while others don’t have enough tasks to keep them busy. Neither of these situations is desirable. While overworking simply leads to bad health, not being challenged enough might make your team feel as valued as they should be and we already went over where that might take your relationship.
Resource planning tools should give you a good overview of your resources general utilizations. That way you’ll know how occupied your resources are with the current project as well as other ongoing projects. Don’t take this information lightly, it’s not just a number. If you know your resources skills, you can probably move things around to optimize the workload. If you don’t have enough people in your team with the workload you need over and over again, just hire more people. It’ll pay off in the long run.
3. THE PROJECT IS FALLING BEHIND ON SCHEDULE
Aaaah, the feeling when all the milestones you have set for your project just keep shifting further and your project just keeps getting more and more behind on schedule. There might be many reasons behind that starting from the fact that you might have been too optimistic when planning the timeline in the first place.
However, it might also be due to the mistakes made in resource planning or the lack of it. If the problem is in fact in resource planning, there are really no secrets in how to fix this problem. Schedule tasks that match your resources’ skills and keep the utilization in check, and you should be doing a lot better that before. If you are trying to do all that without a resource management tool, you are just digging a grave for yourself. Use all the help you can get. While there are no secrets, it's still a tricky business.
5. NOT MUCH ROOM FOR REALLOCATING AND OPTIMIZING
The plan you made is never what’s really going to happen. That’s why you reallocate resources during the course of your project. If your team reports the progress of their tasks' on the go, you’ll notice roadblocks on the go. If you have been realistic when planning the timeline of your project, you’ll have time to allocate additional resources to the task that’s behind on its schedule.
Now, if you are not squeezing that extra bit of planning juice out from your resource management tool, you actually can’t anticipate problems. You’ll just have to wait for the problem to come to you.
Take a step back, and review the way you are planning and optimizing your plans. Are the reports you compose solid and paint a good picture of your projects' course? Is your team tracking how much time it really takes to complete the tasks you have scheduled for them? You need to have a good overview to optimize your resource planning in the first place. If your resources are planned ineffectively, you'll be stuck with the initial plan, and that's almost never a good thing.
6. THE PROJECT DOESN'T STAY WITHIN THE BUDGET
And finally the most dreaded monster of project management - increased costs. You probably already knew that one was on your way. A project with an undervalued project team that’s behind schedule can’t really be within the budget, can it? No matter how well you’ll plan the budget of your project, if it’s not accompanied by effective resource planning, the budget will be affected. And you know that optimizing the budget can be tricky on its own.
The other scenario where ineffective resource planning can increase the costs of a project is when you don’t think about how expensive the resource you are scheduling for your project is. And that's just bad planning. You really should be thinking about it.