Resource management is the backbone of successful project management. As it ensures that the right resources are available at the right time to complete projects on time and within budget. By implementing resource management strategies, project managers can optimize resource utilization, improve project scheduling, and reduce the risk of resource conflicts and delays.
What is a Resource Plan in Project Management?
Resource planning can be thought of as a component of project management, similar to how a single ingredient is a part of a recipe. Just like how a recipe requires multiple ingredients to create a complete dish, project management involves multiple components such as resource planning, risk management, time management, cost management, and more to create a successful project.
A good resource plan is focused on identifying and allocating the resources required for a project, including human resources, materials, equipment, finances, and time. It helps to ensure that the necessary resources are available when needed, and that they are used effectively to achieve project objectives.
In layman’s terms:
Susan is baking a cake for the wedding.
Task: Bake a cake
Project Management Vs. Resource Planning
While project management is the strategic roadmap guiding the project journey, resource planning ensures that the necessary tools and manpower are strategically distributed to meet project demands. In essence, project management orchestrates the journey, while resource planning equips it with the necessary fuel for a smooth and efficient ride.
Here’s an example of a project plan. Where the focus is on the overall coordination, execution, and completion of tasks within a specific project. It encompasses activities like defining project goals, creating schedules, and monitoring progress to ensure successful outcomes.
On the other hand, resource planning zeroes in on the allocation and optimization of available resources such as staff, tools, and equipment. You can see from this example how much more detailed a comprehensive resource management plan can be.
Limitations of Project Management Without a Resource Plan
The limitations of planning around projects include not being able to plan your resources’ time as efficiently. This mean many find themselves cross-checking a resource’s availability and work frequency across various projects. It is a time-consuming and redundant step! While all the while, resource planning in project management should be easy and flexible.
By incorporating resource management into your project management strategy, you can optimize resource utilization, reduce the risk of delays and conflicts, and deliver successful projects on time and within budget.
Here’s some of the associated risks of project management without resource planning:
- there’s a higher risk of mismanaging human capital, leading to inefficient task assignments and potential project delays.
- may result in financial oversights, making it difficult to stay within budget constraints and compromising the financial health of the project.
- hampers the ability to foresee and address potential risks effectively, leaving projects vulnerable to unforeseen obstacles.
- shortages in critical resources, be it human, technological, or financial, leading to compromises in quality and project objectives.
- can impact the overall quality of project deliverables.
- less adaptable to changes or unexpected challenges without resource planning, hindering the ability to respond effectively to evolving circumstances.
- increases the likelihood of project failures, as key aspects like time, budget, and quality may be compromised.
Why Project Managers Rely on Resource Planning
The benefits of using the resource planning approach are great. You are essentially extracting the ever-changing variables and planning around them. This simply eliminates unintentional overlapping of tasks. As well as the redundancy of making sure that a resource isn’t a part of other projects’ resource schedules.
Creating a resource plan with the help of a dedicated resource planner can help project managers to accomplish:
Effective Resource Allocation
Resource planning enables project managers to allocate resources where they are needed most. This ensures that all resources are used effectively and efficiently to achieve project objectives.
Improved Project Scheduling
Resource management enables project managers to schedule tasks and activities based on resource availability, optimizing project timelines and reducing the risk of bottlenecks and delays.
Effective resource planning helps project managers to identify the resources required for a project and allocate them accordingly. This reduces the risk of overspending on resources that are not necessary for the project.
Resource planning helps project managers to identify potential risks and develop contingency plans to address them. This reduces the risk of project failure and ensures that the project is completed on time and within budget.
Steps for Project Management Resource Planning
In the dynamic realm of project management, one cannot underestimate the pivotal role of a dedicated resource planner. It’s the magic wand that turns project dreams into successful realities. Project and resource management software can help to simplify the resource planning process and provide real-time visibility into resource usage. Explore the nuances of resource planning and uncover practical tips that every project manager should have up their sleeves.
1. Building Your Resource Pool
Central to resource planning is building a robust resource pool. Click on the Resources tab to add team members, equipment, or any other assets relevant to your projects. Assign roles, input availability, and note specific skills to ensure accurate resource allocation.
2. Fine-Tuning with Custom Fields
Customization is key, and Ganttic understands that. Explore the Custom Fields feature to add specific details to your resources and projects. Tailor Ganttic to match your unique project management requirements.
3. Define Project Scope
The next step involves identifying project objectives, deliverables, timelines, and stakeholders for your project and all its activities and tasks. Think of this as your work breakdown structure (WBS). Navigate to the Projects tab to start creating projects within Ganttic. Define project timelines, set milestones, and outline tasks. As you add tasks, Ganttic automatically populates your Gantt chart, providing a visual representation of your project’s timeline.
4. Find the Best and Brightest
Ganttic’s strength lies in its resource allocation capabilities. Drag and drop tasks onto resources in the Gantt chart to assign them efficiently. Easily adjust allocations, ensuring each team member or asset is optimally utilized without overburdening them.
5. Seeing the Big Picture
Ganttic offers a variety of filters and views to help you see the big picture or focus on specific details. Use filters to narrow down your view based on criteria like team, project status, or resource type. Experiment with different views to find what suits your needs best. Maybe a resource calendar is the best way to see what’s on the daily docket. Or try out a View with only your contractors. Or one with all unconfirmed projects. With dedicated planning tools, there’s no reason to ever go back to a PivotTable. All these Views can be switched between with a click of a button.
6. Streamlining Communication
Facilitate seamless collaboration by taking advantage of Ganttic’s communication features. Leave comments on tasks, share project timelines with team members, and keep everyone in the loop. Ganttic becomes your central hub for project-related discussions. Or use the built-in API to sync with your favorite work and communication apps. Instant collaboration at your fingertips.
7. Monitoring Workload
Project managers should be sure to monitor resource usage throughout the project. This allows for resources to be used effectively and efficiently. The process involves tracking resource consumption, identifying variances, and taking corrective action as needed. In Ganttic utilization, busy time, and available time are all calculated automatically. Helping you gain insights into your team’s capacity. Identify potential bottlenecks and redistribute workloads as needed. Utilization tracking is your secret weapon for maintaining a harmonious balance in your resource planning symphony.
8. Reporting and Analytics
Evaluate project health with Ganttic’s reporting and analytics tools. Generate reports on resource utilization, project progress, and more. Leverage these insights to make informed decisions and continuously refine your resource planning strategy.
Best Practices for an Effective Resourcing Plan
When developing your resourcing plan, keep these things in mind.
Involve Stakeholders & All Relevant Users
It is essential to involve stakeholders in the resource planning process to ensure that their needs and expectations are considered. Moreover, a resource plan should be accessible to anyone involved in the work. While not all online planners allow for unlimited users, some collaborative planners like Ganttic do.
Break Plans Down Into Manageable Pieces
It is essential to par down a lot of information into more manageable bits. Not only does this help to address potential risks, buts ensues that teams stay on track. In Ganttic you can make an unlimited number of Custom Views. This means you can filter out extra resources, color code tasks, and change the timeline to something that works for that team or department.
Review and Update Resource Plan Regularly
Resource planning is an ongoing process, and it is essential to review and update the resource plan regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and effective.
Learning from Past Acts
As seasoned conductors of projects, managers should try not forget to learn from past performances. Analyze resource allocation in previous projects, extract the golden nuggets of wisdom, and use them to finesse future productions.
Are you a project manager looking to maximize the effectiveness of your projects? Look no further than resource management software.
That’s why Ganttic is built for Project Managers who need to take on this challenge.
Topped with a user-centric interface, once overwhelming projects’ data becomes easy to handle. And to allow flexibility, Ganttic has the project view feature that allows you to view data by project. Meaning in just two clicks, you will be able to scroll through all the projects, its WBS and tasks, plus its resources. It is easy to keep track of how each project is progressing while maintaining the ability to switch back to a more efficient way to plan across projects.
Ganttic is designed around the user and cater to all needs across industries. If you are looking for a versatile solution for resource planning, try Ganttic for free or request a free personal demo.