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5 Reasons Why Resource Management Is Important

Resource Management

Why is resource management important? There’s 5 main reasons.

  1. Provides you with an overview of everyone and everything involved in your project;
  2. Enables utilization planning;
  3. Makes the planning and management process more transparent;
  4. Helps you see problems before they start;
  5. Gives you control over your project.

If you aren’t a fan of brevity, don’t worry.

This article will go over everything there is to know about this concept. Explaining the importance of resource management. As well as providing you with some of its key benefits.

But first things first. Let’s start with a simple definition of resource management.

Resource Management Definition

Resource management is the process of planning, scheduling, and allocating organizational and project resources in the best possible way. Its ultimate aim is to maximize your resources’ efficiency. Which in turn will help fulfil project, task, or organizational goals.

When doing project management, managers need to know if there’s enough capacity and the proper means to bring your projects to life. Resource management can ensure that you’ll not only have the right resources to achieve your objectives, but you’ll have the right resources that can take your projects to the next level. With as few of hiccups as possible.

Read on: What tools do PMs trust for perfect project planning? Take a look at the top 5 resource planning tools.

What are Resources?

Resources can be anything from people to machinery to facilities. They are whatever you need to complete your project or task.

For a construction company, a resource can include a special piece of equipment or tools. A software company would need computers and developers. And an event manager might need caterers and a venue. For a lab, you have rooms for experiments, specialized tools, materials. Because resources exist in every field, so does the need for resource management.

Common types of resources:

  • Labor
  • Equipment
  • Materials and supplies
  • Cost
  • Facilities
  • Time

Different Types of Resource Management

There are actually a number of different types of project resource management. These include resource scheduling, planning, and management itself. The biggest difference between the three is the depth of planning.

  1. Scheduling – Ensures that you have the right capacity for projects and that no one is double booked in the process
  2. Planning – This looks not only at current projects, but future projects, with more emphasis on getting the right resource for the right job.
  3. Management – Allocating resources and monitoring utilization, engaging in resource leveling and smoothing, long-term planning, and strategic management of your entire project portfolio

What’s the Goal of Managing Resources?

While, maximizing efficiency is the official credo of resource management, maybe you have a different goal in mind. Perhaps you’re seeking an overview of your resource allocation. Or say you want more transparency in the planning process. Maybe you’re looking to forecast resource availability 5 months down the line. Or you simply need a better way to track your project’s progress.

Managing resources can help you with all these goals.

Read on: Perhaps you already know how managing resources can help your projects, teams, and organization. If you're looking for some software to help with your resource management, take a tour of Ganttic

How Can You Benefit From Managing Your Resources?

Below are 5 ways in which you benefit once you implement a resource management strategy. It can help with:

  1. Maximizing resource efficiency: Resource Utilization
  2. Getting a bird’s eye view of your project: An overview
  3. Preventing miscommunication mishaps: Transparency
  4. Predicting the future: Foreseeing and avoiding problems
  5. Taking Control

We will also explain each of these benefits more in-depth.

1. Maximizing Resource Efficiency: Resource Utilization

Tracking resource utilization is a major benefit that comes from resource management

Resource utilization is all about making the most out of the resources available to you. It is the percentage of the resource’s working time (Busy time) within a certain time period (Available time). The easiest way to understand the concept is through a formula:

Resource utilization = Busy time / Available time

This is an important metric in understanding whether or not your resources are working at maximum efficiency.

Why does it matter?

Utilization tracking and planning is the number one thing to consider if you are planning your team and its resources. It’s especially important if your resources have concurrent tasks or if they work on multiple projects simultaneously. This provides you with insight on resource availability and allows you to find the best match between tasks and your resources.

  • Prevents boredom and burnout

    Both over and underbooking your team can lead to negative outcomes. For example, studies found that on days when people experience more challenges, they also tend to feel more positive and engaged in their work. This means your team should feel challenged in order to be more productive.

    On the flip side, it has been found that over utilizing a resource and an extreme workload can lead to burnout. However, research indicates that when managers carry out management practices that promote job control (i.e. resource management), it reduces the risk of burnout.

  • Better forecasting

    Plus, utilization can also be extended to planning other (nonhuman) resources. You can track the downtime or efficiency of a piece of heavy machinery, for example. This can help with long-term planning, and allow you to nip a problem in the bud. If you know that you will be using a specific machine extensively, you can make arrangements for repairs or replacements ahead of time.

How Can You Benefit?

  • Better utilization means a happier and healthier team, helping to reduce burnout and stress.
  • Resources are used to their maximum potential, keeping projects on time and on budget.
  • It helps project managers keep an eye on the project, reducing oversights and double-bookings.
  • Changes and hiccups can be caught more quickly, preventing problems from getting worse.

2. Getting a Bird’s-Eye View of Your Project: An Overview

Resource management gives you a bird's eye view of what your resources are engaged in, capacity, and more.

Contemporary project management is tricky. Offices in different locations. A number of ongoing projects. Hundreds of different resources with different tasks. Without resource management, it’s a catastrophe waiting to happen.

Effective resource management strategies will give you an overview of everyone and everything. And an overview gives you control over what’s going on.

To do so, it might be wise to take a cue from the ancient Romans. Their concept of dīvide et imperā, (usually translated to “divide and conquer”) can help give you an overview.

First, divide the plan into different views. Then, manage the resources within each view. Finally, take a peek into the general resource plan to see if everything’s adding up.

Congrats! You are now essentially the modern-day Julius Caesar of resource organization.

Why is it important?

In project management, you should aim to have a better overview of everything. This will help you see exactly where your project’s at, what still needs to be done, and by when. It turns out, an overview will help you manage your team better and give you more efficiency.

***Real-Life Example***

When Allison Stroebele from Pure Technologies was looking for a resource management tool, she said:

“We needed a better way to schedule a project so that we could see who would be involved and what equipment would be in use. Especially when teams were coming from three different offices nationwide and equipment was being shipped from anywhere in the country.”

Implementing a tool that provided them an overview of all those variables Allison and the management team at Pure Technologies saw efficiency increases almost immediately.

“We’re more efficient in our jobs. We can track at least 80 pieces of equipment now as well, which wasn’t practical previously. As soon as we started using Ganttic, our tool support people said, ‘This is awesome, we can track every single piece of equipment. We can keep track of where everything is in real-time.’

So it gives everybody better visibility on where equipment and technicians are and what they’re doing.” Read the full case study of how Pure Technologies is using Ganttic for resource management

***

Whether you decide to follow the ancients’ method, or get modern software to do the heavy lifting, an overview will give you a bird’s-eye view of your projects. This will allow you to have better visibility, which can ultimately increase efficiency.

How Do You Benefit?

  • An overview allows you to track team and project progress, giving everyone better visibility and keeping you all up-to-date.
  • You can see how efficient your team and resources are, allowing you to make better predictions for future projects.
  • Overviews give you more control. Which elps you to conquer all required tasks.
  • Looking at your resources from a different angle can increase your efficiency, especially when dealing with dozens of resources spread-out across the country or world.

3.  Preventing Miscommunication Mishaps: Transparency

resource management is important because it gives the project transparency.

With resource management, every (human) resource is able to view their tasks. Every project manager can see how resources are allocated. This means planning is transparent both ways.

And transparency is to planning like the weekend is to the workweek. Without it, it’s just Monday-Friday. And we all know what can happen when it’s all work and no play. You’ve seen “The Shining,” right?

Why is it important?

There are both practical and theoretical reasons why you’d want your project management process to be transparent.

  • Better communication

    Misunderstandings are often unavoidable. Especially if you are working in an organization with simultaneous projects and managers. And while workarounds for this are abundant, they don’t always get the job done.

    It’s easy to create a Gantt chart from your Google calendar. Or make a project management doc in Excel. But without dedicated resource planning software, you opening yourself to a host of other problems.

    Resources will get overbooked. Task statuses will be changed over and over again. And no one will be sure what the “right” version of the project plan is. This can mess things up with your team, bosses, and stakeholders.

    It’s no wonder that miscommunication is the #1 reason why projects fail.

    Resource management with a central resource management tool will provide you with better transparency. Helping to avoid such misunderstandings.

***Real-Life Example***

Robert Smoleski (Service Delivery Manager at Damovo Global Services) said:

“We use Ganttic to schedule resources for a number of projects (customer site visits). It’s super easy to define the projects and add resources. The tool allows you to quickly get things going. Keeping [track of] the resource schedule information and [the] ability to share it with customers brought the management of this area to the next level. [The result was] A lot less email/communication noise.”

***

  • Happier team

    The other reason why you should aim for transparency is the engaged workforce that comes with it. With links between organizational transparency, credibility, and organizational accountability. There’s plenty of proof transparent communication drives employee engagement.

    So, when managers encourage more participative information sharing, employees feel more engaged with their work. So with greater transparency, you’re essentially creating a better workforce.

    However, to achieve that kind of transparency, you need a tool that allows controlled access to every team member. Unfortunately it can get quite expensive if the tool is priced per user. Which is why you should aim to find one that is priced per resource.

    That way you’ll only pay for the resources in use. More transparency and less money, makes for a better business!

How Do You Benefit?

  • More transparency helps prevent avoidable miscommunication mishaps between team members, managers, and clients, keeping everyone up-to-date and on the same page.
  • Project transparency is beneficial to everyone involved. It increases employee engagement and stakeholder trust.
  • Transparency can reduce email noise, eliminating confusion and freeing up your inbox’s storage.
  • A central resource management tool can give an entire organization transparency, allowing controlled access to every team member.

4.  Predicting the Future: Foreseeing and Avoiding Problems

Managing resources can help you foresee problems and issues with your projects and teams.

Crystal balls. Tarot cards. Tea leaves. Resource management?

Though it may seem like the odd one out, managing resources can really help you predict the future. And unlike the others, it can be a lot more reliable.

It turns out, planning your resources gives you the ideal opportunity to understand the actual timeline of a project. The phases, the tasks that need to get done, and the resources that are required to make miracles happen. Planning lets you account for all of this, before they even occur.

Why is it important?

By planning out your resources, you have a better idea of where your team and equipment are located. And what they’re up to.

  • Track your team and tools

    Booked machines, client meetings, incoming shipments, everything is planned and accounted for. Allowing project managers to quickly and easily check the availability and utilization of a resource. This is helpful if a plan changes quickly and alternative arrangements need to be made. And trust us, this will happen!

  • Fix problems ahead of time

    Plans can also show the bottlenecks of the projects: upcoming holidays, overlapping vacation days, scheduled repairs, mandatory safety trainings. Long-term planning can help you prepare for the future and make adjustments in advance. By fixing the problems when they are still “invisible,” you can prevent them from getting worse.

    Taking the time to plan and organize your resources now means “future you” will be better prepared and more able to focus on everyday tasks. You can thank yourself now for all the free time you will have.

How Do You Benefit?

  • Resource planning lets you understand the actual project timeline, helping with long-term planning and making more accurate forecasts.
  • Planning gives you a better idea of what your resources are doing and where they are located. Making it easier to sort out unexpected problems.
  • Bottlenecks can be ironed-out before they occur. And when changes are made in advance, you can focus on the current tasks on hand. This means a more efficient use of your time and less stress.

5. Taking Control: Right Decisions

Resource planning helps you make better decisions about your projects, teams, and organization's portfolio.

As a project manager, you not only need to see what’s going on with your various projects, but you also need to have control about what’s going on. Being able to track your resources’ progress is essential. But without the correct tools to help you, you can’t actually take control and manage what needs to get done.

Nowadays there are a plethora of tools that recognizes the importance of resource organization and planning. You can start with a simple hand-drawn Gantt Chart, or a spreadsheet in Excel. Or you can move onto software that’s more adapted to your needs, once you decide to move beyond Excel.

Why is it important?

Planning out and managing your resources gives you a clear understanding of who is doing what, where, and how long before they finish.

  • Ensure project capacity

    You can see who has more downtime and who can be reallocated to help out on other tasks. Are there enough people, machinery, and other resources to finish a task? Or do you need to hire someone else? Having all this info gives you a feeling that you have a control over a project.

  • See the “big picture”

    Resource management is a continuous activity. But when you plan it out, you are better able to have a bigger picture of the entire process. As well as the long term.

    You can measure the performance of your resources, which makes for more accurate forecasting. This can help you choose the best direction for your company. So instead of running into problems, you can see what lucrative opportunities lay beyond the horizon.

    Having control means you’re the captain of your ship. The projects and tasks are for you to manage. Not the other way around.

How Do You Benefit?

  • Resource planning tells you where your resources are and what they are doing. Giving you not only an overview, but control of the whole process. This ensures that nothing is forgotten and issues can be solved ahead of time.
  • Control allows you to measure resource performance.Which helps you make the best choices for your company. In turn, this can help grow and expand your business.
  • Being in control lets you stay calm in times of emergencies.
  • There are resource management tools made specifically for this purpose. Which can take the pressure off of the project manager and help you succeed. Find the best one for your needs!
If you'd like to learn how resource management can give you control over your resources, their tasks, your organization's projects, and the future, schedule a free personalized demo with Ganttic. 

Start Managing Your Resources, Now!

If there is just one thing you take with you from this article, it is the fact that resource management is essential to your organization. Not only is it beneficial for your team, company, and projects. It can also help to avoid unnecessary headaches.

Luckily, these days there are many tools available to make your life easier. Starting with a simple Gantt Chart, to Microsoft Excel, to actual resource management software. Whatever it is, start with something. Meet your goals and take control of your projects by finding the best tool for you.

Take this opportunity to be the best project manager you can be. Make planning transparent and get a grasp on your resources and projects. “Future you” will thank you.

You can even start now. Try Ganttic as your resource management tool  for free!

 

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