Your resources are whatever is needed to complete a project, including people, finances, technology, physical space and time. Resource management is thus planning the usage of those resources in such a way that will guarantee project success. While it may be common enough to give individual employees license to manage their own time better, managing overall resources is ultimately a responsibility which falls on the shoulders of management.
So, what do you need to know about resource management and how can it be done better? Let’s take a closer look.
What you need to know about resource management
- Resource estimation: Going through each of the resources your project is contingent upon to discover how much you have and where they are being committed.
- Resource planning: Creating a schedule for where and when resources are going to be applied.
- Resource breakdown structure: In other words, grouping resources into basic hierarchies that relate to the areas where they will be used.
- Resource dependency: The idea that successful organizations should protect against risk by spreading the reliance on certain resources rather than concentrating them.
- Resource constraints: This refers to common problems, such as the project management triangle, whereby projects have to be maintained strictly within the limits of their resources.
How to manage your resources better
- Focus on estimation and measurement at the start
Knowing exactly where you stand in terms of managing resources at the beginning of the project is absolutely vital if you are to plan their future usage properly. Though there can be many other elements involved at the project planning and initiation stages, taking the time to measure your resources in detail will provide a foundation for effective management throughout the course of the project.
- Make monitoring and updating a standard task
Once you have a grounding in what resources are available, when the project is in motion, it is necessary to impress upon the rest of the team the importance of updating resource availability, both of their own time and the other resources they are responsible for (e.g., a task’s budget or whether a tool subscription allows a limited number of users). Only by continuous updating can you be able to trust the decisions that are based on your available resource data.
- Highlight and address possible bottlenecks
Constantly taking possible resource issues into account may seem overly cautious, but letting team members know that you are aware of potential issues and talking about them often (e.g., asking if they are okay with their current and future workload) lets them know they are supported and can turn to you if they have any issues without it being seen as an inability to handle their tasks.
- Use the best tools available
Project management tools are not only useful for improving communication and collaboration, but they are also very effective at monitoring resource usage and availability. Online tools can connect teams and team members from all over the world, who can update and view the current resource usage schedule, which gives project managers much greater clarity on what resources are available and how they are performing.
The Clarizen suite of project management tools has made managing resources much easier for both management and front-line team members. With the ability to drill deeper into specific resources and get full insight into a project’s resource usage at a single glance, it is a tool which has become essential for successful resource management. Talk to us today to organize a live demo.