Project resources are anything that is necessary for the project to be completed. Without them, it’s impossible for a project to be completed successfully. A key element of a project’s planning phase is centered on the identification of resource requirements and how they will be allocated.
The Types of Resources in Projects
- Human: These human resources are the various team members who will be participating in the project, usually allocated according to their skills and specialties.
- Financial: The cash or financing facilities that can be used to see through the project.
- Equipment: This is the physical equipment that will be used. Examples would include laptops, cell phones or projectors.
- Government: For projects deemed of public interest, the government may provide support in the form of expertise, grants or beneficial regulatory decisions.
- Technology: This refers to the available software, applications or data processing tools that the project can utilize.
- Administrative: This is the organizational support that the project will receive from the organization’s structures, for example using the HR department to assist with hiring or legal to finalize contracts.
- Property: This is the building or offices which will house the project’s location.
- External contractors: As their success will also be linked to the project, contractors become a resource beyond purely physical help, including providing expertise, preferential rates and industry contacts.
Project Resource Management
For PMs, managing resources in projects is a core skill, as navigating the constraints placed on them by finite resources and their ability to make the best use of the resources they have available to them will ultimately determine a project’s success or failure. If you’re looking to improve your own project resource management, here are a few tips for mastering it.
Don’t cut corners at the start
You’ll be lauded as highly, or even more highly, for delivering a project having used fewer resources than initially planned for. However, many PMs can feel a pressure to impress at the start and so accede to stakeholder requests to limit requirements, creating major constraints for the rest of the project.
Plan resource distribution carefully
Especially at the start of a project, it can seem like there’s loads of everything and you can afford to be bullish about how things get done. But be careful – by the half-way stage, resource scarcity becomes one of the major concerns of basically every project, distracting attention, denting confidence and possibly delaying deliverables.
Identify your cornerstone resources and critical path
Some resources are more important than others, which will vary from project to project depending on how scarce they are. This means that it is vital for PMs to identify what those essential resources are and to plan their usage carefully. For some PMs, it can help to identify the critical path – the sequence of tasks that must be completed on time in order for the entire project to be completed on time.
Take advantage of resource savers wherever possible
Making small savings while managing resources in projects can add up to big results by the end of the project, and resource savings can be made across the board. For example, with advances in technology, there has been considerable growth in the automation of repetitive tasks, thus reducing labor hours.
Our software Clarizen One doesn’t just help you save time on repetitive tasks – it even lets you manage resources right from the platform. To learn more, try a live demo today.