What is resource management?
Resource management is the process of planning, scheduling, and allocating resources in advance to maximize their benefits and efficiency. Fundamentally, it involves allocating resources in such a way that ensures a stable and efficient workflow. Effective management translates into the timely availability of the right resources for the activities that need to be carried out.
For example: If you have to plan an event, you’ll need to consider staffing schedules, which suppliers will be needed, budgeting for merchandising, or who will handle attendee registration.
That’s why, when facing the task of managing and allocating your team’s resources, it’s fundamental to consider different aspects, such as: ensuring resources are available, task deadlines and schedules, necessary resources to complete activities efficiently, or who is the most suitable person to perform one task or another effectively, etc.
What are resources in a project?
Resources in the context of a project are essential elements required to initiate the project and carry out its activities successfully. Examples of resources in a project include individuals, financing, and other material assets that are employed to successfully carry out and conclude the project.
Types of resources in a project
Generally, a project demands financial resources, human resources, and material resources. In project management, these resources are subdivided into four categories:
This type of resource in a project includes a variety of professionals, employees, and team members with diverse skills necessary to successfully complete a project. These individuals form the core of any plan.
This category includes all the necessary tools for the execution of the project, which can range from software and hardware to manual tools like hammers or drills, depending on the company’s activity.
These resources are essential for the execution of tasks and activities that allow achieving the objectives and goals of the organization, such as human resources software, a specific CRM for tracking sales leads, an ERP, etc.
Materials include everything necessary to generate results, from office supplies like pens and paper to raw materials required for building houses or other products.
Arguably, this is the most critical resource, as it enables the acquisition of all the above-mentioned elements. Useful, for example, for keeping track of profit and loss, making balance sheets, etc.
Benefits of resource management
Overall project view
Observing the complete picture with a 360° view is essential in resource management. When you know your team’s activities, you can more effectively allocate resources for new projects.
Maintaining a centralized resource management plan provides an insider perspective that allows you to adjust the plan to prevent workload overload and optimize team efficiency. Having a high-level global view enables you to link resources with specific tasks and the project schedule, helping you determine if an individual’s workload is appropriate.
This comprehensive view is an opportunity to detect potential issues early on and ensure that each activity is carried out on time, maximizing the productivity of the entire organization.
Distribute work equitably and efficiently
Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your team is essential when allocating resources, as it allows you to assign the right tasks to the most suitable people. That’s why it’s important to maintain constant communication with your team and allow them to participate in the decision-making process.
It’s also crucial to monitor each member’s workload, ensuring that no one is overloaded with other projects and that their time is used effectively. The application of project management software can help contribute to an equitable distribution of tasks, avoiding discontent and reducing staff turnover in the company.
Promotes effective internal communication
Transparency is key, as when everyone understands who is in charge of what and when, confusion is reduced and team members have a clearer understanding of their responsibilities.
Additionally, they can see how their contribution relates to the overall vision of the team or company. A team that collaborates effectively tends to achieve better project results.
Resource management facilitates clarity in instructions and transparency at every stage of the workflow, ensuring that tasks are clearly assigned.
Set achievable goals
Resource management provides the ability to define goals that can be practically achieved and determine when they will be reached. Having all the details, including the necessary resources, allows you to identify dependencies and make adjustments if necessary.
This may involve balancing team resources, such as adjusting deadlines and priorities to be more realistic. Although no one intends to miss deadlines, proactive resource balancing is useful to ensure that deadlines are not overlooked.
Resource management also helps ensure that you have the necessary resources to achieve achievable goals, allowing for precise planning and adjusting delivery dates if necessary during the work process.
Significantly improves planning
As employee work is closely monitored, resources are allocated based on this information, and over time it becomes easier to become familiar with the process and develop the ability to estimate and forecast future workload more accurately.
This is useful for justifying requests for additional budget or personnel when facing similar projects in the future. It also enables you to make informed decisions about the number of employees you need.
Support in unforeseen situations and crises
Planning and resource management act as a backup strategy in unforeseen situations and crises. Having clearly defined all available resources, you can design crisis strategies according to the circumstances that arise.
Main challenges in resource allocation in a project
We are immersed in an era of constant technological transformation. In this environment, an effective manager must be able to adapt to the changing market dynamics in order to achieve optimal results.
Next, we will explore some of the usual challenges that arise in resource allocation:
It is crucial that all managers are aware that changes can arise at any stage of the project’s execution. Therefore, it is advisable to always have a flexible resource allocation plan.
Shortage of qualified resources
Ensuring that your staff has the required skills for the project and for the company’s general operations is of utmost importance. Otherwise, resource allocation will become a futile investment of time and lack meaning.
Before starting any task, it is essential to determine the capacity of the available resources, whether in terms of personnel, materials, or financing. This prior evaluation allows delivering the project according to the stipulated budget.
Variations in resources
Resource allocation is not a linear process, but sometimes complications arise. It’s essential to consider factors such as staff absences, delays in deliveries, among others, which can trigger modifications in the overall landscape.
Delays in tasks
Often, tasks are interconnected and depend on each other. Therefore, a delay in one stage of a task can trigger a domino effect that affects the completion of other activities.
Solution: WorkMeter’s project management tool
WorkMeter offers its project management software, an innovative SaaS tool that simplifies project creation and automates the tracking of time spent on them.
- Automatic allocation of activity to projects through rule setting. The application can automatically detect which project is being worked on and allocate the time without any interaction from the employee.
- Control costs, project evolution, and processes
- Detail the daily time invested in each project and/or by employee/group
- Ensure the monitoring and analysis of tasks and subtasks. Thus, understanding the execution of the project and simultaneously overseeing its progress with the calculation of time dedicated to each task, per day and per employee.
Thanks to the tool, you can create an implausible time frame for each project or client thanks to knowing the number of hours your company allocates to each of them.
The automatic calculation of times will allow you to evaluate at a glance if the necessary time is being dedicated to each project to meet the objectives set.