An organization uses multiple resources for executing projects. These typically include people, equipment, information, materials, time, and money. Most organizations have a limited amount of resources, hence, resource allocation planning is necessary for the effective management and utilization of these scarce resources.
Project resource management involves procuring and deploying internal as well as external resources which are needed for delivering a project, portfolio or program. It focuses on priority usage of resources, monitoring resource utilization and productivity, and measuring resource effectiveness.
Generally speaking, project managers use project resource management to manage the human resource, the most critical resource of a project. Project resource management is important for large-scale projects and for those projects which tend to go on for a long time.
Here are the 6 secrets of good project resource management.
1. Resource estimation
Estimating the requirement of internal and external resources is one of the first steps in project resource management. Active estimation is required for each task within the project so that deployment of resources can take place in the most efficient manner possible.
One of the common techniques used for resource estimation is expert judgment, that is, the estimation which is done on the basis of experience gained in earlier projects. Also, hard data which is collected from specific tasks executed for earlier projects can also be utilized for making more accurate estimations.
2. Collection of data
There is some data which is needed for efficient resource management in a project. This includes details on:
• Available resources
• Requirement for resources
• How resources will be able to meet the demands
3. Resource plan
Each project plan needs to have a separate resource plan that contains different aspects of resource requirement, allocation, and utilization from the start to the end of the project. In the resource plan, a project manager can create a hierarchical list of the resources needed for the completion of the project.
4. Schedule development
Schedule development involves establishing the starting and ending dates of all project tasks to create a final schedule. The resource plan, containing the hierarchical breakdown of resources, is then matched with the activity breakdown of the project. This helps in assigning the required resources to each activity more efficiently.
5. Checking for resource over allocation
A project manager must ensure that resource over allocation is avoided at all times. This happens when a greater amount of work is assigned to a resource, that which cannot be finished within the normal working hours. This could lead to the overspending of financial resources.
6. Negotiating for resources
Smaller projects typically draw upon internal resources of the organization. This implies that though the project manager might need to formally procure external resources, he/she would have to hone his/her negotiation skills in order to get the necessary organizational resources. A key role would have to be played by the project manager in getting the organization to commit to providing essential