You’ve probably already read tons of project management articles—the how-tos, 101s, and comprehensive guides. But what’s often overlooked in project management is the importance of resource management. So let’s zoom in on the world of resource management and how it’ll help you grow a successful project portfolio.
This article will explain what it is, why it’s important, what a resource manager does, and how you can take control of resource management planning using monday work management.
What is resource management?
Resource management involves planning, scheduling, and allocating resources such as people, skills, money, or tools in preparation for an upcoming project. The goal is to manage your resources appropriately to deliver value to your business.
Typically, project managers divide available resources into two distinct categories:
- Tangible resources are anything that you can see or touch. This could include labor, machinery, property, software, or money.
- Intangible resources are more abstract. An intangible resource might be intellectual property (like a technology patent), an idea, or a particular set of skills required to get the job done.
Why is resource management important in project management?
Resource management is important because it enables you to plan and assess precisely what you need to complete a project. This waste-free approach increases efficiency and allows you to reuse and recycle resources as needed.
To imagine a real-world example of how you’d use resource management in project management, let’s say you’re developing a new software application for a client, and you have 3 months to get the job done. You plan out your team’s skills and availability at the project’s outset and allocate tasks on that basis. You keep track of the tasks and address potential bottlenecks before they happen.
When one team member calls in sick, you’re able to quickly reassign their tasks to another colleague. When a laptop breaks, you have another ready to go, so no delays occur. You deliver the app on time and on budget, impressing your client so much they book your company for their next development need.
That’s resource management in action. It saves your project team time, money, and hassle.
What is a resource manager?
A resource manager is a lot like a project manager with one key difference:
- Project managers focus on creating and assigning tasks to get a job done
- Resource managers are responsible for allocating the resources required to complete those tasks
If you’ve got a small team, your project manager and resource manager might be the same person. But bear in mind that these are two totally different hats for someone to wear.
What are the different techniques in resource management?
There are six main techniques for effective resource management: resource forecasting, resource planning, resource allocation, resource scheduling, resource leveling, and resource smoothing.
1. Resource forecasting
Resource forecasting predicts resource requirements in the future. Accurate forecasting means less waste and faster, cheaper execution.
To make all these predictions, you’ve got to be super familiar with your project life cycle and have a firm grasp of the resource availability within your organization. A work management solution can provide this level of visibility, as well as easy access to your projects and resources all in one place.
2. Resource planning
Resource planning is all about figuring out what resources (like people, time, and money) you need to complete your project and ensuring that the right pieces are in the right place at the right time. With proper resource planning, teams can stay organized, efficient, and ready to take on any challenge that comes their way.
3. Resource allocation
Resource allocation is all about getting the most from your available resources. This means assessing all the resources at your disposal, analyzing how they can be used efficiently, and then deploying those resources to help your team get to work.
4. Resource scheduling
Resource scheduling is the process of creating a well-choreographed plan for when and where resources, like employees, equipment, and facilities, will be used. Your focus is on arranging all your resources within a timeline to ensure tasks and projects are completed on time and without any clashes. The tool you use for resource scheduling is a resource calendar – a calendar that lets you schedule, manage and allocate all your project resources so that you can meet the project milestones and deadlines.
5. Resource leveling
Resource leveling is a method managers use to uncover underused or misallocated resources and then redeploy them to optimize efficiency. In terms of stock, this would mean ensuring you have neither a shortage nor an excess of your inventory. Similarly, you might extend a project’s timeline to level out the overall costs; for example, if you need to wait for cost-effective materials to be available.
6. Resource smoothing
Resource smoothing aims to ensure resources are spread out as evenly as possible over time. When done well, project managers will still meet project deadlines and objectives, while minimizing fluctuations caused by resource overloading or underutilization. This technique involves modifying the start and finish dates of activities within a project to avoid peaks and valleys.
monday work management can make the process of forecasting, allocating, scheduling, leveling and smoothing your resources far easier to do, with a no-code, user-friendly visual interface. Check it out for free today and see for yourself!
What are 5 common types of resources in project management?
Generally speaking, as a project manager (or resource manager), there are five different types of project management resources that will occupy your time.
The people on your team who carry out project tasks are sometimes known as your human resources. HR can include a pretty broad spectrum of management tasks — from job recruitment and time management to measuring your workers’ performance and their workload against KPIs. As you’ve probably guessed, resource management is essential to accomplish these things.
monday work management can be used as a comprehensive resource management software, with WorkForms to capture job applications, a Time Tracking Widget to keep an eye on your team’s workload, and many different HR-specific templates to help you get started in a quick and organized fashion.
2. Material resources
Project materials are the tangible resources your team needs to complete a task – the consumable materials involved (such as the component parts that go into a construction project, for instance).
If you’ve got a pretty big project, you might find it challenging to track dozens of items on a spreadsheet. That’s where monday work management comes in handy.
Our Map Views enable everybody to see precise material locations and share labels for different material types on your workflow templates. You can also choose from Gantt, Kanban, Work Calendar, and Dashboard views to instantly see a resource status at any given moment.
There is some overlap between the equipment and materials you’ll need to keep track of as a project manager. The difference between the two is that materials are used up by the project, whereas you should still have your equipment when you finish up. For instance, if you’re building a wall, you’d use up all the bricks by the end of the project, but you’d still have your trowel and your shovel.
Managing your project budget is one of the hardest parts to get right. For project managers, keeping tabs on your money involves tracking expenses, forecasting costs, and sometimes making strategic decisions to make sure you stay within budget.
Managing time as a project manager is about creating schedules and timelines for your project and your team, and then tracking tasks to make sure you hit your deadlines. The secret is to prioritize tasks and keep a close eye on progress to avoid any delays.
What are the benefits of resource management?
Resource management might sound like an extra step in an already long project process — but it’s absolutely critical if you want to optimize and best utilize your assets.
Here are the top three benefits you’ll receive if you invest upfront in resource management:
1. Resource management helps you avoid unforeseen hiccups
59% of professional services companies consider the “inability to predict project resource needs” as a top business challenge. But by taking the time to develo a firm understanding of what you have and how to put it to use, you’ll forecast any potential problems before they arise. Expect to save yourself and your team major headaches along the way.
2. Resource management minimizes team burnout
Effective resource management means you’ll avoid over-allocating resources, which would otherwise stifle your team’s productivity.Resource management ensures everybody on your team has exactly what they need, exactly when they need it. This is crucial to workplace satisfaction, especially when you have team members juggling multiple projects.
3. Resource management makes your team more effective
By optimizing the allocation of resources, your team will find it easier to complete tasks on time, and experience less wastage of resources, making you more likely to finish your projects on time and within budget.
4. Resource management offers a safety net if things head south
Let’s say your project doesn’t hit your goals due to a lack of resources. It happens. But, if you can demonstrate you planned and managed your resources appropriately, your stakeholders will know you did everything possible with your available assets, reaffirming their trust in you.
5. Resource management builds operational efficiency
Managing your resources and keeping tabs on allocation allows you to better understand how your team consumes resources. That data will enable accurate planning for your next project.
Best practice tips for resource management
If you’re just starting to work on your resource management processes, here are our three top tips:
1. Plan ahead
Just 2.5% of companies complete every project on time. If you want to be one of them, start trying to figure out your resource requirements as early as possible in the project, to avoid those last-minute scrambles.
2. Balance your team’s workloads
Don’t overload your team – that’s how mistakes get made. In fact, more than half of employees have begun to feel signs of burnout. To avoid putting too much pressure on your team, break large tasks down into smaller tasks and aim to distribute them fairly across multiple team members.
3. Be flexible
Good resource management is based on a strong awareness that change happens. KPMG found that two-thirds of project managers recognized this, and had a formal project change management process in place. So, when planning and allocating resources for your project, expect the unexpected. Be prepared that you’ll probably need to tweak your resource allocation as the project goes on.
Manage your resources efficiently with monday.com
monday work management makes the challenging balancing act of resource management easier. We help you put all your resources front and center, so you can see what’s used, how long for, and who’s responsible in real-time.
Our user-friendly, no-code work management platform lets you:
- Plan, schedule, and allocate resources to adapt to changing priorities, with resource-centric displays that give you the precise status of the resource as a snapshot.
- Use the Workload View to easily visualize and track the hours each team member takes to work on each project task. By doing this, you can gain a quick overview of over and under-utilized resources and manage your team’s time proactively. You can also use this view to track resources and equipment.
- Keep an eye on your project budget and track your expenses with our financial overview displays.
Kickstart resource management planning with monday.com
The bottom line: resource management is a critical component of project management. You can avoid all sorts of unforeseen problems by planning, scheduling and allocating your resources upfront.
monday work management allows teams to focus on executing tasks, projects, and processes efficiently and achieve shared goals at scale.