You’ve read tons of project management articles—the how-tos, project management 101s, the full guides—and now it’s time to learn the next part about what it means to lead teams and grow a successful project portfolio: resource management.
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.com.
What is resource management and why is it important?
For all intents and purposes, a resource can literally be anything that you need to get your task or project done. For example, a resource could be a person’s skill set, an app, a building, or cash.
But generally speaking, project managers tend to divide them into two distinct categories:
- Tangible resources are anything that you can see or that you can touch. This could include labor, money, machinery, property, software, or anything else like that.
- Intangible resources are a little bit abstract. An intangible resource might be intellectual property (like a technology patent), an idea, or a particular set of skills that you’re going to need to get the job done.
But why is resource management important?
Simply put, resource management helps you get more tasks done with less stuff.
We all know waste is bad. So, we all want to use our resources as efficiently as we can so that we can hold on to them and reuse them as much as possible. Well, that’s where resource management steps in.
By planning and assessing precisely what you need to complete a task, you can allocate your resources more efficiently.
For example, if you’re going to host a big event and you’re trying to plan how many tacos you need to feed everybody lunch, you don’t just close your eyes and point to a number, right?
You’re going to tally up how many guests are coming, assign a reasonable portion to each individual, and then budget for a couple extra emergency tacos in case 1 falls on the floor or somebody brings a plus-one.
That way you don’t end up with 100 extra tacos at the end of your event that have been paid for and will now go to waste.
That’s resource management in action. It saves your team time, money, and hassle from management.
Generally speaking, resource management is going to be handled by a — drumroll, please — resource manager.
What is a resource manager?
A resource manager is a lot like a project manager with one key difference: while 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 management might be the same person. It’s just important to bear in mind that these are two totally different hats that somebody’s got to wear.
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.
But there are a few other benefits you can gain from deploying a bit of resource management.
Resource management helps you avoid unforeseen hiccups.
By developing a firm understanding of what you have and how you can put them to use, you can forecast any potential problems before they even happen. That will save you a major headache later.
It helps prevent team burnout.
If you’re managing everything effectively, you should be able to avoid over allocating resources, which stifles your team’s productivity.
Resource management ensures everybody on your team has what they need when they need it. This is crucial to workplace satisfaction, especially when you have team members balancing multiple projects.
On some work softwares, (like the one below), you can get a clear view into everyone’s workload and see who is at capacity, who can take on more, and who is overloaded.
Resource management gives you a safety net if things head south.
Let’s say your project is unsuccessful due to a lack of resources. It happens. But, if you can demonstrate you appropriately planned and managed your resources, other stakeholders will know that you did everything possible with what you were given, reaffirming their trust in you.
Finally, resource management builds efficiency.
By managing your resources and keeping tabs on allocation, you can develop a better understanding of how your team consumes resources. That data will then help you accurately plan for your next project.
Ready to learn more about the resource management responsibilities and how a resource management tool can help you get the job done? We’ll explain everything for you in the following sections.
3 common resources to manage
Generally speaking, as a project manager (or resource manager), there are three different types of resources that will occupy your time.
1. Human resources
Your human resources are your team members who carry out project tasks.
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. And as I’m sure you’ve guessed, resource management is essential to accomplish these things.
Resource management software can help with this endeavor.
With monday.com, you can get a clear visual view into recruitment operations and where each candidate stands.
You can also create forms to capture job applications from your company website, use our time tracking tool to make sure team members use their time efficiently, and access a range of graphs on employee performances, set goals, feedback opportunities.
We’ve got a few different HR templates to choose from, and they’re all designed to supercharge your human resource management.
2. Material resources
Managing materials is all about the tangible resources your team needs to complete a task.
In other words, we’re talking about office stuff like ballpoint pens, event lanyards, mugs, laptops — any physical item that your team needs to use as part of a wider task.
Our map views enable everybody to see material locations on a map and share labels for different material types on your workflow templates. And if you choose a timeline view, you’ll be able to instantly see a resource status at any given moment.
3. Relationship resources
When resource managers talk about relationship management, they’re specifically talking about professional working relationships with vendors, contractors, and subcontractors.
You can use monday.com to collaborate with a number of external clients and vendors, sharing forms, and enabling limited secure access to particular elements of a workflow.
We’ve even got a Vendor List template that can help you track and manage your master list of everyone you conduct business with. Here’s what that list could look like:
What are different types of resource management?
There are three main types of resource management: resource allocation, resource leveling, and resource forecasting.
- Resource allocation is all about getting the most out of all 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.
- Resource leveling is a method managers use to uncover underused or misallocated resources and then redeploying them to optimize efficiency.
- Resource forecasting is a way to predict resource requirements in the future. This is a critical part of resource planning, as 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 OS can provide this level of visibility, as well as easy access to your projects and resources all in one place.
And if you want to learn more about resource allocation and how a Work OS can make it way easier, you’re in the right place.
How can monday.com help you with resource management?
monday.com’s flexible Work OS also features a unique Resource Management template that allows you to plan your asset allocation without accidentally assigning the same resource to too many tasks at once.
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.
In addition to loads of workflow views (like Gantt chart) and integrations, you’re also going to get:
- Excel export and import function so you can instantly export your template to Excel with just one click. On the flip side, you can easily import your Excel spreadsheet and turn it into a sleek monday.com board in just a couple of clicks.
- Map views that let everybody see asset locations on a map. That means everybody always knows where to find a resource.
- A resource-centric display that shows you the precise status of the resource as a snapshot so you don’t have to try and track stuff down through complicated file paths. Here’s an example of a resource management board:
Sounds pretty great, right? We think so, too. But don’t take our word for it. Try it free now.
Get started with monday.com
At this point, you get the idea: resource management is pretty important if you want to get your projects done. It’s the process of planning, scheduling, and allocating your resources, and it helps you avoid all sorts of unforeseen problems.
monday.com’s Resource Management template allows you to expertly plot out your asset allocation and place your resources front and center so that you always know exactly who’s using what and why.