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Project management

The complete guide to resource planning

Rachel Hakoune 9 min read
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If you fail to plan, then you’re planning to fail. When you’re working on a big project, you need to know everything there is to know about your resource requirements.

That means having a firm grasp on every task that needs doing, the type and quantity of resources you’ll need to complete each task, whether there’s any resource overlap, any budget flexibility in case things go wrong — the list goes on. That’s where resource planning comes in.

This article will explain what resource planning is, why it’s important, the three stages of resource planning, and how you can use monday work management to effectively allocate and manage your resources like a boss.

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What is resource planning?

Resource planning is a process in which a team allocates resources to complete a task.

Those resources can either be human or non-human — such as money, infrastructure, and knowledge — and resource planning is all about allocating those resources to maximize efficiency.

You’ll often hear people refer to resource planning as “resource allocation”. Don’t worry, they’re just two terms for the same process. Call it what you want. No matter what you’ve decided to name it, resource planning enables project managers to utilize and track all of the resources they’ve got to work with.

That helps you stay organized so you’ve always got a firm view on all the “stuff” you’ve got to work with and which members of the team are using that stuff.

Why is resource planning important?

Resource planning ensures your resource capacity is being accurately tracked and managed — and by planning ahead, you’re setting yourself up to avoid catastrophe in the future.

If your project is over-resourced, you could end up wasting time and money. But if you’re under-resourced, you’ll risk missing important project milestones, disappointing stakeholders, or may even have to abandon your project entirely. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI) only 46% of young companies — and 67% of more mature companies — regularly complete projects within budget.

Worse still, only 39% finish projects on-time, and 21% of a start-up’s projects are destined to fail.

PMI screenshot showing the project management issues big and small companies face.

(Image Source)

When things start to head south, you’re going to run the risk of managing your team’s time ineffectively. That can lead to stress and — ultimately — burnout. That’s why one of the most critical applications of resource planning is human resource (HR) management.

Statistically speaking, employees are 8 times more likely to stay on the job if their managers are consistently helping them manage their workload. That being said, only about half of managers admit to doing that.

Translation: if you want happy employees and a successful project, you absolutely need to plan your resources wisely. That means understanding each individual’s timesheet and workload, their concerns, location, talents, and how those talents are a resource, too.

There’s a lot of human resource stuff to keep track of. That’s why you might want to draft a human resource plan as part of your wider resource management plan. That’s one for another day.

What are the benefits of resource planning?

Effective project resource planning is a critical step in every manager’s project plan and goes hand-in-hand with a few major benefits. First and foremost, resource planning enables you to avoid bottlenecks. When you’re able to identify your project resource needs from the get-go, you can then calculate and plan resource availability moving forward with a resource schedule.

That means figuring out the availability of your human resource and associated skills, where they’ll be needed, and what tools those individuals will need to get the job done. That makes your project resource management more reliable and your resource allocation processes way more consistent. screenshot showing how human resource allocation works

Resource planning also helps you to monitor your team’s workloads.

If your team or particular individuals are in high demand for a project, they’re at risk of excessive workload. If you’re able to develop a clear picture of what that individual needs to do over the course of a project, you should be able to nip this problem in the bud. Which is important as 44% of employees say workload causes them stress at work.

41% of workers say that stress makes them less productive. Meanwhile, stress makes 1 in 3 employees less engaged, and 15% of workers have admitted to job hunting because they’re stressed. So, you get the idea. If you can alleviate stress by conducting efficient project planning, that will lead to more engaged workers.

Finally, resource planning ensures your project is well documented. If your project fails due to a lack of resources, you should be able to demonstrate to stakeholders that you did your best with the resource capacity you were given. This ensures appropriate business accountability — and learning from this experience should allow better resource planning for the next big project.

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What are the 3 stages of resource planning?

No two organizations are totally identical, and so the steps you’ve got to take to efficiently plan your resources might be different from other businesses. But, there are three basic stages of resource planning you should be aware of:

  • Assess
  • Allocate
  • Monitor/review

1. Assess your resources

Before you start allocating resources, you need to develop an understanding of your project scope and what resources are available. That means figuring out exactly what tasks you need to be done, what type of resources you’ll need to complete each step, and cross-reference those requirements against what’s available to you.

After that, you’ll be able to develop a budget, project timeline, and evaluate your human resources to make sure your team will be able to cope with the project.

2. Allocate your resources

After deciding your project scope and assessing what resources you’ve got at your disposal, you can then allocate the right resource to the right task.

The resource allocation process is all about assigning and scheduling resources to a task or individual, and then deploying those project resources wherever required. If you’re working with loads of resources, this is where a Work OS (operating system) like really comes in handy. screenshot showing timeline view with status updates

But we’ll get to that in a minute.

3. Monitor and review your resources

Just because you’ve allocated your resources doesn’t mean you’re done managing. Resource planning is all about optimizing efficiencies and alleviating heavy workloads. As a result, the resource planning process requires you to constantly monitor and assess how you did with your resource allocation.

You might find there are places where you’ve overallocated or under-allocated some resources — this is the step where you can wrap your head around what’s going on and do something to fix it. By following these steps, you’ll be able to create an effective resource plan that will outline how your project team uses resources to maximize efficiency and avoid turning your team into a statistic.

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How can help you with resource planning?

Money doesn’t grow on trees, and we understand you’re going to be working with a finite set of resources.

If you want to stretch those resources in such a way that you can achieve your huge list of tasks without burning out your team, you’re going to need a Work OS that’s flexible and easy to integrate with your existing processes and systems.

If you want to start doing a drumroll, this is the part where we introduce monday work management and explain why it’ll totally redefine everything you know about strategic resource planning. More specifically, let’s talk about our Resource Management template.

This workflow template enables you to supercharge your asset allocation with enhanced visibility, preventing you from resource conflicts where you’ve assigned the same resource to too many tasks or overstretched yourself and your team.

screenshot of's Resource Management template

This template is also great because it puts asset location front and center.

With, you’ll always be able to see where your resources are in the world, who is using them, and for what task.

That’s why monday work management is perfect for project managers juggling multiple resources on various tasks and projects. Oh, and we almost forgot about ease-of-use. One of the benefits of our resource management template is that you can export your entire workflow to Excel with just one click.

Or on the flip side, you can import a spreadsheet and turn it into a sleek monday work management board in just a couple of clicks. If you want to effectively plan your team’s resources, is definitely the tool you’ve been looking for.

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Resource planning sets you up for success

At the end of the day, resource planning is pretty darn important if you want your project to succeed. If you over-resource your project, it’ll waste time and money. But if you under-resource, you’ll end up with a bunch of burned-out team members and a failed project.

Resource planning will help you find that perfect balance — and’s Resource Management template will get you there. offers dozens of integrations, 8+ visualization styles (including Gantt chart), and 100s of templates that are all designed to help you efficiently resource your projects and get the job done.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to check out monday work management and find out how we can supercharge your resource planning.

Rachel Hakoune is a Content Marketing Manager at Originally from Atlanta, she is finding the balance between southern charm and Israeli chutzpah.
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