Resource Management in Projects: a key function that businesses must consider to maximise the potential value of projects 

Resource management sounds as if it ought to be easy for any well-run business or project team to achieve. After all, we know our people and their qualifications, we know our budget, we know the scope of the project, and we know how much material we have available; so why do we often struggle to successfully manage our resources across our projects?  

In this blog post, we will look at what resource management is and how it should be embedded in all good project management solutions. 

Resource Management in Project Management – a definition… 

Simply put, resource management in project management is a methodology to consistently identify, assign and distribute resources to the appropriate tasks and activities in a project to ensure effective and efficient project delivery and to identify and manage potential resource constraints. 

and What resources should we think about in resource management? 

Resources will be industry-specific but typically, we can summarise them into 5 key themes: 

  • People: 
    • Their specialist knowledge, qualifications or skill set; 
  • Materials: 
    • From pens and paper through nails and screws or any other raw materials; 
  • Equipment: 
    • Any necessary tools from drills or hammers to IT and software; 
  • Facilities: 
    • What environment such as office space or meeting rooms or factory floor space will you need? 
  • Budget: 
    •  The most important resource that funds all the other resources 
    • Get this wrong and the business will not realise the maximum return on its investment in the project, or worse. 

There is one further resource Time – the temporal resource that is typically a controlling constraint on all projects.  

Why Is Project Resource Management Important? 

Good project resource management enables a business through its project management to extract the maximum value from all resources; people, material, equipment, facilities and budgets. It can be realised in many ways from: 

  • Enabling the business to maintain management focus using data insights on where resources are, what they are engaged in and where potential overbooking will impact schedules. 
  • Assigning the right resources at the right time with the right skill set to a project minimises risk around inadequate staffing and skills gaps, thus reducing the likelihood of project delay, quality issues and cost overrun. 
  • Identifying resource constraints enables effective early intervention. 
  • Minimising the potential for resource burnout impacting quality or introducing errors to products and services. 
  • Enabling effective and efficient shared resources across projects. 
  • Enabling management to plan future skills acquisition for teams or equipment and material purchases to ensure a sustainable business growth cycle.  

What are the key stages to consider when delivering project resource management? 

Project resource management should become embedded in your project execution. It will require the business to plan, allocate and manage all its resources consistently with sound processes and authorisations, embedded in working practises, accepted by all the teams and levels of management. The implementation can be summarised in 5 key stages: 

  • Resource identification and gap analysis: 
    • Identify all available resources. 
    • Identify all the skill sets available. 
    • Identify any skills gaps. 
    • Identify any constraints for resources. 
  • Document a Resource Plan: 
    • Capture against tasks how and when you will deploy each resource to each task. 
    • Capture resource capacity, availability and dependencies. 
  • Allocate Resources against the Plan: 
    • Map resources to tasks across the project. 
    • Confirming the balance of resources minimises the risk of overloading a resource or resource burnout. 
  • Publish the Resource Schedule: 
    • Make the resource scheduling available as widely as possible to ensure everybody can see resource commitments and prioritisation. 
    • Have teams confirm resources allocated are aligned with project milestones. 
  • Track resource consumption: 
    • Continuous tracking of resource consumption throughout the project. 
    • Proactive management of bottlenecks, issues, conflicts or change management requirements. 

The aim is always to drive efficient resource management that optimises resource allocation giving projects the best chance for success, with risks effectively mitigated, deadlines met, and budgets adhered to.  

Should we employ a specialist project resource manager? 

It depends…  

For many projects good project management practises and appropriate tooling can enable effective and efficient resource management. Where this is the approach, the business should clearly articulate and deploy a consistent approach across all project environments to enable everybody to buy into resource management. In taking this approach the business should support their project manager(s) with the necessary top-level support and professional training to be effective in the role. 

For larger enterprise environments it may make good business sense to centralise the specialism of resource management as a function dedicated to supporting front-line project managers by employing a specialist or bringing in agency support to the business. 

Whichever approach is best for the business they should aim to decide at the earliest opportunity to ensure they have the time ahead of project commencement to enable teams to engage in and understand the resource management strategy, approach and requirements as an integrated part of the project design phase. 

MPWR Projects 

With MPWR Projects, resource management is simple and flexible. You manage, allocate, re-assign and have a complete picture of all resources across your portfolio of programmes. Even better, this is all using your data right from your Microsoft tenant and even from legacy Excel spreadsheets, importable at the click of a button. 

Find out more about MPWR Projects, our solution built on your existing Microsoft tenant. 

Modernise Your Business with MPWR-365     

The future of business technology is here, and it is time to embrace it. Don’t wait to transform your business operations. Schedule a consultation with our Power Platform experts and join forces with MPWR-365 to harness the power of low-code solutions and propel your business forward. 

Contact Us today for a free consultation and discover how we can transform your business together. 

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