Get the Resource Management Right and Everything Else Falls Into Place
Resource management encompasses more than just manpower. It includes everything that is needed to deliver a project on time and on budget.
Every project manager knows that successful completion is contingent on a range of factors all coming together properly. When they do, the project is deemed a success, and the project manager is likewise lauded. When they don’t, however, recriminations are quick to follow, and the career aspirations of those at the top can be dealt a cruel blow.
A project has an exponentially higher chance of success if there are effective processes in place to manage and allocate the resources that it relies upon, and this means using appropriate Resource Manager software. Here, we take a look at how it can help ensure your project concludes with smiles all round and the opportunity to move on to bigger and better things.
Strategic Resource Management
There are two fundamental prerequisites that apply to resource management, and these do not change whether you are using a pen and paper or the most advanced and cutting-edge resource management software on the market. One is that you can only use the resources that you have available and the other is that when resources are in limited supply, there will always be competition for them.
Let’s look at these in a little more details and see how technology can make a difference in achieving success.
You can only work with what you’ve got
It sounds obvious, but the reason so many projects fail to deliver is due to unrealistic expectations at the outset. Often, a project manager can be tempted to overlook the most important criteria of all in order to provide a project plan that appeals to management and to the client.
Therefore, the resource manager needs to be involved at the get-go in the project planning stage. You will only achieve realistic results if you calculate your resource allocation keeping in mind those resources that are available.
The best resource management tools will give you real time visibility and will factor in aspects such as holidays, training time, rest days and so on. In other words, it will give you realistic data, allowing you to make promises you can keep.
Effective portfolio planning
Your project is not being carried out in a vacuum. The organisation might have 300 suitably qualified engineers at its disposal when you need only 100. But if 200 of them are deployed on other projects, disaster will not be far away.
Appropriate software allows PMs to get a helicopter view of who is deployed where, and it can even use basic algorithms to redeploy resources to those projects that are of higher priority or running close to deadline. It can also provide prior warning of likely bottlenecks, giving PMs time to source additional or backup resources before disaster strikes.
When a business is operating a handful of projects, it is possible to manage resource allocation manually, but it is easy to see how projects can easily become unstuck. When there are 20 or more projects on the go, however, a manual system will result in failure more often than success.
The right resource planning tool takes away the guesswork and makes everybody’s life easier, while saving businesses money.