The goals, art, and science
In the previous article in this series, we saw that the resource management function is very critical for your project business. We described what roles your resource management group (RMG) plays in meeting your organization’s goals.
Indeed, the majority of persistent issues like revenue and profit leakages, subpar quality, attrition of people, etc. that confront any project business can be easily traced to faulty resource allocation.
Since resource allocation in project management is critical it is important that your RMG masters both the art and science of resource allocation. In this article, we shall first discuss the science of resource allocation.
The science of resource allocation
To practice the science of resource allocation described here, you need resource management software. We shall describe the software later. Let’s understand what information you need and which steps you need to follow for allocating your resources.
Your resource master should contain up-to-date information on all your employees, their qualifications, and other such parameters. In addition, it should contain information about their skills, competencies, and costs. Your resource master is a very valuable repository for you because all allocation decisions are based on it.
A resource calendar shows the availability of every resource per week, their working hours, and planned vacations.
Project managers prepare their project work breakdown structure(WBS) and identify tasks and their timelines as per the project plan. They determine the resources and the hours needed for each task and place demands on them.
For more proactive resource management, projects in your deal pipeline for which you have a high level of confidence in winning also need to be considered and soft bookings of resources should be done.
Based on the resource demand and the resource calendar, the resource management software prepares a combined resource schedule.
Resource balancing and reallocation
The resource schedule will inevitably throw up the overbooking of some people and the underutilization of others. Resolving both situations requires collaboration between project managers and the RMG.
Proactive talent acquisition
Your talent acquisition team can pick up resource conflict information from the reworked resource schedule and start their recruitment actions. Projects in your deal pipeline for which soft booking has been done can also be handled in the same way. These actions can preempt potential resource problems and can considerably improve project deliveries.
You need to practice the art of resource management to acquire finesse.
The art of resource allocation starts with constructing and populating your resource master. You will need to clearly define all the sets of skills and competencies.
You will have to define their relationship with tasks that will need to be performed for various projects. It needs considerable experience and judgment! Constructing your resource master is not a straightforward exercise, it is an art.
Generating demand for resources depends on the WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) of projects and their planning. Both these activities, though not part of resource management, have a huge effect on successful resource allocation.
Defining task schedules as per the WBS and project timelines and picking up resources need both clarity and intuition. Project managers need to practice and perfect the art of determining resources needed according to the WBS and the project plan.
Resource balancing comes next. Performing this requires insight and intuition. It requires a broader understanding of the type of projects under planning, the needs of the customers, the organization’s priorities, and insights into how people perform. It needs collaboration between the RMG and project managers. Resource balancing is also an art.
The platform for practicing the art and science of resource allocation
If you have to 100s of people to deliver multiple projects, it is difficult to allocate them properly using spreadsheets by picking up piecemeal and outdated information from the timesheets, HRMS, and payroll.
You can’t do it based on an ad-hoc list of skills and competencies. You can’t do it by gut feeling. As you grow and add more people, you will get more and more bogged down with resolving inconsistencies in information.
You need resource management software that integrates information in various standalone software packages, provides the above functionality, and speeds up collaboration.
ProductDossier Resource Management Software is the software that you need. Deploy it in less than two weeks and master the art and science of resource allocation for successful project management. Let’s show you how. Please write to us for a demo at [email protected]