You’ve often heard that people are the best resources an organization could ever have, right? And as managers, one of your greatest strategy for success would be to learn the best ways to manage your workforce in such a way as to achieve organisational growth and efficiency.
In addition to having a great team, identifying, and adopting the right project management tool will help you a great deal. According to PMI, up to 71% of organisations now adopt Agile, and in this period, they have seen a 55% improvement in project performance as against 24% for those who do not. Amongst other things, on-time project completion and completion within budget increased by 88% and 90% respectively for those who implemented Agile vs. 42 and 25% respectively for those who didn’t.
There are several misconceptions about the concept of resources in a project: While some see it as only pertaining to people, others have other views to include equipment, etc. In reality, resources, whether for business, project or for any other endeavour for that matter includes all the things needed in order to deliver on a specific project. These necessities may include personnel, equipment, finances and more.
This article looks at an overview of resource capacity planning in project management and why this topic is of so much importance to businesses and organizations looking to surmount all the challenges of our ever-changing business landscape.
You will also learn about Sinnaps online project management software, and all its available resource planning tools including resource planning charts, Kanban and Gantt resource planning, and the likes, expert resource planning tips and advice to set you up to start putting your most useful, but rather limited assets to good use.
Resource Planning in Project Management
Resource planning in Project Management is like the engine in the train – one wouldn’t function well without the other. Resource planning is a core tenet of human resource management and should be incorporated in every business, from small and medium to large, multinational corporations. Regardless of what the project is; developing a new product, a new software or the construction of new housing units – resource planning plays a contributory role to achieving success at the end of the endeavour.
This Agile resource planning process is so critical that not doing enough of it, i.e., apportioning only a few resources to a project that requires more will almost definitely lead to poor results, on the other hand, over-resourcing will only serve to waste time, money and other valuable project resources without necessarily meeting the project expectations.
To avoid this dilemma, project managers must engage in proper project planning activities, as this will tell them just how much resources are already available for a project, and therefore how much more is necessary. If you’re still unsure how to set out planning for your project, you may check out our previous articles for ideas on how to go about this all-important activity.
Project Resource Planning
Before we run through the steps in project resource planning as well as discuss ways to do it right, let’s look at some best practices that will be of help when planning your resources – they are also great when considering resource planning for multiple projects:
- Ensure there’s a way to monitor and manage team workload. A simple way to do this is through the use of Sinnaps resource charts.
Manage your teams’ resources and workload
- Ensure there is input from your team members, stakeholders and all who are involved in the project.
- Understand the critical path for all your project activities. This will help you prioritize tasks and keep team efforts focused in the right direction.
- Use EVM to control cost, calculate cost per task activity, and thus direct your resources and efforts accordingly.
- Update the plan throughout the process.
- Employ the use of resource management tools for your project. Luckily, there is an abundance of these tools in the internet – Sinnaps is highly recommended and is also by millions of users the world over.
How to plan resources effectively and use the resource planning charts (2’):
Human Resource Plan Example
Human resource planning as a management practice involves acquiring, controlling, training as well as managing people in an organization, with the aim of adding value to the establishment and generally further the goals and beliefs of such organisations.
When it comes to human resource planning, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you get the best out of every project:
- Identify your project objectives: Before going on to engage in the all-important process of team resource planning, you first want to know what it is you have set out to achieve, this will be crucial in the next step.
- Identify what human resources will be required based on their specific skills: Take a project which involves building a software for instance, then the personnel you’ll need will be software developers and engineers, etc.
- Take an inventory of already present human resources: This process is referred to as resource forecasting in project management. When you determine what you already have, then you can make arrangements for those you do not have. Say for example, that you already have team members with coding skills, then you want to make arrangements for other skilled personnel such as engineers and the likes.
- Include provisions for manpower gaps: There’s always the chance that there’ll be a surplus of manpower, or a shortage. Resource analysis in project management is the best way to account for this possibility, and your best bet would be to take a more proactive approach in factoring this in right from the start.
- Compete your human resource plan: If you can comfortably check on the box for each of the above, then you can go ahead and make the final draft of your human resource plan.
- Monitor, control and feedback: Now that your plan is ready, what’s left is implementation, monitoring of employees to make sure they’re working according to the plan, and providing feedback to stakeholders on the progress of the project, If you are not sure how to proceed, you can easily download Sinnaps’ human resource plan examples to help you with the process.
Resource planning in project management is about having a more realistic view of the build-up of your employees; how they carry out tasks, how much time they spend on such tasks, what they require to complete each assigned task, and how they all add up towards the realization of the goals and objectives of their organisation.
Proper implementation of the above project management techniques, planning activities, as well as the use of tools and resources, like Resource Gantt Charts and the likes will take you a step closer to achieving your goals.