Resource Planning in project management has been gaining traction for a while now.
Since the pandemic started, its importance has amplified many times over.
Moreover, since the concept of resource planning is generating so much noise, the project management has responded in kind and that’s why the qualifications regarding the people that are considered experts in the field have evolved and become more complex.
These qualifications have evolved due to the challenges that are faced by the companies in the project management paradigm – and that too on daily basis.
So, if you have a team of qualified resource planners working for you, or if you are one yourself and you want to overcome the challenges that are related to resource planning, you need to have two elements embedded in your resource planning process. They are:
- Professional IT solution
- Choosing the Right Processes
These two elements will result in the following things to happen.
- They will help improve the communication channels that are present in the company, resulting in improved communication and collaboration between the team leaders and project managers.
- These elements will result in better management of the use of the available resources present in the resource pool so that the project is developed under the defined budget and not go overboard.
- These elements will also help the hiring managers, team leaders, and project managers to make better hiring decisions regarding employees in the future.
In this article, we are going to tell you all about resource planning, what it is, how is it so important in the project management and over organizational paradigm, what are the challenges that are inflicted on the company by the resource planning process, and much more. Let’s start at the very beginning.
What is Resource Planning in Project Management?
According to the textbook definition, here’s what we’re looking at:
Resource planning is a key part of project management. It ensures that a project has access to the necessary resources at all times (staff, facilities, etc.). And it is closely linked to the development of schedules and cost plans.
Loosely translated, the process of resource planning and resource management is performed by the project manager, to make sure that the development team and the overall company, has access to all kinds of different resources at all times, according to their needs and requirements.
What are the Benefits Associated with Resource Planning?
Here’s a list of some of the important benefits associated with resource planning.
1. Improved Communication
One of the most important benefits that you can achieve through a properly performed resource planning process is improved communication between the team leaders and the project managers.
Here are some of the ways that the communication between the different teams and the different people is improved via resource planning.
- One of the communication gaps that happen in a project development process is during the scheduling or usage of different resources. These communication gaps are eradicated when a proper resource planning process is executed, and all of the team are informed about the schedule of using the resources and how they are supposed to use the resources in the resource pool.
- Through resource planning, the details of the project are properly unveiled, and everyone is informed about those details so that there are no communication gaps between the stakeholders, project managers, and team members.
- When you will use a resource planning tool like nTask, you will be able to stay connected to every team member and project manager throughout the project development process, which will improve the communication channels.
2. Making a Roadmap of the Future
When the company is performing an effective resource planning process, they can foresee when the market trends are going to change or when other major changes are going to happen in the organizational paradigm, so that the company can scale up and envelop those changes.
Pro Tip: nTask is equipped with plenty of road-mapping tools. The program offers an interactive Gantt Chart for a visual overview of the entire project timeline. Such features are essential to project and program development in any number of industries.
This foresight is critically important as there is nothing worse than shorthandedness when there is a certain amount of resources required by the company for a fleet of different projects and there are no resources to use.
3. Maximize Efficiency
One other major benefit of resource planning in project management is that the process can help the company to operate at its maximum capacity.
A major problem that we see every day in the organization paradigm is that the smaller companies that haven’t made it yet, don’t have different luxuries like time and money just lying around in their lap.
That’s why they can’t afford to waste these luxuries and have to perform at their maximum efficiency with the limited resources that they have available to them.
4. Scope out the Issues and Scope Creeps
Resource planning in project management has another major advantage associated with it and that is that the process helps the company in weeding out different issues, scope creeps, risks, and calamities that are going to affect the project if they are properly tracked and eradicated.
The data that you receive from the resource planning process helps you to follow the trajectory of the project development process and helps the company in readjusting the resources that would be perfect to solve the issues so that they can easily meet the deadline without any damage to the company.
5. Insight from Data
Last but not least, the data collection which we talked about in the previous point is a major benefit associated with the resource planning process.
The company, which is performing the process, benefits a lot from the insights of data that they collected from the process.
This information is incredibly important as ‘Information is power’, and the more the company knows about itself and how deep they are in the quicksand, the more easily they can readjust their resources and their position for the project under development and all the future projects.
What is the Importance of Resource Planning in Project Management?
Project management is the process of managing a process from start to end, under the budget that was nailed down at the start, and with all the available resources in the resource pool.
This process was a lot easier in the past, comparatively, but in the last decade or so, multi-project management has made things a lot more complex.
The project managers, stakeholders, and the dev team have to jump over a lot of hoops and obstacles to meet the deadlines on time and making sure that the client deliverables are delivered on time.
As PMBOK Guide states that “Resource planning is—next to cost estimating, budgeting and control—a part of project cost management.”
This shows the importance of resource planning in project management as we can’t even talk about PM without keeping resource planning in the loop.
What are the Major Elements included in the Resource Management Plan?
Here is a list of the elements that are critically important in a resource management plan.
1. Resource Cost
This includes the costs associated with the resources whether it’s a direct or an estimated cost.
2. Roles and Responsibilities of Resources
These include the roles and responsibilities of the resources included in the resource pool.
3. Resource States
These include the states that the resource is in during the project development process. They are:
4. Resource Organization
This is a visual representation of the relationship between the project team resources and the project team.
5. Issue Log
This includes all of the issues and challenges that the resource has faced during the project development process.
6. Resource Identification
This is where the resource is properly identified and associated with the project that they will be used.
7. Resource Requirements
This is where the requirements regarding a particular or a group of resources are stated.
8. Resource Quantity
This is where the quantity of all of the available and hibernating resources are mentioned.
9. Resource Locations
This is where the locations regarding the resources are mentioned.
10. Resource Calendar
This is where the dates and times are mentioned of the available resources in the resource pool.
Check out the best resource management tools:
What are the Risks and Challenges associated with Resource Planning?
Here is a list of the risks and challenges that the project managers and the resource planners face during a resource planning process.
- Resource risks are not assessed
- Resource use is not optimized
- Resources are assigned inconsistently
- Shifting resources to respond to problems
- The transition process for resources is inadequate
- Resource capacity planning is poor
- Not enough appropriately skilled resources
- Schedules/deadlines are unrealistic
- Too many unplanned requests for resources
- Resource utilization is poorly documented
Using a Resource Planning Tool
A dedicated resource planning tool goes a long way to make your life as a resource planner, easier, but if you want a project management tool that has resource planning tools built-in with many other project management features, then you need nTask.
The software is an incredible software that allows you to set hourly rates by individual tasks, resources, and projects.
This helps make sure that your resource management process goes smoothly, and you have all the information you need to make your resource planning process a success.
The software also boasts amazing features like time-tracking and task management which allow the managers to track what their employees are doing so that you can plan your projects and their associated resources accordingly in the future.
Here are some other features that nTask provides.
- Multiple board views
- Public links
- Minutes of meeting
- Activity logging
- Task color codes
- Meeting agendas
- Calendar integration
- File attachments
- Activity management
- Task assignment
- Calendar management
- Due date tracking
- Task filters
- Meeting follow-ups
- Activity tracking
- Issue management
- Project risks
- Status tracking
- Project budgeting
We tried to make sure that we covered all of the major elements you might want to know about resource planning and its related concepts.
If you think that we missed something, then feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you.