Resource and capacity management is a facet of project portfolio management that focuses on accomplishing more with less. Wasting human and material resources can be disastrous for a company. Resource management and capacity planning blend strategy and delivery to maximize the use of existing resources. The goal is to help projects achieve better results and greater performance.
To quote from PPM expert Harvey A. Levine: “I can confidently extend this remark to argue that the success or failure of a business can most often be traced directly back to how it handled the management of resources.”
4 Areas to Optimize Resources
Resource and Capacity Management for Project Planning and Roadmap Definition
The resource plan is the backbone of a project. It determines who will work on which task and when. Capacity planning ensures that the right people and tools are available when needed so that the project stays on track and progresses as expected. Based on the project’s start and delivery dates, it helps project managers set realistic expectations for project deliverables with clients, project owners and sponsors, and other stakeholders.
Solid resource and capacity management also contributes to improved project execution because it increases the organization’s chances to deliver on-scope and on-time projects.
Resource and Capacity Management for Improved Cost Control and Budget Adherence
Project managers are continually looking for ways to improve their projects’ return on investment. They can use resource management and capacity planning to forecast project expenses and profit margins more precisely while making sure they are using their project resources effectively.
Resource management improves visibility into actual project expenses and overall project profitability. In addition to lowering costs and eliminating waste, it can boost ROI by improving product quality or gaining the loyalty of happy customers to increase revenue.
Resource and Capacity Management for Better Talent Management and Retention
The goal of resource management is to strike a balance between optimizing the productivity of available resources and preventing over-utilization. Employees are the most important asset of an organization. Yet many companies are routinely overutilizing personnel, with a negative influence on business.
Employees may experience high levels of anxiety and stress due to excessive workload and suffer from low engagement. This can lead to lost productivity, interrupted workflows, and missed deadlines. The quality of work also suffers, affecting the company’s profitability and the reputation of the services provided. Resource management helps identify the resources in short supply to avoid overwork-related issues.
Resource and Capacity Management for Business Alignment
Effective resource management increases transparency at the organization level, as it provides management with visibility into their teams’ bandwidth and availability. For example, resource managers can identify any extra capacity early on and notify project managers.
Getting a timely understanding of resource availability also helps avoid unforeseen conflicts. Most companies, regardless of size and industry, have multiple projects and programs going on at once. Competition over scarce resources can be rife, and allocation conflicts may negatively impact the quality of the output and the delivery schedules of several key projects. Hence the importance for project managers to leverage resources to identify such problems ahead of time and create solutions.
Optimizing resource management and capacity planning can be a daunting task. Investing in a resource management software will help you keep track of your resources, providing a central place to store all your resource information to support your decisions and your projects. (And if you’re lucky, you’ll get an entire workspace to manage resources from both Project and Organizational vantage points!)