Resources are the building blocks of a finished project’s masterpiece. Without the right resources, a project can easily spin out of control and fail to meet its objectives on time. But without some system to manage those resources, it’s easy for things to be built too high, wobble, and fall. Any project management office (PMO) can benefit from effective resource management, but what does that actually look like?


What is Resource Management?

Resource management is all about allocating the right resources to the right people at the right times. In other words, resource and capacity management is the practice of planning and allocating resources to a project or program. The goal is to prioritize initiatives that bring the most value to an organization.

When we talk about resources in this context, we’re referring to people but also to:

  • Technology and tools that help people do tasks
  • Budgets required to fund project activity
  • Locations
  • Specialized equipment
  • Time and energy
  • Schedules and timelines

Resource or project managers aim to discover the best combination of resources for satisfying project requirements. However, they also know and can visualize that these resources may also be in demand elsewhere.

Overall, mapping everything out and implementing strategic management techniques makes optimizing those resources much easier.


Why Effective Resource Management Matters

On the surface, the benefits of resource management seem pretty straightforward. A system for managing and planning resources ensures everyone has what they need to get work done. However, it turns out that resource management is more of a necessity than we might initially believe.

For instance, one 2019 Gartner report on resource capacity planning notes that successful initiative completion depends on whether teams balance their available resources against demand. The stronger an organization’s resource and capacity management system, the more likely they are to complete projects on time and under budget. But why?

Effective resource management enables PMOs to:

  • See and understand how to utilize shared or limited resources
  • Increase visibility around demand, capacity, and required skills
  • Determine how to allocate resources to the most strategic initiatives that bring the most value
  • Avoid resource overload
  • Spot problems related to resource allocation or project completion ahead of time and address them early

Furthermore, the more advanced a resource and capacity management system becomes, the more information it’s able to provide PMOs. That means better results for projects, fewer risks, and happier employees (who aren’t overloaded with work or stretched too thin).


What are the Benefits of Resource Management?

So, we know that resource management is a key determining factor that shapes how successful a business is. But there are benefits to consider beyond helping the ship stay afloat, including:

  • More projects delivered on time and within their budgets
  • Better time management across teams, channels, departments, etc.
  • Clearer expectations for employees, stakeholders, and customers
  • Predictability and more accurate planning (less time wasted)
  • More engaged and satisfied employees who are more likely to stay with your business


4 Essential Resource Management Techniques to Know

Resource and capacity management isn’t a single action but a collection of techniques and efforts that share a common goal. These essential resource management techniques come together and create a comprehensive system that regulates itself. Let’s explore some of the most common examples in practice.


Resource Forecasting

Goal: Plan how to balance and utilize resources in current and future projects.

One of the biggest benefits of resource management is its ability to help you see into the future. Resource forecasting is a technique that focuses on making predictions about future resource demands and availability.

In doing so, PMOs can pinpoint potential issues before they arise. They can also ensure they prioritize and allocate resources on a timeline that makes sense now and for future goals.


Resource Allocation

Goal: Effectively assign resources (people, skills, tech, etc.) to projects.

Resource allocation is just what it sounds like – allocating resources to certain employees, projects, or initiatives.

With a clear picture of what’s available, when it’s needed, and which projects need it most, PMOs can effectively distribute resources as needed. Creating allocation reports makes it easy to see which skills, tools, or people will be available at which times, meaning fewer delays down the road.


Resource Leveling

Goal: Address overallocation or schedule conflicts to ensure projects are completed on time.

Sometimes, things just don’t go to plan, even if that plan is thorough and well thought out. Resource leveling aims to address this truth by resolving resource overallocation, under-allocation, or other conflicts. It specifically achieves these goals while also ensuring that projects can still be completed with the resources that are available.

Resource leveling focuses on utilizing the skills and resources you do have available to fill in the gaps when issues arise. In essence, this technique is about troubleshooting; it helps teams continue to meet their goals with creative solutions to resource-related problems.


Resource Utilization

Goal: Measure how much of your current resource pool your teams use.

All of your resource management techniques could be in vain without some way to measure what’s being used in real-time. Resource utilization gives you a picture of your team’s capacity over time, allowing PMOs to avoid letting workers get stretched too thin (or feel underutilized).

Utilization reports reveal which resources are being used, how, and by whom so that PMOs can identify opportunities to make changes.


Sciforma Makes Resource Management a Breeze

Resource management is closely related to project portfolio management (PPM) for obvious reasons. Managing projects inherently means managing the pieces that create them.

However, the connection is deeper than that: most immature or inefficient resource and capacity management techniques stem from immature PPM systems or a lack of basic project management culture.

Put simply, teams without PPM tools and systems in place will likely struggle with resource management.

A PPM software solution like Sciforma makes it simple to get a PPM and resource management system off the ground quickly. Our user-friendly platform allows you to map out and assign resources, analyze resource utilization, create visible resource reports, and more.

Centralize all of your resource and project management activity in one place with Sciforma. Schedule a demo to get started.


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