Why Making Resource Allocation a Crucial Part of Your Project Management
What is resource allocation and how do you do it?
Think of resource allocation as a process of assigning the right tasks to the right resources. All this to enhance the effectiveness (both time-related and finance-related) of the works on your project. If not done right, you may experience unexpected future issues slowing your project down.
Once you have enough decent information about the scope of your upcoming project, you can enter the Planning resources phase. Therefore, our first piece of advice is: if you already use project management software, double-check if it features planning resources. If not, one of the options is to buy an extra tool for planning resources only. This, however, we only recommend in case your team consists of two to three people.
For medium-sized and bigger teams, the easiest and clearest thing you can do is to get an all-in-one tool for allocating and planning resources and, subsequently, managing your projects.
“A good resource allocation results in the right people working
on the right tasks with their time effectively planned –
both from the financial and scope of work point of view.“
Allocating the resources before and during the project works
You can only allocate resources to your project when you know what the project consists of and when you have a clear overview of your resources' capacities. Thus, there are several actions to take before you start with the allocation:
- Divide your project into smaller, deliverable tasks. In other words, create a work breakdown structure (WBS) to see the approximate number of individual tasks and the connection between them.
- Check the availability of your resources to see if your client's time estimation is realistic.
- If you share your resources across multiple projects (your team members are part of other teams in your company, too), use the Global Gantt to get the big picture. Eventually, discuss the capacities with other project managers.
Once these three steps are done, you can allocate your resources and assign tasks to them. After the start of the project, it is inevitable to keep the track of your resources' performance and react to it. For the daily tasks – and for the unexpected situations that will occur managing your project will bring – you will have to follow other two, more detailed principles:
- Check the status and availability of the resources in the crucial phases of the project – important meetings, milestones, or launch dates. Especially when there is an 'on fire' situation. For this, you can always work with the up-to-date status of your resources in the Attendance Dashboard feature.
- Be ahead of the unpredictable. To keep control over your resources' capacities and their plans, you need to be able to see and approve their free days (office, sick leave, vacation, home office, etc.).
Specific features and best practices to help you with allocating your resources
Resource Management Master Plan
Here you can see all the users and utilization of their time in the upcoming days, weeks, or months. Colors indicate the user's workload – available, optimal utilization, or work overload. Directly within the Resource Management Master Plan tool, you can eg. extend the time for a certain task or even re-assign it to someone else. Therefore, when planning for a future project, you will easily avoid the overload of your resources.
“Resource allocation cuts down the common
problems – under or overutilization of your
team players – to a minimum.“
When planning resources, it is essential to avoid discrepancies in the allocation. Resource Dashboard solves this challenge by the diagrams with visualized workers' time utilization so you can see the workload of people across the organization. Plus, it shows you the overview of task types with the most hours allocated and total hours allocated.
Getting the right resources to do the right part of the work on the project gets challenging – especially with multiple teams across the organization sharing the team members. Since there are necessary project management steps to be taken before the allocation itself, the best is to get all the modern resource management tools within a single PM software. Like this, you will avoid possible mistakes and repeating actions.
Allocating resources to your project? Easy.
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