Almost all project management studies list the correct use of resources as a critical success factor for successful projects. Conversely, the wrong use of resources – insufficient or even the wrong resources – is one of the most common reasons projects fail. Good resource management is an essential requirement for successful project work.
Resource Management Challenges And How To Master Them Quickly
Essentially, there are four challenges to be overcome in resource management:
- Identify suitable project participants
- Assign project participants (to a work package)
- Use project participants as efficiently as possible
- Control and monitor project participants on an ongoing basis
To identify suitable employees for your project, you should proceed in two steps: As a project manager, you know which qualifications you need for the project. Therefore, you should address your request to the relevant line manager, who will then assign suitable employees to the project in the next step.
The essential prerequisite for this is that there is sufficient capacity in your department. To determine this, you should know precisely the workload of the department and your employees. In addition, in a multi-project environment, you have to consider all inquiries made to the department. Last but not least, the primary loads, vacation days and days off have to be factored into the workload picture. You can only make a reliable statement about capacity utilization by considering all of the factors mentioned.
The assignment of project participants is usually a coordination process between you in the role of project manager and the line manager. The process can only be carried out successfully if there is a comprehensive real-time overview of resource utilization. With the support of a software solution for project management, this transparency can be created, and the coordination process can be designed comfortably and efficiently.
To deploy those involved in the project as efficiently as possible, you need a comprehensive and realistic overview of the capacity utilization of employees and departments throughout the company. Due to the multi-dimensional nature – projects, line work, absence days and other availability reductions – inaccurate planning data must be considered and processed. The use of professional project management software is recommended for this. This solution must have a dynamic capacity levelling process that recognizes unproblematic and selective overloads and levels them accordingly. Such an involved comparison procedure corresponds to the principle of project management, i.e. the self-organization and independence of the employees within a given framework.
Last but not least, it is essential always to maintain an overview and control over the project and all those involved. This makes the task more transparent, especially for you, and the information condenses, as you can easily follow and understand every step. The planning tool used for this must bring significantly more benefits than its operation requires in terms of effort. Real-time behaviour, an intelligent information hierarchy, various monitoring functions and reporting must also be available. Simple integration of the system into the existing IT landscape is just as important.
Strategic Benefits Of Efficient Resource Management
Of course, it is often not just a single project, but over time, it is essential to manage a project landscape and maintain an overview of the distribution of resources there. The benefits of this so-called project portfolio management as an instrument for implementing the corporate strategy offers numerous advantages at the strategic level. Because the goal of portfolio management is to find an optimal mix of projects within the given conditions, such as customer concerns and available resources, which can make the most significant contribution to the fulfilment of the organization’s goals. Projects and project ideas are collected, assessed, prioritized, and finally either approved or rejected in a portfolio. Logically, in the end, only those projects can be realized for which sufficient financial means and appropriate resources are available. Therefore, an essential task of the project portfolio management is current and planned projects about the availability and capabilities of the resources,
That is why the basis of a project portfolio consists of holistic resource management. Realistic planning is only possible because the existing capacities have already been taken into account in the project portfolio. Competent resource management is, therefore, an essential discipline for a successful project portfolio. The most suitable employees should be assigned to the most critical projects. In addition, a comprehensive analysis is required of how resource bottlenecks and overload situations can be identified and avoided at an early stage.
Skill Management Revolutionizes Resource Management
Capacity planning based on the skills of the employees has the potential to change the entire resource management. Almost every area of a company will be affected, especially employees in the departments of a line or Maxtrix organization. Therefore, detailed skills planning for projects and all other work involved by this transformation process incapacity planning is essential.
Skill management is a powerful tool that should not be underestimated. It enables the most efficient use of resources and allows the company to recognize future needs for specialist knowledge. You should pay attention to this strategic dimension of skill management, as it can sustainably improve your company’s market position.
Also Read: Agility In Management & Team:Success Factors For Agile Transformation