Demystifying Resource Allocation in Project Management

Resource Allocation: Did you know that efficient resource allocation and capacity and workload planning are typically considered the most challenging tasks that project managers do? Having said that, there could be multiple reasons for a project to fail, but inaccurate allocation or resource misallocation is usually the most important factor for projects to go off-track. Resources in project management mean employees, finances, materials, tools, time, and equipment needed to complete the project tasks.

Resource allocation can be referred to as the process that begins with meticulous planning, resource scheduling, allocation, and then management while ensuring to optimize their efficiency. So, what’s the trick for getting precise resource allocation in project management? Implementing the right resource allocation software is the solution.

Resource allocation in project management

What is Resource Allocation in Project Management?

Resource allocation in project management is a process that enables project managers to find the best resources and then align them to specific project tasks to meet the project timelines and objectives. Project resources include any tools, materials, equipment, human resources, finances, and facilities needed to execute the project. Typically, resource allocation is performed during the initial stages of a project’s development lifecycle. Particularly, it’s a step done in resource planning, which, is done during the project planning stage in project management.

A project manager should consider the following aspects while doing resource allocation:

  • Skill set: The competencies or skills that are needed to achieve the project’s objectives
  • Capacity: The total effort in hours that a resource needs to work as per the project schedule
  • Availability: The total number of resources that are available or the effort in hours after deducting the time off, etc. from the capacity
  • Resource Utilization: The total productive hours a resource puts in, usually 80% of available hours

Resource planning software helps to easily identify the availability of resources as per the skill set, expertise, and schedule, and allocate them to the right project.

Advantages of Resource Allocation in Project Management

Effective resource allocation is imperative for the seamless and timely completion of projects. This offers the following benefits:

  • Enhances project planning: Allocating resources on time provides a better perspective for project planning and helps to identify any resource constraints well in advance and accordingly make adjustments to the schedule and scope.
  • Proficient resource utilization: Assigning resources effectively ensures that all your resources are used optimally to attain the project’s goals. It also enables us to make the best use of the available capacity for various projects and tasks.
  • Mitigate resourcing risks: Efficient resource allocation also enables us to identify resource constraints that may lead to project delays. This helps project managers foresee any likely risks and take corrective measures. Therefore, enhancing the probability of project success.
  • Better communication: Precise resource allocation in project management facilitates open and seamless communication among different employees, managers, and all stakeholders. Every team member would be aware of their roles and responsibilities which decreases the chances of confusion and misunderstandings.
  • Reduces scheduling conflicts: Scheduling and resourcing conflicts happen because of employees’ unplanned leaves and shared resources being used across several projects. Meticulously planned resource scheduling and allocation ensures that your project deadlines do not conflict with availability. It also ensures that there are minimal resource dependencies and the project doesn’t go off track.
  • Better cost management: Well-planned resource allocation in project management aids project managers in monitoring status and progress, and resource costs, resulting in enhanced cost management. This also minimizes the likelihood of the project budget going off-track.
  • Informed decision-making: This also enables project managers to make well-thought-of and informed decisions regarding resource planning and allocation that are based on priorities, available assets, and critical paths.
  • Better flexibility: Effective resource allocation allows for the flexibility of making amendments along the way in case the project requirements change due to some reasons. This enables adaptability in the scenario of unforeseen circumstances.
  • Positive project outcomes: Planned resource allocation in project management results in fewer or no project failures. When you have the right resources aligned with the right tasks, the project outcomes will always be better.

Allocating Resources Effectively: Step-by-Step Process

Resource allocation in project management involves steps such as identifying and assigning the needed resources to execute a project successfully. The steps in this process are as mentioned below:

1. Find the project requirements: The first step is to identify the exact requirements for your project, which include the project’s scope, goals, and precise deliverables for all milestones.

2. Create the project schedule: As a next step, identify what are all the tasks and sub-tasks that should be completed to deliver the project successfully. To do this, Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is an effective framework to break down a project into smaller chunks of deliverables and sub-tasks. After doing so, identify any dependencies and calculate the time each task will take. Finally, create a project schedule and align it with a project timeline.

3. Define all types of resource requirements: After determining all the tasks needed to deliver the project, define the types of resources you need. This includes deciding the quantity of resources needed and what type, such as the skill set of employees, type of equipment, etc. Allocate the resources: Now, you need to find the required resources and their availability in the organization’s resource pool. For effective resource allocation, you should find resources who:

  • Are available on your timelines,
  • Are not aligned on other assignments,
  • Are not on planned leave during your project schedule, and
  • Work in the same time zone as most of the team for better coordination.

4. Regularly track the resource utilization: Though you would have planned everything well, some things can still go off-track. At times, clients change the project scope mid-way, or team members take unplanned time off, which can derail your project and resource plan. This is the reason you need to regularly track your resource utilization and find if there are any over or under-utilized resources.

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Efficient Resource Allocation in Project Management with eResource Scheduler

By implementing a top-rated, cloud-based, and robust resource allocation tool such as eResource Scheduler, you can allocate and schedule your resources seamlessly. Try the award-winning resource allocation tool – eResource Scheduler for project planning, resource allocation and management, making precise schedules, calculating, and tracking utilization, and lots more. The best-in-class features of this tool, such as the intuitive interface, detailed reports, and dashboards, availability reports, drag-and-drop functionality, time-tracking, etc. assist in planning and managing multiple resources effortlessly.

The tool also helps to be your central online repository to save information about all the global resources and end-to-end projects. eResource Scheduler also offers real-time visibility to aid project managers in creating detailed plans for the pipeline and identifying best-fit resources for short- or long-term needs. So, check out the benefits of eResource Scheduler with a quick free trial and see its features and benefits yourself.

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