Use our resource planning software to balance team workload across tasks and projects.
Effective resource planning is essential for any successful project, but it’s challenging. There are many elements that have to be accounted for like employee schedules, equipment rentals, holidays and office space. See how ProjectManager.com can help you distribute resources, allocate workload and manage your projects better.
When managing a project or a project portfolio, it’s critical that you intelligently distribute resources and workload. Without proper resource allocation, projects can quickly get out of control in terms of expense and duration.
With ProjectManager.com and the right resource planning techniques, you’ll be able to effectively plan and manage resources in any industry and set yourself up for success. But before we break down how ProjectManager.com is the perfect tool for resource planning and management, let’s get a firm understanding on what resource planning is and how to make a resource plan.
What is Resource Planning?
What is resource planning? The short answer is that resource planning is the step in writing a business plan where you identify all the resources in a proposed project.
Sounds simple enough. But to plan resources, you need to create a summary for managing workload that is comprehensive enough to make sure all the resources that you need to complete the project are clearly identified. This summary is going to help you get buy-in from your sponsor and your team.
What are Resources?
Resources can be anything from equipment to project sites to people. Here’s a short list of some resources you’ll have to identify when planning your project:
- Type of team you’ll need
- Roles and key responsibilities for each team member
- Number of people required to fill each role
- What equipment they’ll need and its purposes
- Job locations or meeting rooms required
- Types and number of equipment needed
- Total amount of material needed
All these can be entered and tracked in ProjectManager.com for more accurate resource management and planning.
How to Create a Resource Plan
A resource plan has to:
- Schedule the dates for using the planned resources. That includes when and for how long you’ll need the people assigned to your team, equipment rental, project site rental and anything else.
- Identify the amount of resources required per project activity. Each day you’ll be using many resources. Use this part of the plan to detail them on a daily basis.
- Create a detailed resource use schedule. Now take those durations and amounts and collect them on a calendar or timeline to make sure you’ve allocated those resources correctly.
In order to include all that information you want to have a process in place. Basically, it’s a three-step process of listing, estimating and then constructing. You can expedite this entire process if you use ProjectManager.com’s resource planning tools to map out your project. But before you do that, let’s go through each of those steps in more detail.
Step 1: List the Resources
Simply start a list in your project management software. Write down all the different resources you’ll need. Use the above bullet points as a structure. Who do you need to do the tasks that make up the project? Identify all of those roles. That includes full-time, part-time and contractors.
Now, what about equipment? Do the same as you did with the labor, and identify all the equipment you’re going to need to get the project completed. That list should include anything from office equipment such as computers, photocopies and other devices to telecommunications and machinery.
The next item on the list is the materials. What are the non-consumable materials you’ll need to complete the project activities? These can be materials necessary to build physical deliverables, such as wood, steel, and concrete.
Step 2: Estimate How Many Resources
Now you want to figure out how many of of the listed resources you’ll need throughout the life cycle of the project. For example, how many hours are you going to need from your team? Break that down per role. Do the same for your equipment. How many pieces of equipment are going to be necessary?
The same goes with your material. Estimate what amount of material, in terms of square footage, number of units, etc., is going to be necessary for the project. How much hardware do you need to buy, and will you have to license software?
Get as accurate an estimate as you can, and enter that data into your project management software. If possible, try to note the date the resources are needed and what the consumption rate per day, week or month is. The more data you have, the better you can allocate various resources.
Step 3: Construct a Resource Schedule
Use the information you’ve collected in the first two steps to build a detailed resource schedule in your workload management tool. You’ll want to specify the resources required to complete the project, the time-frames for the consumption of each of those resources and the quantity of time each resource is going to require per week and/or month.
Then you want to add up the total quantity of resources consumed per week and/or month. Don’t forget to identify the assumptions and constraints you feel are going to arise over the life cycle of the project. Now that you’ve done these steps, congratulations, you just made your resource plan in ProjectManager.com!