Anything you need to execute your project is a resource. That means materials, tools, equipment and even your team. That’s a lot of handle. To organize your resources so you have what you need when you need it, use our free resource plan template for Excel. It will help you collect all your project’s resources and map them out on a spreadsheet so you don’t have any delays.
But, if you open the resource plan template in ProjectManager instead, you can manage your resources on a dynamic Gantt chart that allows you to track total effort, labor rates, planned vs actual effort, dependent tasks and more. You can manage your work in other views too. Plus you can track your resources in real time with dashboards and instant status reports. Get started with ProjectManager for free and build a better resource plan.
What Is a Resource Plan?
A resource plan is how you identify, list and organize the resources you’ll need to complete your project, as well as help you determine the quantity needed for each resource, their cost and when it’s needed in the project.
There are two broad types of resources: storable and non-storable. Storable resources are available unless used up, while non-storable resources are those that must be restocked periodically or used only during specific times.
Why You Need a Resource Plan Template
Our resource plan template is the tool that reigns in all of your resources and sets them up to align with your project schedule and budget. It’s easy to use and gets you started fast.
Using a template puts you ahead of the game. Creating a resource plan is not a one-time thing. It’s going to be part of the planning process of every project you start. Having a template means you don’t have to create a new Excel sheet to capture your resources.
The resource plan template can also be saved and used for future projects. If you’re starting a project that’s similar to the one you completed a year or more ago, you can go back into your files and use the old resource plan template as historic data to inform your new resource plan.
Using a resource plan template keeps everyone informed, but by upgrading to project management software you can not only better connect with the team but track their progress. ProjectManager automatically compares your planned resources with your actual resources on our award-winning Gantt chart. This helps you stay on track when you’re executing the project. Need more resource management tools? Use our workload chart to make sure your team isn’t overallocated. You can even balance their work to keep them more productive. See for yourself by trying the software for free today.
Who Uses a Resource Plan Template?
The project manager is usually the one tasked with creating a resource plan. It’s their job to manage resources efficiently and effectively. In larger organizations, however, there might be others such as the assistant project manager who will build the resource plan, though it would almost always have to be overseen and approved by the project manager.
Whoever is in charge of using a resource plan template will need to bring any parties involved in procurement and resource management into the conversation. Then, once the plan has been finalized, it will be shared with the team and stakeholders. Transparency is important to make sure that resources are always available to match capacity. The use of our resource plan template makes it easy to share and keeps everyone on the same page.
When to Use a Resource Plan Template
Obviously, you need to use a resource plan template when you’re planning your project. As mentioned earlier, the resource plan will have to align with your schedule and budget. It’s the connective tissue that holds them together and ensures that teams are receiving the materials they need to complete their tasks when they need them.
But the resource plan template is not solely regulated to the project planning phase. It is a document that needs to be referred to throughout the life cycle of the project. Our resource plan template is critical for procurement and keeping on schedule. Anyone who is dependent on resources, whether the project team or suppliers and vendors, need to have it close at hand.
Managers can also use the resource plan template as a way of tracking the project and making sure it is staying on schedule. All the dates are laid out on the template and can be compared to when you have your team scheduled to execute their tasks. The template gives you a tool that collects important dates, can be updated and shared.
What’s Inside Our Resource Plan Template
Use our free resource plan template to organize and schedule your resources across the month. Each tab is one month and the template can be customized to conform to your production schedule. Weekends are blocked out but you can change that if you’re running a swing-shift operation.
Add your logo to brand our template with your company name on top. There’s also a place for you to name the project, project manager, client and date, which helps when revising the schedule to make sure you’re using the most current version.
Underneath the project information is columns for resources, which is where your team is listed. Beneath each team member’s name in the column is a list of their assigned tasks. The next column identifies what team they’re on.
Customize as Needed
Our template is planning a website design so teams include marketing, sales, design and development. Of course, you can change these categories and add as many team members as you need.
The next column to the right is for the total effort. That is, the duration of the task or its planned hours. As you add that time to each task the top line automatically adds them together. The next column has that team member’s rate and finally a column for the total cost, which is also automatically added together.
To the right is your calendar. Again, it’s only one month. You can add months by the tab or change it to a weekly or even daily plan if you prefer. As you add the planned hours for each day, they will automatically add up under the total effort column. If you assign anyone more than eight hours that day’s cell will turn red indicating you’ve over-allocated.
How ProjectManager Helps You Plan Resources
A resource plan template is a great tool but it can only take you so far. If you want to see your resources in real time, reallocate with a click and keep everyone on the same page without having to redo your template every time there’s a change, then you want to use ProjectManager. Our cloud-based software automatically updates and tracks your resources and helps to keep you on schedule and within your budget.
Gather all your resources in one place, organize them and connect them to each individual task on your project plan in our online Gantt chart. More than just collecting resources, the Gantt has features that allow you to set costs for those resources. Then set your baseline, which saves your resource plan. Now, when you’re executing the project, there’s a point of comparison. Get live data on actual costs and progress so you can reallocate resources to stay on track.
Your most valuable resource is your team. If they have too much work, morale dips and production follows suit. To keep your team happy and productive, use our workload feature. View a color-coded chart that shows how many or few tasks are assigned to each member of your team. If someone is overallocated, you can reallocate their work right from the workload page.
When you reallocate your team, you need to know their availability. They might have PTO or it could be a holiday. Rather than pull out the calendar and go through the dates, we make it simple. When you onboard your team, set their availability, as well as hourly rate and other profile details. This data shows up as you’re assigning or reassigning work, which saves time and headaches.
Monitoring and tracking are essential for avoiding costly delays in your project. Our software captures real-time data to help you make more insightful decisions. Our live dashboard hosts all the project metrics in place and calculates project variance, time, cost and more.
What Other Templates Help Manage Resources?
The free resource plan template is only one of the dozens of free resources on our website. There are hundreds of blog posts, tutorial videos and guidebooks that help you with every aspect of project management. If you like our free resource plan template, then check out these other templates that can boost your resource management.
For your resource plan to work it has to be thorough. That means listing every single one of the tasks in the project. That can feel like a daunting job but our free work breakdown structure gives you a tool to work backward from your final deliverable and capture every task on a tree diagram.
Your resources have to correspond with your schedule. To get all the tasks you collected from our work breakdown structure template organized, you’ll want to try the free project timeline template. Now you can see the entire project from start to finish in one place and align your resource and procurement plan with the schedule.
The next thing you want to connect to your resources is your costs. Using our free project budget template allows you to link tasks to resources and calculate the costs for each to come up with a workable budget. This will allow you to manage the cost of your project while staying within the financial boundaries set up by your stakeholders.
More Related Content
As we mentioned, ProjectManager is an online project management resource. We have free templates and also tons of content to help the novice and the journeyman through every stage of your project. Explore the site to learn more. Here are a few resource-related pieces to whet your whistle.
- 7 Tips for Better Cost Control & Expense Control
- 9 Essential Excel Spreadsheets for Tracking Tasks, Costs and Time
- Purchase Orders & the Purchase Order Process Explained
- How to Make a Procurement Management Plan
To get more control over your resources and allocate them to keep the team’s workload balanced, you need the power of a project management tool. ProjectManager is a cloud-based tool that delivers real-time data to help you better monitor and track your resources throughout the project life cycle. You can plan with online Gantt charts, get transparency into production with kanban boards and keep stakeholders updated with live dashboards and dynamic reporting. If you want to streamline your processes and work more efficiently, you’ll love ProjectManager. Why not try it for free today?