Top 10 Tips For Effective Project Resource Planning
Project Resource Planning
Resource planning is an important part of not just project management, but it is the main component of any management agenda. Completing projects successfully is every project manager’s dream but only few could turn their dreams into reality. There could be various reasons for that but one of them is poor project resource planning. In this article, we share some of the best tips that can help you manage your project resources in a better way.
1. Predict the Future
When you are developing a resource plan for the future, then you should be to envision the future and plan accordingly. Your plan should also consider events that would take place in near future. If you are prepared for future challenges and obstacles in advance, then you have much better chance to overcoming these hurdles as compared to when you are suddenly exposed to it. Even if you cannot predict the future correctly, you can estimate the future resource requirement, which will give you an idea.
2. Spend Time in Planning
With the growing popularity of agile project management methodology, more and more project managers are spending less time on planning. You should spend time in resource planning because “One minute in planning saves ten minutes in execution.” Plan for everything including projects, workload, location and even the vacations to complete projects successfully. Lacking a well thought out plan will make it more difficult for you to manage things efficiently.
3. Optimize Resource Utilization
One of the main objectives of project resource planning is to optimize resource utilization. Whether it is money, time or human resources, putting your resources to good use are key to success. That is where efficient project management software comes into play and help project managers in managing project resources in an efficient manner. As a result, you can complete more projects inside the budget and before the deadline.
4. Expect Anything
In today’s dynamic world of project management, things move at a rapid pace. You never know what the future would be like. The best way to deal with such a situation is to expect anything and be prepared in advance. There are instances where your team members are unable to produce the required outcome due to any reason therefore; you need to keep a buffer to cope up with it. Some might fall ill and go on a leave; others might be caught up with meetings. You consider all these factors when you are developing a project resource plan.
5. Improve Your Processes
Bloated project management processes and methodologies can put a huge dent on your productivity. Spring clean your project management process by identifying the loopholes in your current project management process and fix them as soon as possible. Do not let these shortcomings in your project management process hamper your productivity.
Keep it as simple and focused as possible to achieve better results. Reduce the access approval step where possible to make your project management process more efficient. You should welcome suggestions for process improvement and do not shy away from challenging your current process. This will help you in implementing a more refined project management process that will yield better results.
6. Switch to Outcome Based Planning
In most projects, your team members are performing their daily tasks to achieve the common objective. If that is the case, then you must switch to outcome-based planning. Manage with the outcome in mind. To develop an effective outcome-based plan, you need to apply attributes, lifecycles; roadmaps to each deliver and come up with a flawless plan to drive your project to successful completion. Project managers can increase visibility and transparency by following this process. Additionally, it helps them to create a customer and market driven culture and provides managers with a better idea about effort and money spent on the project.
7. Analysis and Reporting
Answer questions like, Are your projects on track? What else are your project team members are working on? Does each project get the resources it needs for successful completion? When it comes to analysis and reporting, project managers should follow a proactive approach. Keep an eye on any factor that is hindering your project progress and report it immediately. Do not let small issues linger for long as they could convert into bigger and more dangerous equivalent with the passage of time.
8. Integration Is Key to Your Project Success
Just like your personal finance portfolios, you should rely on project portfolio to keep all the project modules integrated. Align every component with the deliverables with the help of efficient portfolio management. Integrating all aspects of your project is a big challenge for project managers but they can easily solve this problem by using portfolio to keep things together. This also helps you to make necessary adjustments to your strategies. No matter how many modules you develop, at the end of it all, you will have to integrate it to convert it into a working prototype.
9. Human Resource Management
When you talk about project resources, most managers neglect the human element. Although, other resources are also important, but your most valuable asset is your project team members. When developing a project resource plan or strategy, you should always consider human resources as a top priority. Try to develop a close relation with your team members. Empower and support them to achieve the project objectives. When you know your team better, you can assign them tasks according to their strengths and weaknesses, which will lead to better results. That is where task management software comes into play. Reward and appreciate the efforts of your team members and provide them the opportunity to express themselves.
10. Be Accountable
If you are a project manager who is developing a resource plan, then you will have to answer questions from higher management, finance department, human resource department and even some stakeholder. They want fast and accurate responses and wants justification for every resource you are asking for. If you are leading the team, then you should take responsibility to answer these questions.