According to a PMI survey,
“26% of companies with a dedicated resource planning solution can estimate and allocate resources to deliver projects on time.”
Therefore, it’s a no-brainer that organizations implementing a systematic resource planning process can ensure successful project delivery. It helps you meet future demands in advance, ensure competent allocation, controls project costs, etc. It also helps leverage resource maximum potential effectively.
This article gives an overview of resource planning and explains its significance in the project management realm. Let’s begin:
What is resource planning?
Resource planning is the process that helps you identify, forecast, and allocate different types of business resources to the projects at the right time and cost. It is done based on the availability and skill set of the workforce and ensures that resources are used effectively across the organization.
For instance, your company has got a new software development project. Now the project manager will assess the client’s Project roadmap, estimate the resources required to complete the delivery and place the resource request. Accordingly, the resource manager will analyze these requests, identify and assign resources whose skill set is aligned with the project requirement. Thus, a systematic approach where managers first foresee the demand and then build a strategy to allocate and utilize the resources is resource planning.
Keeping this definition of resource planning in mind, let’s understand its significance.
Significance of resource planning in project management
While every project will be unique in terms of the resources it requires, creating a resource plan will give managers detailed information on all the available resources and how they will be used and managed.
Here is a list of the five ways in which resource planning can be beneficial in project management:
3.1 Minimize project resource costs
An effective resource plan helps managers reduce resource costs significantly by avoiding deploying over and underqualified resources to projects. Overqualified resources can spike project costs. Underqualified people cause a delay in the project due to a lack of necessary skills that eventually cause budget overruns.
Additionally, it helps leverage global resources from low-cost locations and control project costs. It also provides enough time to conduct planned hiring and create the right resource mix that suits the budget and minimizes unnecessary cost escalations.
3.2 Forecast & bridge capacity gap for pipeline projects
Resource managers are responsible for forward-planning pipeline projects by analyzing resource requirements in advance. They first assess the gap between the current capacity against the demand and identify the excess or shortage of resources. Accordingly, they can implement the right measures to bridge the gap and fill the vacancies.
If there is an excess of resources, bringing forward project timelines, training or selling additional capacity, etc. On the other hand, a shortfall of resources can be mitigated by hiring a permanent or contingent workforce depending on the project duration, etc. Thus, forecasting and bridging the gap proactively eliminates the chances of last-minute hiring and helps in the timely fulfillment of the project.
3.3 Maximizes profitable resource utilization
Resource utilization measures how efficiently resources are utilized against their total capacity. The multidimensional resource scheduler gives managers a holistic view of their resources’ current and future allocations on a single platform. In addition, it also provides an overview of over and underutilized resources through forecast vs. actual resource utilization reports. Thus, resource managers can implement remedial measures and optimize utilization using data-driven insights.
For instance, if a highly skilled employee is scheduled for non-billable work such as admin tasks, then, in that case, the resource managers can mobilize to billable or strategic work and enhance the overall billability. Thus, it facilitates them to improve productivity and optimize resource health index.
3.4 Facilitate competent resource allocation across the enterprise
It is critical to have the right resource with the appropriate skills and at the right cost to complete a project within time and budget. So, depending on the project manager’s resource requests, the resource manager finds the best-fit resources for the open positions.
The provides 360-degree visibility into the resource attributes such as skill sets, experience, cost rates, capacity, and more. It also gives you information across multiple dimensions such as team, department, location, and more. By having this unmatched visibility, resource managers can filter and assign the right resources to the project.
3.5 Ensures successful delivery of the project within time and budget.
Successful project delivery means meeting deadlines and avoiding budget overruns while maintaining quality standards. Proper resource planning entails taking proactive resourcing measures that ascertain that all project requirements are identified and fulfilled on time. It also helps managers review project and resource performance using forecasts vs. actual reports, utilization heat maps, and more.
Thus, regular monitoring helps to keep quality, time, and budget constraints in check and leads to the successful delivery of projects. This also enhances client satisfaction, retention, and brand loyalty, thus helping you maintain the competitive edge.
The conclusion: –
A key aspect of resource planning is that it helps accomplish more projects efficiently using workforce potential. Therefore, equipping the right tool with a systematic process in place can derive the best possible outcome. It also facilitates managers to maintain the resource health index and increase the profitability and sustainability of any business.
So, when are you implementing a robust tool to streamline resource planning?