10 Quick Tips about Effective Resource Management
For the success of any given project, you cannot undermine the importance of managing your resources in an effective manner. Apart from the profits garnered as a result of resource optimization and reduced bench time, you can also see the impact an efficient management of resources generates in the positive attitude and motivation of your resources. Given the benefits provided by managing resources in an ideal manner, it is no wonder organizations the world over are today incorporating the use of specific teams to ensure effective and efficient utilization of their resources.
The primary purpose of project management is bringing people, processes, and tools together to accomplish a common objective. As such, one of the most important elements of resource management is managing the resources that do the actual work. Rather than acting as an understanding and motivating force multiplier to their team, many project managers often focus on measuring resources. To help you avoid such mistakes, below are ten quick tips about effective resource management.
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1. People are resources too
The management of resources is usually discussed using terms like optimal utilization and resource assignment matrices alongside charts and graphs. While this mechanical methodology will indeed create the analytical framework necessary for project management, you could be overlooking the most important nuance, which is the fact that people are also a resource. In the end, histograms do not increase the productivity of your team.
It is important to remember that it is people who are ultimately responsible for the success of projects. Leadership, communicative, and emotional intelligence are necessary soft skills when it comes to inspiring and motivating team members. Great project managers understand how to combine project resource management tools and the people working to create a collaborative, transparent, and productive environment.
2. Integrate technology
Using technology to automate any aspect of the project such as project status reporting is useful when it comes to improving productivity. While the mundane tasks of report filing, parameter calculations, and data collection can bring down employee performance, integrating technology minimizes the risk of mistakes and also frees up workforce to reallocate elsewhere. On top of saving time and improving accuracy, having smart project resource management tools capable of extracting the required information and generate reports accordingly, helps to build employee morale. Integrating technology also affords project managers with adequate and proper visibility to know whenever a resource needs any alteration. However, you need to test any automated procedure thoroughly to ensure glitches and mistakes that could cost you, later on, do not exist.
3. Resource plan
As one of the core components of project planning, a resource plan should contain every aspect that pertains to every resource necessary for your project from beginning to end. In addition to helping you determine the resources you need at hand, planning your project is arguably the most efficient way to organize for the appropriate and effective use of such resources. Since time is money, you need to plan for an efficient management of the resources. Start by identifying the resources required and the period each will be required throughout the project. Before you schedule it in, estimate long every single resource will be used as well as the work each stage will entail.
4. Collaboration increases productivity
Apart from reducing the possibility of errors, collaboration among team members works to increase productivity. Using a tool that allows your team to collaborate and foster creativity and productivity is vital for the effective management and success of a project. Because no one wants to be abandoned in a desert to wither away, use collaboration tools to ensure the members of your team are free to quench their need for real-time feedback and ideas.
5. Visibility is critical
Being able to strike an ideal balance between knowing what your team is working on and what motivates them is vital for the success of any project. Ensure you have a global view of all your projects and resources. On top of enabling you to introduce productivity measures carefully, especially those necessary to run your business, using a project resource management tool that supports enterprise resource planning and scheduling allows you to diagnose potential pitfalls early enough. Remember, numbers don’t speak for themselves. Using metrics wisely goes a long way towards helping you to identify project areas in need of attention. You can then talk to the team or individual responsible for the completion of that particular task to understand how you can assist.
Align your resources and ensure everyone is working toward a common objective to boost transparency and foster trust. Your resources can become an unstoppable force if everyone involved is open, honest, and works together in transparency. When it comes to managing resources, transparency requires:
Risk awareness: You should encourage open discussions about potential risks and involve your entire team in the project planning and delivery process.
Solid estimates: Apart from creating more accurate schedules, giving your team the freedom to estimate in ranges will also help you to highlight the uncertainties in your project plan.
Clear prioritization of tasks: Ensure every member of your team knows what is important.
7. Prepare for the worst
Unfortunately, there usually are times when things go wrong with project resource management. Anticipating potential disasters and having procedures in place to mend them should they occur is, therefore, important to the success of any project. While it is best to have the resources necessary to fix every potential problem at hand, you can also have a system that allows you to source external resources quickly, particularly if having such resources at hand is not possible. You can have greater control over the management of resources by anticipating potential curveballs.
8. Keep your entire team happy
Your team is what makes your business run and people usually perform at their very best when they are passionate about their work. Get to know the members of your team. Find out the type of work they love doing and what motivates them the most. Having this knowledge helps when it comes to matching your resources to tasks. Matching a resource to a task is more productive than assigning a task to a resource. You will also know the tasks every single resource should steer clear of, which will ultimately result in optimal resource allocation.
Keep your team motivated and happy to prevent high employee turnover. Having long-term staff on board increases the likelihood that every project you undertake and resource you utilize will be more familiar to the people doing the work. Apart from being uninspired, people working on tasks outside their fields of interest or skill-sets can be counterproductive.
You should also be open to suggestions from your team. Since they are the ones executing the work, the members of your staff could have suggestions on how to improve procedures and achieve greater efficiency. Since it allows the members of your team to know the importance of their efforts, rewarding every job well done is also important.
9. Know future requirements
Apart from helping you to optimize resource utilization, having a list of the projects planned at hand also helps your recruitment drive. Knowing the support skills you need to acquire beforehand allows you to give your recruitment division sufficient lead time to identify appropriate resources. While it eases the allotment of resources, an accurate forecast of the skills and resources necessary helps you to not only have a balanced portfolio but also know the budgeting requirements. As a project resource management tool, knowing your future needs not only contributes to ensuring optimum utilization of resources but also supports project monitoring efforts.
10. Capability database
Having a resource capability database updated on a regular basis with pertinent information is also of significant importance to the success of any project. Ass mentioned above, knowing the skills of your resources helps you to assign each resource to a task efficiently. A resource capability database helps you to keep track of every resource. You should, however, update the database continuously to ensure it remains useful and also fulfills its primary objective, which is to ensure efficient resource utilization and help to map employee to employer goals.