A Project Manager's Guide to Resource Planning, resource planning

Project managers have the demanding task of effectively managing human and non-human resources for the success of ongoing projects. In resource planning, project managers strategize on how to utilize the resources available to teams for the achievement of project goals and objectives. Members within managed teams are assigned tasks based on their skills and capacity to deliver the required results in each project milestone. The lack of effective resource planning can result in wastage of available resources and eventually lead to failure of the entire project.

What is resource planning?

Resource planning involves the management of available resources in a project with the aim of achieving project efficiency. Successful projects depend on the use of selected tools for the implementation of effective resource planning strategies in the project. For example, project managers can determine whether the project remains within the budget in resource planning at a small or enterprise project management scale. The Sirvez resource planner is one of the valuable tools that project managers can use to strategize and manage the activities associated with resource planning in their projects. Sirvez makes it easy to manage resources according to tasks and subtasks within the project.

A Project Manager's Guide to Resource Planning, resource planning

Start resource planning with the Sirvez

As project managers use manual processes and tools such as spreadsheets to carry out resource planning tasks, errors will likely emerge from the process. The result is additional time and resource wastage across the different stages of a project. The elimination of errors and an accurate view of your team's capacity to plan resources and schedule tasks are some of the benefits of using resource planning software such as Sirvez.

A Project Manager's Guide to Resource Planning, resource planning

Figure: Tools used for resource planning within Sirvez

Automated processes using resource planning software enable the project manager to view how human resources are distributed within different areas and stages of a project. For example, a project manager can design a visual project schedule using Gantt charts to show the duration of tasks. Project managers can make adjustments through resource allocation across the project in a timely and accurate way.

Structured Estimating

In the estimation of essential components of a project, project managers use different techniques in the process. The structured estimating technique is one of the useful techniques that help project teams come up with an accurate estimation of resource needs in entire projects. Project teams involved in Agile projects can use the structured estimation technique at the beginning of the project and each sprint marked in the project. Structured estimation as conducted in enterprise project management on aspects such as time and cost at each sprint ensures accuracy at different levels of the project. Hence, project teams can develop accurate figures that are difficult to get using techniques such as back-of-the-envelope calculations.

The business value of ERP

The use of enterprise resource planning offers project managers the support they need to improve efficiency in their projects. Enterprise resource planning allows the integration of different business and project processes to create consistency in infrastructure and business operations. The benefits of using enterprise resource planning include reporting and accessing data from various business processes on a single platform. Some of the additional ways that enterprise resource planning improves business value include:

  • The elimination of redundancies in the allocation of resources to managed teams in the business or ongoing project
  • Improving the level of accuracy in resource planning, and
  • Improving the productivity of human resources as they are distributed according to their skills and capabilities.

Project managers can use enterprise resource planning to achieve their projects' specific resource planning goals and objectives.

Resource planning for teams

Resource planning for teams takes into account the resource needs of all teams involved in tasks and subtasks of a project. At the start of a project, the tasks are allocated according to the human and non-human resources available for the project. Hence, project teams receive an allocation of resources that will enable them to achieve optimal project outcomes. The resource planning process follows specific steps. The steps in the process include:

  1. Planning- to determine the nature of resources needed for the attainment of project goals
  2. Inventory available resources – meetings for all teams can help to eliminate conflict that might arise from shared resources
  3. Forecasting the demand for resources – shared information on each team's resource needs can help estimate future resource needs.
  4. Estimation of gaps – Gaps might arise when the forecasting shows that the potential demand for resources might exceed the availability of such resources
  5. Formulation of an Action Plan – the action plan will help strategize acquiring the needed resources.
  6. Implementation of the resource plan in line with the project goals and objectives
  7. Monitoring and feedback – enables continuous updates to the resource plan

Using a resource planning tool can help keep track of all variable inputs for each sprint and the entire project.

Plan to project

As a roadmap that helps project managers map the tasks and subtasks of a successful project, the project planning phase ensures that all the project steps are highlighted at the start of the project. Activities such as determining project requirements, costing, scheduling and listing deliverables, resource planning, and approval for progress to the next phase are part of the project planning phase and contribute to success. In addition, the project tasks outlined from the start enable the project teams to complete all tasks on time.

Hold a resource management meeting

Deciding on how to allocate resources to your project teams effectively might be a challenge. In this case, using Sirvez's resource planning capabilities, you can skip the risk and uncertainty of using manual processes and tools for resource planning activities. Through Sirvez's automated processes, you can increase the level of efficiency in the resource planning process. Whether you aim to manage resources at the start of the project or each sprint in the project, you can rely on Sirvez's capabilities to achieve your project's goals and objectives.