No project can ever get completed without a resource. Whether that is in an office, factory, warehouse, or any type of business. Similarly, web and software projects have resources allocated to complete the job. Resource management is essentially the process of planning how you’ll use resources to maximize their effectiveness for your project. This involves identifying the key people needed for the duration of the project and properly allocating them to complete the tasks.
In my role, as a Project Manager, my main goal is to deliver the project on time and within budget. I need to understand which resource is the right fit for certain tasks. I can't assign resources that won't be a good fit, if I do that I will decrease the chances of the project being a success because the right skillset will need to make sure I'm resourcing the right people, how much percentage of their time I will need. Resource management can also help improve efficiencies within companies because they maximize resources effectively in different departments. Effective resource management can also help improve productivity because projects will run smoothly if proper planning is implemented to allocate the correct resources.
The resource management process can be made up of however many stages that are important to the health of the project but typically there are 3-4 stages otherwise known as the resource management life cycle. Essentially these stages mirror the lifecycle of a project from inception to delivery.
Once the scope and requirements have been locked down, we need to be able to plan for resources to work on the project. For example, we know our project will consist of requirement gathering and discovery, UX design, development, marketing automation, and testing. Therefore we know we need the following resources:
Resource utilization is the measurement of how many hours are assigned to a person. Knowing your resource utilization is critical in understanding costs, and adjusting the project plan as needed. Once we know which person we need from which discipline we will measure how billable hours we will need for each person. This usually stems from the original estimate. So for example:
Once utilization has been planned we can then go ahead and schedule that resource in the calendar and essentially book their time, ahead of time. So from the example above we can see I need a UX designer for 80 hours. I will now book 2 weeks for this person in the calendar and ensure it aligns with their other project work and the general organizational needs of the company. The use of project tracking software such as Jira or Microsoft DevOps can help schedule this capacity.
In conclusion, resources are the largest contributing factor to a successful project. Use your resources effectively and you will most likely deliver your project on time and with the promised set of requirements. Resource management is a skill that project managers must be able to master. Get the best out of your resources and they'll in turn get the best out of your project. Once you have a stable resource management lifecycle, capturing your long term strategic needs and business objectives becomes far easier.
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