Project management is not easy at best of times but it can be especially tricky when you have many resources to manage as a result. It’s a big issue that needs to be handled delicately because if you don’t get it right; you probably won’t succeed with your project. So how do you determine resources in the project and make sure you allocate them appropriately? Here are five things you need to consider when determining resources in projects and tips on how to make the most of your project.
#1: Remember the three principles of allocation
First, it’s important to start any project by understanding the objective of the project. In terms of resource allocation, there tend to be three guiding principles that should guide you:
- Creating real value for the clients
- Creating real value for your business
- Creating real value for your employees
As you can see, it is all about creating value. Value creation matters because it ultimately motivates teams to work better. When the team is motivated, the clients of the project will experience better results. The happier the clients are with the project, the better it will be for the business, which again will then help motivate the employees further.
In essence, the whole process of resource allocation should always start with value creation. If your resources are able to add to the value (either for the team, the client or the business), then you are doing something right. If not, then you probably need to rethink your current strategy.
#2: Avoid playing it safe
It’s important to make sure that resources are used efficiently. The biggest problem for many teams is over- or under allocating resources – and more often than not, it is the former that’s the real issue. The reason over allocating is such a big issue is down to a simple thing called ‘playing it safe’. Management is often thinking about cushioning a project – giving it a few extra days, adding one more person to the team, using one more software solution.
But the problem comes with the mind-set this brings about in the team. It forces everyone to think about the worst-case scenarios and prepare each action with that in mind. This can stifle productivity; instead of doing things, people think about cushioning the project and avoiding failure. When allocating resources, you should stop playing it safe and refer to value creation. If it doesn’t add to the real value, it’s not useful.
#3: Availability of the resources
It might seem a little obvious but you must think about the availability of resources. The reason this matters is because you often don’t have a linear use of resources – on one day you might need more resources than on the others. Furthermore, it’s an important part of the planning of the project. You can’t start thinking about the resources you need in two weeks only closer to the date.
Any organisation that deals with project management has to deal with resource availability. The best way to do it is by having a resource calendar for everything – including labour. The calendar should have the exact availability by the hour if needed.
#4: The usability of software and tools
Technology can be an important addition to resource allocation. Not only will it make things like resource planning easier with the help of calendar tools, it can also ensure you are on top of the most efficient use of resources. Project management tools should be considered but they shouldn’t be an automatic response to resource management problems.
The important thing to note when using software is that it has to fit the project in hand. Not all programs are suitable for your specific projects. Therefore, the use of software always has to start with understanding how it adds real value to the project. Does it make reaching the objectives easier? More importantly, does it add or take from resource allocation? Even there are various apps available which can provide huge help is finance and resource allocations process. Some software or apps can be free but others might require some paid subscriptions. It will be a great idea to check online at VoucherBin.co.uk for various voucher codes you can use for particular software or project management tools to cut down the cost.
#5: Create a routine of check and balances
Resource allocation should be routine. But every good routine has checks and balances built into it. It’s crucial to make sure the strategy and plan are constantly rechecked and adjusted – if things need changing, then this must happen effortlessly.
This often means not relying on software alone. It can be helpful to have a process in place that manually checks the resources every now and again to ensure things are operating smoothly. There also has to be a human element to knowing when the allocating is working and not. For example, people must be able to announce that they are struggling even if the routine procedure is working as intended. By having a proper checks and balance system in place, you ensure problems are noticed on time and not only after they become a problem.
Project management is one of the hardest things to get right. Most of the difficulties stem from resource allocation. However, if you consider the above and take note of the tips, you might find your resource allocation enhanced and improved.