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Plan, estimate, allocate and manage project management resources

Claude Palmarini
Plan, estimate, allocate and manage project management resources

What is a resource?

Resources can be of different kinds: human, material or financial.

Resource management is essential to the smooth running of a project. Their availability can have a direct impact on the schedule and budget... Hence the importance of planning.

Why plan resources?

The short answer is: because they're not available all the time! Certain materials or tools, for example, will only be delivered on date X, so it's impossible to start the related tasks beforehand. Or certain project team members are only assigned to the project until date Y, after which they embark on another project.

Resource planning has several advantages:

  • Achieve objectives efficiently, with a focus on optimization and effectiveness.
  • Anticipate issues in the event of unavailability and plan for alternatives.
  • Minimize conflicts with other project leaders who need the same resources as you.

This means knowing when and how resources will be added, managed and released from the project.

What are the resource planning processes?

Here are the key processes and how they work:

  • Resource management planning:
    Involves establishing the approach to resource management, including methods for estimating, procuring, managing and using resources.
  • Estimating resource requirements:
    Involves assessing the resource requirements for the project, using different estimation techniques. It involves defining the type and quantity of all resources needed to complete the project work to the customer's expectations.
  • Obtaining resources:
    This involves recruiting the project team (and possibly integrating new staff) and acquiring the necessary equipment, materials and other resources. This process also helps us manage the risks associated with resource unavailability. Following the resource management plan (see first point) will help to ensure that we have all the resources we need for the project.
  • Team development:
    This involves acquiring knowledge and developing skills, strengthening interactions between team members and the work environment to optimize project performance. The aim is to create a safe environment, conducive to cooperation and initiatives to enable innovation.
  • Managing the team:
    At this stage, it's a matter of regularly assessing the performance of team members, and adjusting according to any discrepancies observed. Management also includes resolving problems and changes within the team.
    This is a good time to remember that the project leader acts as a servant leader: he is the leader of his team, and he is also at its disposal to enable it to perform at its best.
  • Managing resources:
    Ensure that resources are used efficiently and according to plan, and take corrective action where necessary.

What are the benefits of resource management?

  • Optimization: call on the right resource at the right time
  • Efficiency: do more with the right allocation of resources
  • Value creation: optimization + efficiency = optimization of time, therefore enhanced profits
  • Tracking: forecast vs. actual
  • Collaborative transparency: everyone knows who is busy doing what, and for how long.

In conclusion

Resource management can have an impact on many aspects of a project, and as such needs to be assessed and planned upstream.

This ensures that you have the right information at the right time, and that you can adapt more easily in the event of change. Collaboration tools exist to facilitate transparency with all stakeholders to ensure healthy collaboration.

While the approach presented here is very general in its treatment of resources, let's not forget that human resources deserve specific management: in the life cycle of a project, it's the people who make the difference.

Sound resource management will ensure optimal project completion, while providing a safe and innovative environment.

To find out more :

Project management: assign and manage resources

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