Good management of resources is among the main factors to making projects successful. The chances to have problems with deadlines, quality and certainly budgeting are higher when initiatives do not have the resources they need when they need them. In this article, we’re going to look at 6 essential processes for your project to have the resources it needs, on time and in the right place.
1 – Plan Resource Management
This consists of determining how to estimate, acquire, manage and use physical and team resources. The Resource Management Plan will contain information such as: who will be responsible for contracting or allocating the people needed and who will be responsible for authorizing purchase or rentals of equipment, physical spaces and other resources. This process should guarantee that sufficient resources are available throughout project execution, considering that many of them can be subject to shortages or competition for use by other projects happening at the same time.
PMBOK, a guide published by the Project Management Institute (PMI), furthermore suggests that a Team Charter be produced at this stage. It will contain the team values, communication guidelines, decision-making criteria and processes, conflict resolution processes, meeting guidelines, and team agreements.
2 – Estimate Resources for Activities
This process is used to find which resources are needed and the amounts required for each activity. The type, amount and characteristics of human resources, materials, equipment and supplies necessary to execute the project should be specified. This process can be done periodically throughout the project, as needed. It is essential that the project’s list of activities and their attributes be available to carry out this process. In other words, it is important that the WBS (Work-Breakdown Structure) be available, which will be extremely helpful in understanding the project and determining its needs. Use of a specialized project management tool, such as SoftExpert Project, makes both the WBS and production of estimates easier and more accurate.
Some of the factors that it is always good to consider when making estimates are the company’s environmental factors, location and resource availability, team member skills, organizational culture, data from previous estimates, and market conditions.
3 – Acquire Resources
This is the process of procuring team members, facilities, equipment, materials, supplies and the other resources needed to execute the project. Resources that already belong to the company or are part of the human resources staff, are part of the so-called internal resources group. Nevertheless, it is important to stress the need to negotiate and make schedules with the areas involved so that there are no conflicts. It is moreover necessary to consider that project managers may not have direct control over resources, including internal ones. Resources that are not held by the organization should be subject to identification of suppliers, pricing, and execution of contracts or definitive acquisition, as required.
For successful execution of the resource procurement process, it is fundamental that information be available on existing resources, including availability, competency levels and experience. The use of an integrated tool like SoftExpert Competence allows for easier and precise selection of human resources for a project. Organizational structure and geographic location must also be considered; and depending on the nature of the activity, virtual teams can be formed.
4 – Develop the Team
Resource management also includes looking at whether there are any gaps in team competencies and working to eliminate them. Subcontracting can always be used to fulfill specific needs. However, you need to keep in mind any future needs or even applicability to other concurrent projects. At any rate, you should avoid focusing on the project objectives alone. Teams whose skills are developed better and whose members are motivated tend to have lower rates of turnover. And in the end, this means preserving accumulated knowledge and experience.
5 – Team Management
The project manager should try to keep the team motivated by maintaining a collaborative and inspirational environment. To do this, it is important to constantly monitor team development, providing feedback and making changes to optimize performance. Conflict resolution requires special attention. Any conflicts could affect the environment and impact the climate on the team. Throughout the project’s life, good results and achievements should be celebrated and rewarded. Underwhelming performance will also require more oversight. Always be aware of chances to pose challenges to team members who are performing well. This will keep them motivated and will serve as an example.
6 – Control Resources
The resources needed to execute the project should be available at the right time, in the right amount and at the right place. Likewise, they should be released as soon as they are no longer being used. Resource Control should take place during the entire project lifecycle and is aimed at monitoring whether what is actually happening is the same as what was planned. If the real use of resources is different, corrective actions should be taken as soon as possible. This will prevent the project’s progress from being affected. The use of reports generated by solutions such as SoftExpert Project is a huge help when it comes to controlling and managing resources.
Have you seen how important resource management is to the success of your projects? Then take this opportunity to learn more about this and other relevant subjects by visiting our article library on our website.