Four Steps to Follow in Resource Planning
Resource planning is like the engine of the car: in the same way the engine makes the car move from point A to point B, the resource planning is the impulse that makes it all happen in project management. It’s not enough to break down the projects into phases and activities and randomly allocate resources. It takes an efficient planning to deliver a project on time and on budget.
Resource planning implies allocation and utilization of the available resources to ensure the project delivery will meet the specific conditions agreed with the customer. To do that, there are some basic steps to follow, regardless the size of your company or the complexity of your project:
- Identify roles and skills levels necessary to complete the project – based on the project tasks you can decide what skills are mandatory.
- Estimate the quantity of necessary resources to complete the project – based on the time budget agreed with the customer, you can estimate how many hours are needed for each skill to complete the project’s tasks.
- Check what resources are available with the required skills and within the project’s timeframe.
- Allocate resources for each project phase and make a project schedule.
After these steps are followed, it’s time to plan the unplanned: consider variables and assess risks. We all know very well that not always things go as planned and unforeseen situations occur. So, there might be some details that you need to check when you make allocations on your projects:
- Public holidays: if your team team members are located across the globe, workdays might be slightly different, and these minor details could have an underestimated impact in an emergency situation.
- Contract end dates: unless all your project team members are on unlimited contracts, you might want to check whether someone is due to leave in the middle of the project.
- Hourly rates: if your people are in different countries, their rates might be different and, depending on the time required to work on your project, your budget could be affected.
Now make sure resource planning is done right and ask yourself these questions:
- Is the workload distributed in such way no one is over or under allocated?
- Am I in the budget in terms of money?
- Am I in the budget in terms of time?
If your answer to all these questions is “yes”, congrats! Your planning is perfect! If not, it’s never too late to change the situation in your favor 😊.