Resource Planning - What is it? How do I do it right?

Resource Planning - What is it? How do I do it right?

It can be overwhelming to juggle multiple projects and deadlines with limited people, using just excel spreadsheets. In today's rapidly changing business environment, the key to future projects success lies in your ability to get the most work done with the available resources.

Dive into understanding project resource planning and how it ties into your ability to consistently deliver projects successfully. This blog also recommends some resource management tools that make it easier to manage project resources and create resource plans.

What is Project Resource Planning?

Before we take a look at the best ways to optimize resource planning and resource allocation in your organization, let's understand what resource planning is and why it is needed.

What is the definition of resource planning process

What is the definition of resource planning process

Resource management and resource planning is the process by which project tasks are allocated to human and non-human resources in a way that maximizes resource usage in ongoing projects and ensures that the project stays on track.

Simply put, in a team, resource planning involves assigning the right tasks to the right team members at the right time. It ensures your projects have a superior on-time delivery rate without any compromise in the quality of work, delays or conflicts. When it comes to resource planning and allocating resources, there is no right or wrong. It all depends on what works for your team.

Contrary to popular belief, planning resources is actually one of the most challenging tasks in any organization. Assigning the right job to the right person without affecting the project's flow requires diligent planning. This is where the role of resource planning tools like eResource Scheduler becomes crucial.

A resource planning tool eliminates the guesswork from resource allocation and optimizes the process, thereby helping you enjoy increased team efficiency. It also saves you from poor resource planning, which can derail your success ratio and decrease overall profitability.

How to build a resource plan – Your key to efficient resource allocation

How to build a resource plan – Your key to efficient resource allocation

Just like you wouldn't go on a road trip without a map, you cannot expect the success of your project without having the right resource plan.

What is it? The resource planning process identifies all the resources – both human and non-human resources required for a project. It lists out the different types of resource requirements and their quantity for completing the tasks.

What is the resource management planning process?

What is the resource management planning process?

We would like you to answer this question – what is the most valuable asset of your organization? Yes, it's your employees. It's the skill set and knowledge of your employees and their relationship with customers that determine your business' success.

This is why planning your human resources play a crucial role in determining the success of your projects and winning the trust and loyalty of clients.

The human resource planning includes eight key steps:

  • Identifying project goals

  • Analyzing current resources

  • Forecasting future requirements

  • Identifying gaps in resources

  • Allocating resources to the right tasks

  • Implementing a resource plan to tighten any gaps

  • Monitoring and feedback

Simply put, human resource planning ensures that you have the right people at the right time.

Follow the steps listed to build a thorough resource plan.

1. Understand client and project requirements

The entire resource management process starts by gaining a deep and proficient understanding of the client and project requirements. Understanding the project scope is necessary so an appropriate resource plan can be made with the correct timeline and budget.

2. List the number of resources required for the project

Start by listing all the resources needed to complete the project. This includes human resources like coders, testers, front-end developers, back-end developers, designers, etc. It also includes non-human resources like equipment—PCs, printers, and other capital machinery or raw materials.

You have to make a comprehensive list of all the resources required for the project from start to finish.

3. Estimate the number of hours for certain tasks

The next step in resource planning is to estimate the hours needed from each resource. For example, if it's a coding project, you must mention the number of developers you need along with the estimated hours for the project.

4. Develop a strategy to bridge any resource gaps

The resource plan needs to include ways to bridge any skill gaps. Does the project necessitate training of existing members, or does one need to procure resources? The resource management plan needs to outline who the decision-making authority lies with. Clarity on these topics will ensure smooth operations as the project progresses.

5. Draft a resource schedule

Now that you've compiled all the information, the next step is to build a detailed resource scheduling plan. The resource plan contains all the following info:

  • Resources needed for the project

  • Resource availability

  • Timeframe needed from each resource

  • Quantity of resources per week/month

  • Identification of resource gaps, constraints, and conflicts

  • Contingency plan for obstacles and unforeseen changes

6. Allocate the right resources to each task

It can be cumbersome to align resources to the right jobs if one has no visibility into the entire resource pool. New technology, like a resource management tool or app, makes this process quicker and error-free. How? Most resource planning software offers a centralized database of all employees, their skill sets, pay scales, availability, and work preferences. Managers can use this data to create a resource plan that matches people with their interests and skill set.

7. Identify how to monitor and control resources

Once the resources have been assigned tasks, it's essential to track their progress. This doesn't mean that a resource manager needs to micro-manage the resources. A predefined criteria for measurement needs to be developed and followed.

8. Conduct post-project analysis

Upon project completion, gather the involved managers and team to conduct a thorough post-project analysis. This will help evaluate the effectiveness of the resource plans and identify areas for improvement. It's also crucial to revisit and review the resource plan regularly, as it's a living document that should be altered so it remains effective.

Why is Resource Planning Critical?

Why is Resource Planning Critical?

Resource management and planning are essential parts of all businesses, whether large enterprises or small startups. Whether your team is working on software or constructing a new building, resource planning plays a crucial role in determining the success of the project.

When you over-allocate resources for a project, they are likely to waste time and drain your profits. On the other hand, under-allocation of resources for a project leads to missing critical milestones and a drop in the project output.

Apart from assigning jobs to every resource, the resource manager has to ensure that he/she is allocating the right task to the right person. The project manager has to analyze the skills of each team member and previous experience and assign them to the job that matches their strengths.

Additionally, resource planners have to avoid resource conflicts like the under or over-allocation of resources.

20 Benefits of Resource Management

Benefits of Resource Management

When executed properly, resource planning and resource management can deliver some powerful benefits to you and your team members. Here's a look at some key advantages of having a resource management plan:

  1. Increases efficient utilization of resources

  2. Prevents over or under-allocation of resources

  3. Ensures enough resources are available for projects and whether there's a need to procure resources

  4. Manages resource leveling

  5. Helps businesses understand project capacity and predict and plan future resource requests

  6. Boost project efficiency – as you allocate people with the right skill sets to the right tasks

  7. Prepares businesses to remain agile and manage changing requirements

  8. Reduces project scheduling errors like double-booking or resources not having the right skill sets

  9. Adapts faster to changes in the workforce and industry

  10. Improves project quality and delivery because there's a skill set match that reduces delays, improves communication, and ultimately leads to higher-quality deliverables.

  11. Encourages honing the skills of your current workforce to meet emerging and required skills

  12. Gives you the competitive advantage of completing your projects on time without any delays or budget overruns, as you have access to real time data on costing, resource utilization, resource capacity, and individual task progress

  13. Ensures alignment of resources with overall business goals

  14. Help with prioritization of tasks (and between project managers), as sometimes there can be multiple requests for a special resource

  15. Keeps project budget in check by providing real time visibility on resource costs

  16. Improves delivery of project schedules. With a resource management software, team members are automatically notified about any project schedule changes or project requirements. Staff can easily request time off and resource managers can stay up to date on individual tasks progress.

  17. Helps adhere to any regulatory requirements

  18. Fosters open communication and collaboration between employees and other managers

  19. Stores key information regarding project progress and key metrics in one place

  20. Increases transparency as everyone is on the same page, and this aids the decision-making process

investing in top notch staff management software

Which Businesses Benefit the Most from Resource Planning Tools?

The versatile nature of resource management software like eResource Scheduler (eRS) makes it suitable for businesses across verticals and niches. Some of the major industries that benefit from the usage of resource planning tools include:

  • Software development
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution
  • Construction
  • Industrial services
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Professional services
  • Retail

Top 3 Resource Planning Software in the Market

Below, we highlight some of the best and most affordable resource management software currently available in the market space.

eRS

eResource scheduler

eResource Scheduler, commonly known as eRS, is one tool specifically designed to streamline resource management and scheduling. It caters to all types of organizations, regardless of their size and industry. eRS can assist resource managers schedule and manage resources, and track resource capacity.

The software features a robust set of features, including drag-and-drop scheduling, GANTT charts, resource utilization rates, and timesheet tracking. Project management teams can use eRS to track overtime hours and calculate accurate payroll and benefits.

eRS is extremely easy to use and extremely configurable (no, you don't need to know how to code). The resource management software integrates with popular calendar applications like Google Calendar and Outlook, keeping everyone's schedules synchronized. It also offers an API for seamless integration with existing project management tools.

Discover the power of a project management office

monday.com

monday.com

monday.com, a premier resource management software, makes managing resources and schedules a breeze. This cloud-based resource management tool will help one create a detailed resource plan. This plan will highlight the necessary project resources and key performance indicators (KPIs). The software also allows one to customize workflows according to their project needs. The centralized dashboard can be used to communicate requirements to team members, share project documents, and leave feedback via comments.

ConnecTeam

ConnecTeam

Here is another popular resource management tool that can be used by almost any company in any industry worldwide. ConnecTeam shines as project management software that drives employee engagement, performance, communication, and teamwork.

This resource management program allows a project manager to build task checklists, track employee timesheets, build a schedule, and share team information via project boards.

FAQs about a resource planning software

Have more doubts about the resource planning process and creating a resource plan? We've have addressed some of the most common queries.

What is the purpose of the resource planning?

The purpose of resource planning is to be able to maximize resource efficiency and utilization. This will allow you to meet project goals, both in terms of delivery and budget. Resource planning also increases visibility into how resources are utilized and how their usage can be improved. When this is done well, it can give companies a competitive advantage against competitors and they will be able to better serve their clients.

What should be included in resource planning?

Here are the must-haves for a project resource plan:

  • Outline of the project scope
  • Breakdown of task lists
  • List of resources required
  • Suitable timeline
  • Budget
  • Contingency plan
  • Communication plan

How do you write a resource plan for a project?

You can use the steps we highlighted above to create a resource plan. You can also use a project resource plan template to ensure that your plan covers all the necessary details. Resource management tools like eRS can make creating a resource plan simpler.

We highly recommend that you involve all stakeholders while creating a project resource plan.

Optimize Resource Planning with eResource Scheduler

eResource Scheduler is an all-in-one project management and resource management software that guides you through each and every step of the resource planning process, providing stakeholders, resource managers, project managers, clients, and other members of the team with all the real time data and visibility they on project progress.

Several leading businesses and project managers rely on eResource Scheduler to plan resources, assign tasks to the right people, manage project schedules, monitor progress, and efficiently complete work.

Schedule a free demo of the eResource Scheduler today and discover how it can maximize your project management efficiency and improve resource utilization rates while delivering accurate results time and time again.

Ready to enhance your resourcefulness skills and excel in your career

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Marketing Consultant
Nikita Sharma
Nikita Sharma, an impassioned Marketing Consultant at eResource Scheduler, has been shaping the digital marketing landscape since January 2021. With a rich background in web development and digital marketing strategy, she's a beacon of innovation in the field. Nikita has achieved remarkable milestones, including reaching over 1 million social media users for the Jaipur International Film Festival and 3 million-plus SERP impressions for Enbraun Technologies. Her tenure at Nexa as a Digital Marketing Strategist in Dubai, certified by Google and Hubspot, underscores her profound expertise. Nikita's educational journey in Computer Science from Rajasthan Technical University and advanced programming courses have been pivotal in her career. She exemplifies dedication, creativity, and a deep understanding of digital trends, making significant impacts across diverse industries.

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