Resource Management Best Practices

The features of good resource management support the following functions: capacity planning, resource allocation, resource cost tracking, forecasting and analytics, resource time tracking, as well as streamlined communication. Resource management needs to provide an adequate response to resource management challenges such as skills shortages, project overlap, prolonged vacations, equipment failure, market conditions changes, etc.

1. Resource Scheduling And Planning Should Be Centralized And Streamlined. 

Resource scheduling and planning have a direct impact on the overall efficiency of resource management. The functions affect the entire workflow operations. Among the factors that need to be taken into consideration while scheduling and planning resources of any type, are: ongoing projects, resource capacity, prioritization of billable over non-billable activities, etc. To understand the big picture and find the best possible scenario, resource managers can greatly benefit from a centralized information hub where all relevant data is stored. Having a birds-eye overview of the available resource capacity can simplify the resource planning process as well as facilitate resource scheduling. 

2. Allocate The Appropriate Resources To The Appropriate Projects At The Appropriate Times. 

Allocating the right resources to the right projects at the best timing possible is what resource managers strive to achieve but often struggle with some of the aspects. Global sync is required between strategic goals, demand, available resources, capacity, and timeline. Alignment on a project and portfolio level is key to successfully allocate the most skilled workers to a project in high demand. To ensure delivery within budget and time, it is crucial to break down all capabilities to fulfill the requirements of both Portfolio and Project managers. 

3. Forecast And Maximize The Use Of Strategic Resources.

Using resources in the most efficient way means that resource managers need to allocate them to strategic or billable projects but retain the flexibility to re-allocate them when necessary. While maximizing resource utilization seems the most efficient way to go, it could actually lead to overburdening and low productivity levels. Best practice for resource and capacity management is to plan in advance how resources could be mobilized between non-billable to billable projects and forecast their utilization.

4. Forecasting A Resource Shortage And Bridge The Gap. 

Resource shortage or excess of resources happen all the time during a project’s life cycle. To respond to a challenge such as a resource shortfall, resource managers need to keep tabs on capacity levels and due dates. Having a plan for training and development initiatives is a best practice to respond to underutilized resources. Being able to forecast such dysfunctions of resource management is an ongoing process that needs constant tracking, monitoring, and adjusting. 

5. Pipeline Projects Should Be Forecasted And Planned For. 

Forecasting future projects requires adequate resource planning management for project delivery on time and within budget. By using historical data to make probabilistic projections for future projects, resource managers can rely on more realistic forecasts. Forecasting with such accuracy would enable creating planning and allocation of resources ahead of time and by that gain competitive advantage. 

6. Reduce Project Resource Costs By Using A Combination Of Local And Global Resources. 

Reducing project resource cost is always on the table for resource managers. Having the option to use remote workforce from low-cost countries has made resource cost optimization a feasible task. Using a global workforce also can help bring any shortage of skills available locally. The practice allows resource managers to avoid or reduce resource-leveling where distributed work creates an imbalance and could lead to either workforce overloading or lack of engagement.

7. Agree On A Strategy For Prioritizing Work Across Shared Resources. 

Quality resource management relies heavily on resources capacity and availability. Often resource managers are required to satisfy the same demand for a specific resource for different projects and within the same timeline. The solution to this challenge requires a company-wide agreement on a plan for prioritizing the assignments across the shared resources. Such resources can include people with skills in high demand or niche skills.

8. Diverse Working Styles Should Be Embraced Within The Organization And Among Resources. 

Embracing a variety of workflow methodologies on a company level provides freedom to entire teams or departments to choose a specific approach that works specifically for them. The practice of allowing diverse working styles once aligned to the strategic goals, enables better resource management efficiency. 

9. Recognize That Resource Management As A Continuous Activity.

Effective resource management is a dynamic process that requires constant communication and full transparency. Resource managers need to have a constant overview of the state of resource capacity and be able to instantly act to mitigate any emerging misunderstandings. Having a transparent resource management system where arising conflicts can be spotted ahead of time is an essential asset in the resource managers’ toolset. 

10. Report Time. 

Reporting time in resource management enables accurate resource planning and scheduling based on real performance data. Resource managers can benefit greatly from the use of that data to monitor trends in resource capacity and forecast pipeline projects.

11. Use Kanban Visualization.

Applying the Kanban visualization practice to resource management resolves the need for greater transparency on a team, portfolio, and strategic level. By visualizing work-in-progress limits on a Kanban board, for instance, resource managers receive an immediate overview into the present state of capacity levels. Through the use of highly defined Kanban board policies, Kanban visualization empowers resource managers to forecast when there would be free capacity in the system to take on a new assignment.

What Is the Definition of Resource Management? 

Resource management is the efficient and effective management and utilization of an organization’s resources. Resource management includes resource planning and scheduling, capacity assessment, prioritization, and allocation of resources in the most effective way. Resources can be workforce (note they shouldn’t be treated as such though), technology, equipment, finances, inventory, etc. The practice of resource management allows reaching maximum efficiency by meaningful utilization of the company’s resources.

What Are the Benefits of Resource Management Best Practices?

The benefits of resources management best practices range from optimized resource utilization planning to realistic resource capacity forecasting. A list of the advantages of the resource management best practices is included below. 

  • Enable utilization planning 
  • Enable centralized resource scheduling 
  • Allow effective resource utilization  
  • Reduce resource costs 
  • Respond to resource shortages 
  • Enable data-driven forecasts 

What Are the Capabilities of Effective Resource Management Software? 

  • Visibility: The capability provides transparency over resources and brings visibility over capacity, demand, as well as capacity distribution. This enables more accurate planning, scheduling, and allocation of resources.  
  • Leveling and Allocation: With the capability to have a global view into the current state of resource capacity and their availability, resource managers can bridge any resource gaps. 
  • Forecasting: The powerful forecasting features allow insights into the expected resource capacity, performance trends, cost reductions, optimization of resource utilization, etc. 
  • Progress and Time Tracking: The capability of time tracking allows monitoring of reported time and work progress, and provides insights into the actual resource performance. Time and progress tracking enables realistic planning and scheduling for future projects execution. 
  • Automation: The capabilities allow automation of resource management requests, resource utilization, and allocation. Automation reduces administrative tasks and drives an optimized delivery. 

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