Resource Management Definition

Resource management is the practice of efficiently managing an organization’s resources. Resource management includes planning, scheduling, and allocating financial, inventory, workforce, technology, and other resources in the most effective way possible. The practice allows reaching maximum efficiency by meaningful utilization of the company’s resources.

Why Is Resource Management Important? 

Resource management is an integral part of each project execution. Therefore, the efficient and proper management of resources is of crucial importance for a project’s success. Some of the main reasons resource management is critical are listed below: 

1.Minimize the project resource costs: Efficient resource management enables you to allocate the right resources to the corresponding project and, by that, accelerate its completion within time and budget. In addition, you can even cut project costs by utilizing the right mix of resources from low-cost countries and local resources. 

2. Improve resource utilization: Through resource management analysis and reporting, you can gain valuable insights into the expected utilization of your resources. Use that information to make informed decisions about the state of your resource utilization and how to improve. 

3. Measures project efficiency: Drawing conclusions based on resource management clarifies what’s needed to execute future projects. By measuring the utilization of resources and ROI, you can plan more effectively and maximize your project efficiency. 

4. Optimize skills allocation: Resource management allows managers to make more accurate forecasts on resource demand. By analyzing the existing skills capacity and understanding the future demand, resource managers are empowered to identify room for improvement in terms of capacity and demand.

How Do Kanban Boards Help Resource Management? 

Kanban boards help resource management in achieving transparency across projects and portfolios. Some of the Kanban board features that help resource management are listed below. 

  • Visualization: Through their visualization capabilities, Kanban boards enable a quick overview of the progress of each project, revealing potential bottlenecks in the process. 
  • Transparency: Using Kanban boards to map a project or initiative allows you to understand the actual capacity of your team and make informed predictions based on those observations. 
  • Workload overview: Applying work-in-progress (WIP) limits to your Kanban boards will help you minimize the possibility of overloading your resources and offer key insights into the workload. 
  • Dependencies management: By visualizing your projects and tasks on Kanban boards, you will clearly understand the various dependencies on a team or portfolio level. 
  • Visual signals: Powerful Kanban boards allow the use of numerous visual signals. You can use those elements to signal an emerging external dependency or give a specific label to a resource in shortage. 

Can Resources for a Project Be Distributed Based on Kanban Visualizations?

Yes, project resources can be distributed using Kanban boards visualizations for maximizing resource management efficiency. The benefit of Kanban boards visualizations, such as the ability to see workflow weaknesses at a glance, allows resource managers to have a transparent view of the work process. As a result, it becomes easier to identify where resources are needed or abundant in the workflow and distribute them efficiently without constant status updates. 

What Is the Most Efficient Method for Managing Project Resources?

The best way to manage project resources effectively is to find the right resource management tool to consolidate and visualize your resource capacity and the actual demand. Establishing a balance between the two is essential for maximizing your project efficiency. Below you can find a list of the steps to follow. 

1.Visualize all your project resources: By consolidating and visualizing your resources in a single place, you can quickly get an overview of the distribution of work, resources availability, capacity and plan more accurately around these dimensions. 

2. Ensure collaboration: While establishing company-wide transparency, you will allow and encourage your teams to constantly collaborate and resolve resource management challenges. 

3. Establish clear work prioritization policies: Having clear prioritization rules for shared resources eliminates the possibility of overloading them and reduces overall work delivery (throughput). 

4. Plan work in alignment with strategic goals: Having the same level of transparency across your organization will ensure that resources are being utilized to achieve the same objectives. This will also boost the level of trust among the team. 

5. Apply automation: Automation capabilities support faster delivery through optimization of resources utilization and by reducing administrative tasks.  

6. Track your project resources: Having the right tools will keep track of your resources with punctual accuracy. This way, resource managers are empowered to manage their project resources effectively and make decisions and forecasts based on real data. 

Following these best practices to resource management lays the foundation for effective planning, scheduling, and allocation of resources across projects and portfolios. In addition, the approach empowers resource managers to use data to make better decisions while optimizing the utilization of resources. 

What Are the Resource Management Components?

The main resource management components are resource scheduling, utilization, forecasting, capacity planning, and reporting. They all relate to planning, timing, and resources. Establishing a balance between these elements is fundamental for creating a healthy resource management flow, supporting increased profitability. 

Resource Scheduling

Resource scheduling refers to identifying and allocating resources to specific projects or tasks for a particular period. The technique requires a deeper understanding of the skills to allocate the best set of skills, so the work is completed within the predetermined time and budget. 

Resource Utilization and Allocation

Resource utilization is a resource management technique that compares the resources utilization on different projects and their availability. The metric provides insights into the actual resource capacity over a period of time. Resource managers can use the indicator to prevent overutilization or transfer resources from non-billable to billable utilization.

Resource Forecasting

Resource forecasting refers to planning future projects while maintaining a healthy balance of resources across all projects. The forecasting technique allows you to make informed decisions about project delivery, deploying the right resources to the respective projects, and identifying potential risks.

Resource Leveling and Capacity Planning

Resource leveling and capacity planning are the processes of planning and allocating resources to optimize their utilization in a meaningful way. Through capacity planning reports, resource managers are better informed about skills and availability, allowing them to forecast future project delivery better. It also ensures that there isn’t unused capacity or resource overburdening.

Business Intelligence and Reports

Reporting is key for maximizing resource utilization. Gathering and analyzing real-time or historical data are used to support strategic decisions and allow continuous monitoring of the resources management.

What Are the Advantages to Resource Management?

The advantages of resource management range from having an overview of resources, better planning and deploying resources, to supporting strategic decisions. Below you can find a list of the most common advantages of resource management: 

  • Enables utilization planning 
  • Creates transparency 
  • Prevents overburdening 
  • Prevents inefficiently utilized capacity 
  • Enables data-driven forecasts 
  • Minimizes project resource costs 
  • Helps measure project efficiency 

What Are the Best Tools for Resource Management?

The best tools for resource management allow you to centralize all data into a single place, enable informed planning where resources match demand, timing, and budget, and support you in creating data-driven forecasts. Below you can find a list of some of the best resource management solutions on the market: 

  • Kanbanize 
  • Saviom 
  • Silverbucket 
  • Hub Planner 
  • Mavenlink 
  • Runn

What Are the Resource Management Skills You Need?

The project resource management skills you need to excel as a manager focus on understanding both portfolio managers and resources. Here’s a list of the must-have skillset of potent resource managers:

1. Conflict Resolution: It’s the role of the resource managers to clear any misunderstandings such as assigning resources to multiple projects for the same period, misinterpreted strategic goals, wrong expectations. Having a manager skilled in conflict resolution brings everyone on the same page and finds the right solutions at the right time.

2. Communication Skills: Resource managers have exceptional communication skills. On one hand, it’s their role to gather all the requirements for resources from project managers and, on the other, to communicate these requirements to the actual workforce.

3. Proactive Planning: In their efforts to deliver projects on time and within budget, resource managers need to plan proactively. They need to foresee the correct resource allocation at the right timing and quickly distribute the resources to fulfill the demand.

4. Domain Knowledge: Resource managers need to be equipped with adequate industry knowledge to fulfill specific roles and requirements. In addition, they should be able to shortlist the right resource for the job, which requires a deeper understanding of the service domain.

5. Negotiation Skills: To overcome any project challenges such as resources shortages, resource managers should have good negotiating skills to satisfy the demand.

6. Risk Management: Risk management skills are a must-have for resource managers. With challenges arising all the time during projects, they need to plan in advance, considering risks such as unplanned vacations, prolonged sick leaves, etc.

What Are the Consequences of Poor Resource Management Strategy? 

Understating resource management often leads to miscommunication and affects employee performance. Find some of the underlined consequences of poor resource management explained below.

  • Unsatisfactory Employee Performance: One of the critical indicators of poor resource management can be found in the low performance of your team. Not acknowledging their interests and skills or overloading them with work can lead to low engagement, project delays, and overall customer dissatisfaction. 
  • Unchallenged or Overburdened Workforce: Challenging people at work proves to keep them engaged and supports productivity. However, overloading your team members is certainly something you want to avoid at all costs. It puts employee turnover on the table due to the high risk of burnout. 
  • Miscommunication: By lacking transparency and running multiple projects simultaneously, miscommunications are almost inevitable. Enterprise-wide transparency helps mitigate this risk of misunderstandings by keeping everyone on the same page. 

What Are the Examples of Resource Management? 

Depending on the sector, resource management can include various dimensions. Find some of the examples of resource management and what it means for different industries.

  • Human resources management: Refers to managing people, including processes such as recruitment, onboarding, training, and performance. 
  • Natural resource management: Refers to managing natural systems such as air, soil, water, forestry, wildlife and maintaining their integrity. 
  • Project resource management: Refers to allocating resources such as workforce, assets, technologies, and others to a specific project.  
  • Inventory resource management: Refers to administration, monitoring, and control of inventory. 
  • Aviation resource management: Refers to managing flight planning, aircraft maintenance, flight operations.

Which Types of Businesses Require Resource Management? 

All types of businesses need resource management. Whether you’re a freelancer, a small company, or a global enterprise, you’d need resources to work with, and those resources need to be handled well so that work is done most efficiently. 

If you run a company in the construction or pharmaceutical industry, resources include skilled workers, specific equipment, materials, etc. If you’re in the software development niche, you need to manage software developers, hardware, office supplies, etc. The restaurant and food services industry also handles many resources such as workforce, food, beverages, suppliers, etc.  

Having proper resources management in place can help all of the above by streamlining planning, scheduling, allocating, and forecasting resources from labor and materials to time and cost. By that, companies are empowered to perform better, deliver faster, and optimize their profitability. 

What Are the Resource Management Trends?

The future of resource management revolves around using advanced technologies such as cloud, AI, machine learning, and the use of business intelligence to analyze data and make planning, forecasting, and reporting more accurate. Some of the contributions that advanced technology brings to resource management are listed below: 

  • Free-up time for resource managers 
  • Shared access to a centralized information hub 
  • Simplified planning and allocation of resources 
  • Enhanced collaboration  
  • Advanced reporting 

Some of the innovations that are on the rise in the resource management field include: 

1. Simple scheduling and planning tools. 

Scheduling and planning are vital duties of resource managers. The activities are time-consuming but also very dynamic. For example, equipment failure or an extended vacation may prompt an emergency to re-schedule the initial plans. Hence, resource managers can benefit significantly from simplified and straightforward scheduling and planning tools where information is immediately synced and visible to everyone. 

2. Using Business Intelligence to derive reports and maximize utilization. 

Artificial intelligence can contribute a lot to every aspect of resource management, from planning and utilization to forecasting and reporting. Financial planning, for instance, thanks to the evolution of resource management tools, can now consider greater amounts of data in their reports, resulting in more precise forecasts and maximized utilization of resources. 

3. Centralized access and sharing of information through IoT. 

Real-time sharing of data and access to a single information hub through IoT-connected devices would improve data consolidation and analysis. As a result, processes such as planning and scheduling would become simplified and more efficient. In addition, real-time information about inventory shortages can prompt timely actions to fulfill the needs so that delivery is not interrupted.

What Are Resources for Business Management? 

Resources for business management are all the elements a business needs to run a business. These can include workforce, equipment, materials, finances, and time, among others. Resources cover all the needs a business has for completing its day-to-day and long-term goals. Acquiring and managing those resources is the duty of resource managers, trained in project management and performance improvement. It’s in their hands to monitor, plan, schedule, and utilize resources effectively to maximize business efficiency.

Try Kanbanize for Free

Subscribe to our blog. Get each new piece of content straight into your mailbox.

Read insightful articles from top Agile/Lean thought leaders and our experienced team.