The success or failure of a project is largely dependent on the resources allocated to it. For resource allocation in project management, PMs have to keep an eye on all the aspects of the project.
Resources in project management include employees, equipment, budget facilities, etc. Optimizing the use of these resources is the first and foremost important step in project management. The limited number of resources have to be utilized in such a way so as to maximize return on investment (ROI) and minimize losses.
Amongst all the resources necessary for the successful completion of a project, human resources or people take the top spot as the most essential resources in project management. As such, utilizing the full extent of people’s skillset and making sure that the right people are assigned to the right task is a demanding job.
Project managers have to take into consideration a number of variables to make sure resource allocation in project management is inch-perfect. In this article, we will give you a rundown of resource allocation in project management and its specifics.
What Is Resource Allocation?
First things first, what is resource allocation? Resource allocation means identifying the best people for the job and assigning them tasks necessary for the completion of a project. It also implies monitoring the performance of the said resource and reallocating a different resource if needed.
Resource allocation in project management aims to make sure that the workflow progresses smoothly and the project is completed on time, without any hiccups.
Since resource allocation is a critical part of project management, PMs have to carefully assess the resources and assign the best resources to get the job done efficiently.
What Makes Resource Allocation an Integral Part of Project Management?
Assigning the right resources for a task is a critical step in project management, making the right decision in this step can have a significant impact on the success of the project.
A slight delay on part of the resource can delay the delivery of the entire project, posing a threat to the relationship between the customer and the company.
In addition, misallocation of resources can also have an impact on the quality of the deliverables. Since you aim for maximum satisfaction, you cannot risk betting on an amateur or incompetent resource, you have to be clear as a day on your choices.
In addition, resource allocation in project management can also help you forecast issues that might arise due to the gaps in the skills and abilities of the resources. As such, you can ready yourself for the potential issues and take preparatory steps to ensure the smooth flow of the project.
Lastly, efficient allocation of resources means quality work delivered on time. It ensures better productivity and efficiency of the team leading to better profitability for the company.
How To Do Resource Allocation in Project Management?
PMs have to be extra careful when assigning resources to tasks. So, how to de resource allocation in project management? Is there a cheat sheet to ace this step? Not exactly a cheat sheet but, we have created a guideline that might help you do the perfect resource allocation in project management.
1. Identify The Scope of Your Project and Divide It into Smaller Deliverables
The first thing you have to do as a project manager while allocating resources is to identify the scope of your project. Knowing the ins and outs of your project is critical for proper resource allocation.
You will not be able to do the task efficiently unless you realize the requirements of the project.
Determining the skillset required for the successful completion of the project, the number of resources needed, the budget, the aims and objectives of the project, and the time duration required for the accomplishment of the project should be your top priority. Only after knowing these details would you be able to allocate your resources properly.
Once you have identified the requirements of the project, the next step is to create a workflow. You must divide your project into smaller, deliverable tasks. The division of the tasks will help you narrow down the resources needed for each task.
You can also set deadlines for each task in the workflow to make sure tasks are completed on time and the project reaches its end on time.
2. Determine The Abilities of Your Resources and Their Availability for The Project
The next step in resource allocation is determining the skillset of the available resources. While assigning a resource to a task, you have to consider the requirements of the task and the abilities of the resource.
Besides looking into the abilities of the resource, you also have to consider their availability for the project.
3. Compare The Required Skillset with Available Skillset of The Resources
This step is probably the easiest but the most important of all. By now, you must have a clear understanding of the requirements of the projects and the skills of your available resources, the next step is to identify which resource’s skills match the concerned task.
Comparing and matching the skills will help you verify which resources are the perfect choice for each task.
4. Assign Relevant Resources to The Tasks
You have now confirmed all the prerequisites for resource allocation, now it is time to allocate the resources to relevant tasks. Since you have already assessed the details of the project, there should be no problems in assigning resources to different tasks in the workflow.
Make sure that the resources also have clarity about the goals of the project and the things expected of them. This will help them improve their performance and enhance their efficiency.
5. Set Deadlines
To make sure tasks are completed on time and there are no hiccups in the process, you have to set deadlines for each task.
Keep in mind the delivery date for the project, the ability of the concerned resource, and the requirements of the task to schedule deadlines for each task. You also have to ascertain that the assigned resources follow the timeline and complete their tasks on time.
6. Track The Performance of Your Resources
If you think that was the end of your role in the process then, unfortunately, no. Your work is not done, the next step in resource allocation is keeping track of the performance of your resources.
You cannot leave the resources on their own designs, neither can you abandon the project wholly. To make sure employees are staying on track and the tasks are completed on time, you must have an eagle eye on the process.
One way of keeping track of your resources without being nosy is to employ project management tools. Project management tools have wide-ranging functions. You can not only track the performance of your employees but also create workflows for multiple projects from start to end.
7. Reallocate Resources If Needed
While tracking the progress of the project, if you identify a discrepancy in the process, you can reallocate resources for the task in question.
Reallocation is not to be frowned upon. A resource might find it difficult to keep up with the demands of the projects, they might be facing an emergency crisis, or for any other reason, they might not be able to keep up with the project.
You cannot let an employee hold back the progress of the whole team. This will disrupt the flow of the process and will also create more problems within the team.
All aside, a task may not prove to be the right one for the assigned resource. A problem in the workflow might demand the skill of a more experienced employee.
In such cases, reallocating a different resource to the tasks is the right decision.
Factors Affecting Resource Allocation
While allocating resources to the project, you might face the following challenges:
1. Changes In the Scope of The Project
Projects are always prone to changes. The changes in question can be as small as adding a sentence or as big as writing a whole essay from scratch. Your resource allocation plan should be flexible enough to accommodate any and every change that may threaten the progress of your project.
2. Lack Of Resources
Having qualified, skilled resources is a must for the success of the project. You have to have resources with all the skills required, otherwise, your project might not be able to reach a good end.
3. Availability Of the Resources
What if you have the best, most talented resources but they are not available for your project? What if they are sick, on vacation, or just working on other, more important projects? You will have to work your way around their schedule to make sure everything falls in place and they successfully work on your project.
4. Project Dependencies
Often, tasks are in a kind of chain reaction wherein the completion of one task leads to the initiation of the next. The delay in even one of the tasks can disturb the whole chain reaction. So, be ready to tackle any hurdles that come your way to ensure the on-time completion of every task in the workflow.
5. Inefficient Planning
Planning is the first phase of every process. Inefficient planning can cost you your whole project. You must carve out a perfect resource plan in the early stages of the process to make sure nothing goes wrong along the way.
6. Lack Of Teamwork
When working as a team, you have to make sure that all the team members are on the same page and there are no differences between the members. A unified team will work in sync and complete all the tasks on time.
Uniting the team is also a responsibility that falls under your wing since you have to lead all the team members. Make sure all the teammates understand the roles and responsibilities of the project and are one with the team.
Resource Allocation in nTask
Project management tools are one of your best options when it comes to resource allocation. We might be a little bit biased here but we can’t help it. With the hordes of features, nTask is our best pick for resource allocation.
nTask is a project management software offering multiple management modules, each loaded with a wide range of features. Along with its various other features, nTask offers resource planning tools to help you in the allocation of resources for the project.
On top of its highly efficient features, the tool has a surprisingly easy onboarding process supported by its user-friendly interface.
With nTask you can:
- Allocate different resources to tasks
- Assign a role to each resource
- Keep an eye on the activity of the resources
- Communicate with the resources
- Share and exchange documents
- Determine their weekly capacity for the project
- Have a bird’s eye view of their performance via Gantt charts
- Generate timesheets to determine time spent on tasks
- Allocate billable/non-billable status to tasks
- Drag and drop for resource scheduling
- Approve or disapprove timesheets
- Share Gantt charts with clients
nTask is an all-encompassing tool that will simplify the process for you and make your ride less bumpy.
Stay on top of your resource management, with nTask
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It’s A Wrap!
The efficient completion of a project is highly dependent on its resources and the right allocation of these resources is of crucial importance while handling a project. A slight miscalculation can cost you the success of your project.
We have just outlined the steps for resource allocation, the challenges you might face, and the best tool for the process. We sincerely hope that you will benefit from the information.
Best of luck!