Overview of Resource Management Techniques
Resource Management is the science of allocating human resources among various projects or business units by maximizing the deployment of available personnel resources to attain business goals or projects objectives. Resource estimation for an activity and Human resource management are essential components of a Project Management Plan.
There are several resource management software tools available that automate and assist the process of resource allocation to projects based on the Demand and Supply of resources. Resource management also includes performing the activities necessary for the maintenance of workforce such as planning and supervision of payroll and benefits, education, professional and overall development, taking care of their work life needs.
One of the popular Resource Management techniques is Resource Leveling. This aims at balancing the stock of resources by reducing excess and shortages. The demands for the various resources forecast up to a future reasonable period along with the skills of resources required and the supply of resources forecast up to a future reasonable period are the main data required.
The goal of achieving 100% utilization is unlikely when important metrics and constraints are considered. An example for this is meeting a minimum service level as per agreement while minimizing costs. A dimension of resource development is when a new capability is demanded, to retain resource and invest additionally to develop the required capability instead of replacing the resource with one who has the demanded capability.
Learning how to optimize resource utilization gives the planning flexibility to keep the right people on the right projects. Two predominant resource management systems that have contributed to decrease in project management success rates are maintenance of a narrow focus on time tracking systems and lack of workflow automation for critical processes. Time tracking is necessary for effective resource management but it is not of help with up front planning or in determining the effect of unplanned changes on critical projects which are in progress.
Without any workflow automation process there is no consistent way to capture data for tracking project, budgets and resources.
For getting an enterprise resource management approach in place and to sustain it , some of the best practices are to secure and maintain executive management support, adoption of a top down and bottom up combined approach, aggregation of all IT demand, automate request for resources and to communicate early and often to all concerned stakeholders.
Gaining and maintaining support from senior management is mandatory for implementation of a successful resource management system. Project managers and users should be aware that the information and work efforts input into the tracking system is valued by the senior management.
A combination of top-down and bottom-up approach is ideal. A top-down approach that only includes a forecast of resource utilization but does not reflect the actual does not work well. Similarly a bottom-up approach that includes only the representation of actual efforts of resources project and non-project activities without giving reliable data in the planning cycles is not so good. Using a consistent top-down, bottom-up approach gives in a single system a record of the estimation and actual giving managers a view of both resource estimation and utilization.
Organization needs to focus both on tracking the demand in IT projects and on all the non-project operational work that will be done by the same resource. This avoids over booking of resources and project slippage. Only by including operational work in the overall resource planning process it is possible to accurately forecast project cost and schedule. At each stage of a project from proposal acceptance, project execution and asset maintenance resources need to be planned and accounted for.
Automating the resource requests process will streamline the requests, approval process and assignments. Gaining transparency of all the work that a resource is doing, leads to quick decision making and effective utilizations of resources. Centralization of resource requests by establishment of resource pools works well for large organizations.
Communication of achievement of critical milestones in project lifecycle to all stakeholders is an important factor in implementing a resource management solution that helps in responding to unplanned changes by keeping both executive and end users informed.
| An insight into coordination and communication issues in Project Management | An Insight into Project Closure Activities | An Insight into Risk Breakdown Structure | An Insight into Work Breakdown Structure | Overview of Resource Management Techniques | Project Management Tools (PERT, Gantt, Run Charts) | Project Managers Perspective on Document Management System | Understanding Critical Practices in Project Management |
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