Make Every Project Go to Plan with Effective Resource Management
Planning the perfect project is one thing, but sometimes the execution can be another. Resource management software helps you avoid the pitfalls.
Planning and managing projects is never an easy ride, and some say it is a little like trying to bake the perfect cake. You need to get all the ingredients just right and in the perfect quantities, or the whole thing will fall flat.
The parallels do not end there, however. As any would-be baker will know, it is one thing having the perfect recipe in front of you – this is what the project managers do at the planning stage. It is quite another, however, ensuring the execution works as well as it is supposed to, and the cake comes out looking like the one in the book. And much of this responsibility falls on the shoulders of the resource manager.
Managing and coordinating a diverse range of inputs to ensure they are where they need to be when they need to be there, in conditions that can change at short notice, certainly sounds like a set of circumstances where technology might be able to lend a hand. Sure enough, the latest Resource Manager tools can make all the difference in helping make the perfect cake every time.
How does software help?
It all comes down to business efficiencies. Completed projects generate revenue, resources cost money. The right project management software can help keep the duration of your project to a minimum by optimising the use of your resources — this applies to both the planning stage and to ongoing optimisation while the project is underway.
Most systems provide a range of built-in tools to help resource managers to plan, allocate and manage the resources needed to successfully complete a project. Typically, they will include the following:
- Demand planning tools
- Capacity planning tools
- Forecasting and analytics
- Skill repositories to match skills with demands
- Scenario planning tools
The right system will give you complete, real time visibility of how your workforce is deployed. For example, you will be able to instantly see where a team member is assigned and what he or she is working on. By drilling down, you can also assess individual skillsets and availability. This helps you get the best possible use of the skills available, while ensuring you are not overloading any one individual.
Make smarter decisions
One of the hardest parts of a Resource Manager’s job is how to prioritise the many moving pieces that are involved in a project, or indeed a whole number of projects. Prioritisation is directly linked to resource allocation, and if that goes wrong, the financial and reputational costs to a company can be huge. Resource management software takes out the guesswork and allows you to make decisions based on real time data instead of gut feel.
Optimise resources in real time
Think back to making that cake – at least once you have it down pat, the recipe doesn’t change. With a project, the parameters used at the planning stage will almost certainly turn into a moving target as soon as things get underway. This makes the whole task similar to trying to herd cats, but with good software, you can adjust resource allocation as conditions change.