Half of all projects fail because of insufficient resources, but there are plenty of ways to prevent this if you know how to make the most out of what you have. Project resource management is a vital process for any enterprise company that often deals with resource constraints. Here are some actionable ideas that will improve your project success rate without any additional employees, funds, or materials.
What is resource management in project management?
Resource management in project management is the practice of using all available project components efficiently to achieve your goal. A resource is anything you need to complete an assignment, including team members’ special skills, funds, and even materials. Maximize the potential of all these factors and you will excel at resource management.
Here are some other examples of resources you probably already have at your disposal:
- Project management software
- Communication tools
- Office space
- Historical data and reports from past projects
All of these resources can help streamline your current workload and ensure on-time delivery for your clients. Look for creative ways to maximize their usefulness for future projects and seek out additional resources you may have overlooked before.
What to do when you have resource constraints in project management
When you have resource constraints in project management, you absolutely need to get clear on your priorities, learn how to do capacity planning, create a realistic timeline, and think at least two steps ahead.
If you have more than one active project, direct team focus with custom labeling. Color code by date, complexity, and/or urgency. Once you have a system in place, you can apply it to tasks within projects too.
Make a realistic project timeline using all of your team’s schedule information including planned vacation days and PTO. View everyone’s availability in one place so you can evenly schedule out tasks. Include individual task durations too and double-check that your employees agree on your proposal — you never know if they might spot something you missed!
Collaborative scheduling in this way helps prevent unnecessary roadblocks, maximizes your most important finite resource (time), and gets everyone on the same page.
Finally, making the most of resource constraints is all about planning ahead. You have to diligently predict risks or and any other stumbling blocks that could further deplete your resources.
The best crystal ball you have for this pain point is your project management software. Not only can you plot out all of your timelines and tasks, but you can also find potential bottlenecks. These issues are par for the course in enterprise organizations. However, even the smallest setback can derail your project if you don’t have enough resources, so make sure to plan out several scenarios with complete plans of action before you even begin your next assignment.
Wrike’s top tips for limited project resource management
These top tips for any limited project resource management plan will help you make the most of your time, workforce, and tools. All you need is the right project management solution to get started.
1. Track time
In Wrike, open an individual task then hit play on the timer on its page. When you’re done, click it again to stop. This will automatically record the progress you’ve made on that particular task. Have employees do this to track billable hours and predict task length in the future.
2. Include task duration and effort
Indicate how long you think each task should take in hours, days, or weeks. Assign a deadline with at least a 5% wiggle room just in case.
Then, choose what type of effort you think it requires. Basic effort is for tasks without dependencies that can be evenly distributed among your team. Full-time effort is for any assignment that will take up all of the assignee’s workday, week, or project contribution time. Or, label the task as flexible to indicate that this particular item will take up a variety of sources and team members’ time.
3. Use a visual tool
Visibility is key in resource management. Taking steps to build visibility into your workflows and digital tools helps team members understand their roles and responsibilities. It also helps clients understand what work is being done on the road to project delivery.
To achieve this in Wrike, lay everything out in one accessible dashboard so team members and clients can have an overview of the project plan before you even begin. This will save you unnecessary time communicating with everyone individually and also make it clear how each of your limited resources will be used throughout the course of the project life cycle
Conquer project resource management
Now you know what resource management is and how to plan a successful project even with limitations. You also have some practical and simple tips you can implement with the help of a project management solution like Wrike. Check out our free trial to discover even more ways to get the most out of all your project resources!