Starting a new project can be overwhelming. Whether it’s the first time you’re undertaking a certain project or it’s a project you’ve completed several times, there are always elements to work out.
Among those elements is choosing the best possible resources for your project, delegating them to your team, and keeping track of everyone’s workload and output throughout the project. Based on your tracking, it may also mean reallocating resources or finding new ones.
With resource allocation, you can select the appropriate resources and manage them throughout the project. This way, you can prevent using your employees and other resources too little or too much. You can also make the best use of all available resources so that you spend your budget more effectively.
Effective Resource Allocation
Before starting any project, you’ll need to step back from the big picture and take stock of all the small details so you have a better idea of the scope of your project. Each detail may have its own set of resource needs, which can make managing large projects with a lot of elements a bigger undertaking than you expected.
Whether your project is large or small, it’s often helpful to divide it into tasks. You can assign each task to a specific person or team and allocate resources accordingly. These resources may include:
For each task, it’s helpful to have a start and end date, budget, estimated hours, and the skills required to complete it. Once you know what you need, you should then identify suitable people who can complete the task, see if they are available, and determine how long they’ll be available to work on your project.
With all of this information, you can start allocating resources for your project. Once you have your resources in place, you’ll want to keep track of them to make sure your employees are working on the right things and have the tools they need to complete their assigned tasks.
Benefits of Resource Allocation Tracking Software
Long gone are the days of tracking all the required information in spreadsheets or daily staff check-ins. Resource allocation tracking software can help you perform effective capacity planning, identify your resources and their attributes and availability, and search for and find the resources that are best for your project.
Resource allocation tracking software uses time tracking and custom reports to improve resource allocation so you can more easily track spend and project completion. You can track all the data in real time, which allows you to see how the project is progressing and make adjustments as needed without veering too much from the original schedule.
Using resource allocation as part of your project management strategy can help you be flexible when your plan changes, keep your business running smoothly by optimizing how resources are used, and reduce or eliminate wasted resources by having proper resource management processes in place.
Questions to Ask Before Incorporating Resource Allocation
There are many questions that you as a project manager should ask as you begin to think about incorporating resource allocation into your project management strategy, such as:
- How mature is your organization? Have you ever used resource allocation before and, if you haven’t, do you want to start now and grow into a more robust process?
- How detailed do you need to get with resource allocation? (Do you need to manage it by the labor hour, for instance). Specifically, do you have the resources to get a highly detailed resource tracking system up to date? Do you need to get that granular?
- Do you have good executive sponsorship to support you? A good executive sponsor can help ensure that your project’s goals align with the overall company strategy and offer ongoing support for your project so you can more effectively manage it.
- Do you have the right tools to support you? If not resource allocation, what tools would you use to manage your project? Do they allow you to streamline resources and keep real-time watch of how your project progresses?
Resource allocation may not always be needed for your specific project, but there are many instances when it makes sense to take the leap into a more robust process. By using a resource allocation system to match the right resources to your project and to track time to those projects, project managers can address problems quickly and keep costs manageable. This helps your project succeed and prevents wasting resources so that you can help keep your organization profitable.
With Journyx PX resource management software, you can allocate and schedule your resources where you need them most, view associated project costs, and forecast financials — all in one place. This helps ensure you make the best use of your resources so that your project stays on track and under budget. To find out how Journyx software can help you meet your project goals, contact us today.