If you want to push a project through to completion quickly, and competently, you need to consider resource management to pull it off. It isn’t enough to rely on estimates and educated guesswork, as this approach won’t yield results.
The process of resource management isn’t focused on money like you might expect, though, it’s more concerned with the human resources at your disposal. As such, to improve your approach to resource management is to figure out how to get the most out of your employees, team members, or coworkers.
Effective resource management allows you to streamline your workflows, truly understand each individual’s capacity for work, and invites others to engage with their work on a deeper level. It can help employees thrive, as you’ll know what makes them tick and how to manage their workload for optimal productivity.
What is resource management?
In short, resource management is how you schedule and allocate your resources for the best results. It’s about how you delegate tasks and projects while treading the fine line between getting the best out of employees without overloading them and causing work-related burnout.
Often mentioned alongside best resource management practices is the iron triangle of project management. The so-called iron triangle is made up of three components that are crucial to the success of any project:
All three of these elements are interconnected, and to pull off a project from start to finish you need to understand how each element affects the next. If you reduce the budget you have to work with, then the schedule will be affected as there’s less financial capital to invest on important resources. If the scope of the project changes then understandably the budget may increase or decrease to match it.
In terms of human resources, you might schedule three employees to work on a project for three hours a day over the course of a week. Yet, it could be that one of the employees suddenly falls ill and this will of course have a knock-on effect on the scope and budget for the project.
So why focus energy on effective resource management and what can you gain from it?
Benefits of effective resource management
There are many reasons to try and refine your resource management approach, such as the following:
Track and manage projects
If you embark on a journey to better resource management, one of the first benefits you’ll notice is how well you’re able to track and manage the projects on your plate. Once you have an overview of everything you’re working on, and what each project requires in terms of resources, you’ll have a great vantage point to analyze progress with every endeavor.
With a view to improving your resource management strategy, you’ll also be able to get the most out of your human resources, which should of course be the priority for any team leader or senior role within the company.
When you take the time to plan out how you’re going to use your resources for different projects, you will save the company, and yourself, a lot of time. With the right tools and systems in place, you won’t face the common issues of missed deadlines, or lack of resources to complete the project successfully.
Predict future project needs
When you focus on resource management, you’ll find that over time, you’ll have a much easier time hitting deadlines and completing projects successfully as you’ll be better at assigning the right amount of resources for the job.
If you start now, then you can establish a system of operating that works wonders for the company and your team in the long run.
Increase employee engagement
There’s mounting evidence to suggest that many employees are disengaged with their work, and there’s no telling how detrimental that could be to the successful completion of projects and overall productivity. A 2021 Gallup survey revealed that as few as 36% of US employees are engaged with their work, which implies that 64% of employees aren’t.
This is a sobering statistic, and it sheds light on the fact that employees are often under-utilized, and companies aren’t catering to their strengths or listening to their problems.
While there may not be a quick fix to this disengagement issue, one way you can work on encouraging employee engagement is to better manage their time. When you sit down and think about how best to use each individual’s time, you not only make burnout less likely, but you can create the conditions for them to be truly productive.
Software is the solution
So how do you go about more effectively managing the resources at your disposal?
Well, it’s 2022, and the future is remote. That means reliance on software is only going to grow in the coming years, so adopting it now will save you money in the long run and allow your employees the opportunity to onboard quickly.
When you’re working with human resources, as opposed to financial capital, there are more variables at play which can make the process more overwhelming. For example, you may have to contend with issues such as employee burnout, work overload, and employees falling sick or taking vacation days during the middle of a project.
As such, it’s often the case that software is the solution. Project management solutions such as Jira, when paired with resource planning tools such as ActivityTimeline, allow you to wrestle back control of your time and manage all of your projects with ease.
When you use Jira, you’ll be able to easily delegate tasks and projects, and track their progress with concrete metrics such as number of tasks completed. Throw in a resource planner, like ActivityTimeline, and now you’ll have a complete system in which you can also schedule how you’re going to use your resources factoring in all the variables that come with human resources.
ActivityTimeline also allows you to foster collaboration in a way that’s hard to achieve otherwise. By labeling tasks or projects or adding comments to them coworkers can communicate their needs, and get assistance when necessary.
It may be that you know a colleague has a skillset better suited to the task at hand, so you swap it for one of your tasks, and this level of sharing can help everyone move in the right direction.