Project Resource Management: 12 Keys to Mastering Project Success

11 min read
Bitrix24 Team
April 11, 2024
Last updated: April 11, 2024
Project Resource Management: 12 Keys to Mastering Project Success

For beginners, the art of project resource management can seem like a far-off dream that only true experts can achieve. However, like mastering brain surgery or rocket science, resource-scheduling techniques are within reach for those willing to do the hard work.

Managing team resources in projects means having a high level of control over a range of different factors. You need to juggle the strategic planning, allocation, and optimization of various resources such as personnel, technologies, and budgets, to ensure that projects are completed according to scope, time, and cost parameters.

To help you decode the interweaving elements of project resource management, we’ve put together 12 keys that cover everything you need to know. From prioritizing resource allocation to embracing agile methodologies, we explore best practices, strategies, and tools for managing project resources successfully.

So if you want the knowledge to unlock new levels of productivity and innovation, let’s get started.

1. Allocate resources based on project priorities

Perhaps the most intuitive element we will explore here, prioritization is at the heart of project resource management. Very few companies have seemingly limitless resources, so learning how to align their value with your project goals is a critical skill to learn.

Let’s break down how to prioritize your resource allocation effectively.

  • Identify the core objectives and deliverables of your project by understanding which tasks are critical for success and which resources are essential at each stage.

  • Incorporate a weighted scoring system to assess the value of tasks and resources. One of the best practices in project resource management, it opens the way for data-driven decisions that you can justify to potentially disgruntled team members.

  • Use visualizations for easier resource allocation. Using data from your team calendars, Gantt charts are a great way of seeing when and how your key project resources are being used.

Want to Know the Secret Behind Successful Project Resource Management?

Discover how Bitrix24's comprehensive platform, featuring visual tools, analytics, and the CoPilot AI assistant, empowers managers to master resource allocation and project execution effortlessly.

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2. Adopt flexible project budgeting and resource deployment

The more experienced a manager becomes, the more they see flexibility as a key advantage in project capacity planning. This means reviewing your progress and reallocating resources as priorities shift. Projects inevitably throw up unexpected changes in direction, so be prepared to absorb them rather than fight against them.

One tried-and-tested technique for optimizing project resources is to implement buffer times in your planning. By building in extra time and keeping a reserve of resources on hand, project managers can swiftly reallocate resources without derailing the project schedule.

A more advanced technique is to tie together tasks that are intrinsically interconnected using dependencies. This avoids reassigning resources to a specific task only to find you can’t finish it due to incomplete dependent tasks. With this protection in place, you can reshuffle your project resource management with confidence that you won’t cause more problems than you solve.

3. Run effective project resource planning with task management software

With the complexity of modern projects, no manager can be expected to keep track of everything in their head. Even if they could, how are they going to stream their plans into the minds of their teams?

Project management software is your headquarters on the cloud where everyone in your team can monitor progress and track the availability, allocation, and utilization of resources. It is where team members can request resources such as budget, freelance providers, and even extra time, all within the relevant task card for full transparency and rapid responses.

Furthermore, tools for managing project resources offer real-time insights into resource allocation and availability. These provide a company-wide overview of where you’re using resources and where there may be flexibility to shift priorities.

Project Resource Management: 12 Keys to Mastering Project Success

4. Promote open communication through processes and culture

Best practices in project resource management aren’t just related to the techniques you employ, but also the human element — specifically how well your team members collaborate and communicate.

Beyond assigning tasks and responsibilities, team collaboration means creating an environment where everybody feels valued, heard, and able to voice their needs. This allows you to act early and plan for the future, rather than finding out too late and scrambling around to undo mistakes and fix issues. Similarly, the collaborative environment enables the sharing of ideas, skills, and insights, which can be a massive boost for resource utilization strategies and project capacity planning.

For the most effective project resource planning, communication tools such as file sharing, immediate updates and notifications, and video calls streamline the process of sharing information and resources so team members can collaborate effectively, regardless of their physical location.

5. Track resource consumption to ensure project sustainability

To prevent the overuse of project management resources, implement techniques for optimizing project resources to avoid bottlenecks and ensure that your project stays on track.

You’re likely aware of how to track tangible resources, such as materials and finances. Plenty of tools are already on the market to alert you when your project budgeting and resources are stretched, and inventory management monitors what you have in stock both for sale and for internal use.

However, for more accurate project resource management, you need to include non-tangible elements such as time and human resources. Time-tracking software and performance analytics allow you to see which people provide the greatest value, so you can tweak teams to improve productivity. Collecting this historical data is also essential for future planning, reducing the likelihood of repeated mistakes across different projects.

6. Mitigate resource-related uncertainties and risks

One of the most important strategies for project resource allocation is to identify potential risks and create mitigation plans to keep your project on track. Overstretched workers, late deliveries, and ballooning budgets can all be detrimental to projects, so you need to have backup resource utilization strategies in place to keep moving forward.

Look to the future and consider how you’re going to counteract these risks. Cross-training individuals provide cover for staff who are ill, flexible timelines and backup suppliers can reduce the impact of late deliveries, and pre-arranged contracts can keep budgets within your planned scope.

Managing team resources in projects is a time-consuming business, so streamlining your risk mitigation is absolutely vital. For most companies, similar risks appear in consecutive projects, so creating risk mitigation templates is a perfect way of protecting your progress without investing excessive amounts of time.

Project Resource Management: 12 Keys to Mastering Project Success

7. Balance quality and costs in your project resource management

An eternal struggle in projects, balancing quality and costs can be a thorn in the side of managers when not controlled. For sustainability and success in your projects, you need to develop a comprehensive budget that covers human resources, materials, equipment, and more — all in alignment with your project goals.

The more work you put into covering the microdetail of your resources, the better prepared you are to keep costs low and productivity high. Modern analytics tools compile any costs you choose to monitor and produce real-time reports on where your cash is going. Over time, you can spot areas that gradually creep over budget and analyze anomalies to prevent them from happening again in the future.

Cost management isn’t a one-and-done affair. You need to constantly review where your money is going and how much return you’re getting. Emerging technologies such as AI-powered assistants can represent major cost-saving advantages without a drop in quality, so keep one eye on market trends to stay ahead of the game.

8. Maximize your human resources with training and development

It’s easy to overlook your team when looking at resource-scheduling techniques, but developing your team is one of the most cost-effective and easiest ways to maximize efficiency.

Identifying which skills you need to improve starts with a searchable employee directory — a constantly evolving record of each team member and the skills they bring to the table. Next, compare these skills with those you need for your project to reveal a skill gap that your training should plug. Therefore, instead of recruiting new profiles complete with time-consuming onboarding and learning curves, you can maintain a cohesive team that gets the job done.

9. Distribute resources fairly to avoid burnout

Intricately linked with the previous point on training is the importance of balancing workloads through project resource management. Individuals with a diverse range of skills to their name can help you avoid overburdening certain individuals while leaving others feeling isolated and detached from the team.

Balancing workloads is all about smart time management, which covers a huge amount of interconnected elements:

  • Ensuring adequate cover is on hand for holiday and sick leave

  • Forecasting and planning for busy periods

  • Regular monitoring of workloads to spot issues early

  • Redistributing tasks if people show signs of struggling

  • Checking in with individuals and hearing their concerns through progress meetings

By taking steps to ensure tasks are distributed evenly and according to each person’s capacities and preferences, you can prevent burnout, optimize resource utilization, and contribute to a more positive work environment.

10. Adapt and optimize your project resource management process

One of the key techniques for optimizing project resources is to continuously adapt your approach to stay at the top of your game. However, you can’t improve elements that you don’t know about, so information-gathering is a critical aspect of optimizing your resources.

Sure, analytics are a great way of quickly gathering hard data, but they often overlook less tangible areas. Therefore, you should be fully available for feedback from all project stakeholders, including team members, suppliers, and clients.

Scheduling regular review sessions at key stages of your project presents an opportunity to correct inefficient use of resources. Perhaps you have too many people dealing with a small number of clients when you could be better deployed elsewhere. Similarly, while your marketing return on investment could be satisfactory, innovative team members may have insights into how you could better invest your money.

11. Nurture strong supplier partnerships to ensure reliability

Project resource management is much easier to control when it is within your company, but it is vastly more difficult when you’re dealing with third-party suppliers. You likely are one of many clients for each supplier, so becoming a priority client is in your best interests.

Strong relationships are the best way to increase the reliability of a supplier’s services, which in turn makes it easier to forecast project costs and timelines. Aside from a happy birthday email and a smiley disposition, the more professional hallmarks of healthy business relationships are:

  • Clear and consistent expectations to make collaboration easy

  • Strategic partnerships where you seek input and advice from your supplier

  • Reliable and timely payments

  • Honest feedback given early to iron out any issues

When you have solid supplier relationships, you increase the reliability of your resource supply which makes your projects run smoother and fosters longer-term success.

12. Embrace agile methodology to manage project resources

With constant monitoring and frequent tweaking of your direction, agile methodology is among the most effective strategies for project resource allocation.

Agile thinking is all about maximizing efficiency and minimizing waste and uses short, iterative cycles of work to continually reassess and reallocate resources to meet project needs as they evolve. This allows you to identify problems quickly and interve decisively so you can make changes and avoid letting issues snowball into bigger threats to your project resource management.

To make the most of agile techniques, you need to create the right conditions for free-flowing collaboration and communication. Some of this comes through adopting communication tools such as instant messenger and video calls. However, a lot of the magic of agile methodology lies in the daily standup meeting format, whereby each individual has a short amount of time to sound the alarm on project resource issues so you can take swift action.

Bitrix24: An all-in-one platform for project resource management

Through the strategic implementation of the 12 keys discussed — from prioritizing resource allocation to embracing agile methodologies — you can optimize the use of your resources, enhance team collaboration, and adapt to changes swiftly and effectively.

However, no project manager is capable of succeeding without implementing smart tools and technologies to support them.

Bitrix24 is designed to offer managers like you all the tools you need for smart project resource management all in one place:

  • A powerful project management platform to deploy your resources effectively

  • Visualizations such as Gantt charts and Kanban boards so you can monitor your resource deployment at a glance

  • Analytics and reporting on resource costs, usage, and time management

  • A full suite of communication tools to keep information flowing and to make quick adaptations

  • CoPilot, our AI assistant that makes every element of project resource management more efficient

Now you’ve got the knowledge to manage your resources more effectively, it’s time to get the tools. Sign up for Bitrix24 and get planning today.

Want to Know the Secret Behind Successful Project Resource Management?

Discover how Bitrix24's comprehensive platform, featuring visual tools, analytics, and the CoPilot AI assistant, empowers managers to master resource allocation and project execution effortlessly.

Try Now

FAQs

What is resource allocation in project management?

Resource allocation in project management involves assigning available personnel, budget, and materials to various tasks and phases within a project, ensuring that each aspect of the project has the resources it needs to meet its objectives efficiently.

How does resource scheduling reduce flexibility in managing projects?

Resource scheduling may reduce flexibility by locking in resources for specific tasks at set times, potentially making it hard to respond to unforeseen changes or adapt to new opportunities. Planning ahead to be more flexible allows you to ride the wave of changes and use opportunities to your advantage.

When are most of the resources for a project required?

Most resources for a project are required during the execution phase, where the bulk of the project's activities are carried out. The more planning you do to manage resource use during this period, the less likely you are to run over budget or past deadlines.

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Table of Content
1. Allocate resources based on project priorities 2. Adopt flexible project budgeting and resource deployment 3. Run effective project resource planning with task management software 4. Promote open communication through processes and culture 5. Track resource consumption to ensure project sustainability 6. Mitigate resource-related uncertainties and risks 7. Balance quality and costs in your project resource management 8. Maximize your human resources with training and development 9. Distribute resources fairly to avoid burnout 10. Adapt and optimize your project resource management process 11. Nurture strong supplier partnerships to ensure reliability 12. Embrace agile methodology to manage project resources Bitrix24: An all-in-one platform for project resource management FAQs
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