Project Management Resources You Are Doomed Without


7 min read

Project Management Resources

Project management requires leadership and communication skills, the ability to handle crises, and, most importantly, to manage resources. Unfortunately, in most cases, your project resources would be limited and you’ll need to plan an entire strategy to deliver a high-quality product before the deadline and within budget. This is why today, we’re going to discuss what are the types of project management resources, and why managing resources is crucial.


1. What are Project Management Resources?

Project management resources are the resources needed to carry out a project and its tasks. The most common project management resources are people, equipment, facilities, supplies, materials, time, and anything else required for the completion of project activity. Project management resources are NOT the labor itself, but the tools you’d need to do the tasks.


2. Why do We Need to Manage Resources?

In almost any project, we assess and allocate resources before starting the project.  If the resource planning is poor you can face problems with your schedule and the overall meeting of deadlines. This, of course, will also affect the quality of the project. Simply put, any business should provide value for the customer by reducing resources waste as much as possible.

Careful consideration must be taken when managing resources and they need to be aligned with your budget and project schedule. As you can see, managing project resources is crucial for your project’s success.


3. Types of Project Management Resources

We can organize the types of resources in project management into 4 main groups:

  • Work (human) resources – the people who will work on the project
  • Material resources – equipment and facilities
  • Cost (financial resources) – funding and costs associated with tasks
  • Time resources

Let’s discuss each one of them in a little bit more detail.

3.1. Work project management resources

People are ultimately your most valuable resource as they have the biggest influence over the success of any project. This refers to team members responsible for getting the work done.

In order to build a solid professional and efficient team, you will need to start hiring the right people. You do so by gathering data about the applicants. This includes who they are, why you like them in the first place, how do they meet the needs of your business, and the line of work. Their technical skills, knowledge, and business expertise are known as cognitive resources or know-how.

Human resources can be recruited internally or externally and can work on the entire duration of a project or on a part of it.

Some examples of work (human) resources are:

  • Project managers
  • Project teams
  • Legal entities
  • Individual professionals

3.2. Material resources

Materials refer to any physical resource consumed during task completion. This includes both resources that the company already possesses and the ones the company needs to lease/purchase. Of course, this category is more suitable for businesses that use physical materials needed for generating the final product: catering, construction, or other manufacturers. In terms of software development, material resources refer to hardware and software tools. For example, a particular project might require a new and specific software tool that the business will purchase and add to their tools.

Especially now, it’s important to add another factor: working from home. If your team is required to work on a project from home, material resources include providing each team member with the necessary hardware and software tools. In some cases, even office furniture.

Some of the goods produced can be used in future projects as well, but there are also consumables, which have a unit cost and are used only for the particular project.

Examples of materials are:

  • Machines
  • Raw materials
  • Tools
  • Software
  • Equipment

3.3. Financial resources

These correspond to the project budget and need to be defined before the project’s start, usually in the form of investment and business capital. Think of finance funds, project grants, and budgets that the business needs to finance the human and material resources for the projects.

They are used to cover the costs for:

  • People and material resources
  • Renting materials
  • Other costs – travel expenses, training, etc.

3.4. Time resources

Unfortunately, time is the only non-returnable resource and if your project falls behind, it will not wait for you to catch up. Scheduling is crucial in project management, as no matter what methodology you use, you will need to adequately build a timeline for each step and milestone throughout the project from its start to its completion.

The duration of a task will depend on the human resources assigned to it, as well as the availability of materials. Time resources are the time available for single-task completion.

Part of the time resources would be the project plan, project schedule and the time invested.


4. Key Components to Take into Consideration

As a project manager, your primary task is always to deliver a quality project on time within the decided budget. When done effectively, you gain client satisfaction and improve your own team in terms of performance, productivity and engagement.

So far so good… But where do you start when creating a plan for resources?

Here are some questions to help you prepare your plan:
  • How much of the budget you will allocate to resources?
  • What are the criteria for selecting contractors and vendors?
  • Which are the types of contracts will you need?
  • Have you planned what policies and procedures will be used?
  • What are the roles of your team members/project team?
  • How will performance be measured?

With resources and skills at your disposal, your job as a project manager is to master the art of planning, scheduling, and prediction. Of course, this is the ideal scenario. But what if your resources are very scarce and limited?

4.1 Estimation and collecting data

This includes estimating all resources you need to complete the tasks in the most efficient manner. You can do so based on your experience with your earlier projects. Always keep hard data documentation collected from each completed task. This will help you make accurate estimations.

Such data includes available resources, requirements for each type of resource, and how resources meet their task. The more you collect and document data, the more accurately you will be able to schedule your resources optimally for your next task.

4.2. Resource planning and scheduling

Once you’re done with the bigger picture of what resources you will need for completing your project, you can start creating a hierarchical list. You do this in order to easily utilize your resources from start to finish. Sometimes you will need particular resources only in a certain phase of the project. Once you complete the list, you can start making a detailed schedule with the hierarchal breakdown of your resources during each phase, milestone, and minor activity.

4.3. Avoid overallocation

There are also cases where certain projects require a huge amount of work assigned to a particular resource. Especially when this refers to a human resource, this might become an issue. Over allocating tasks to one particular team member might make the task impossible to finish within working hours. This is why avoiding overallocation at all costs is one of your first steps when you start planning your resources.


In Conclusion

If you can take only one line from this article, remember that your project’s success is highly dependent on the planned resources ahead – people, materials, costs, and time. Without these, you are lacking the key tools for executing a project.

Good luck! We hope that was helpful and inspiring, don’t forget to tell us how we did, and feel free to tell us anything to add.

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