Resource Management Solutions: How to Avoid Falling into the Resource Allocation Trap
Friday, April 25, 2014
There are no silver bullets to project management success, but there are basic principles to keep in mind when planning and executing a project – from laying the groundwork to estimating the project, from developing the plan to tracking its progress. One such principle focuses on resource management solutions and falls within the project estimation phase.
By resource, we generally mean people, time and budget. But for this particular article, we will focus our efforts on the people piece of the overall pie.
Efficient resource management solution – the why
One of the leading causes of project delays is assignment overload, which, in a lot of cases, is a result of poor project planning. Aside from its deleterious effect on overall project execution, resource overload is a whack to a project management team’s motivation and productivity.
Imagine yourself a team member having trouble juggling his time between tasks and projects when other people with the same skills and qualifications practically have too much free time on their hands, free time spent on social media, or worse, mindless chatter. Perhaps you’d think you’re either a league above everyone else, or your project manager lives to see you suffer.
If you’re the project manager, this is where your resource management solutions methodology becomes critical, not just in the name of fairness and equality but in ensuring you deliver your projects on time, on budget and according to expectations.
Human resource management solutions – some tips
Human resource allocation is a pretty simple concept to grasp, but without the right resource management solution approach and technology to simplify the process, it’s also pretty easy to mess up, particularly if you’re working for a company with a sizable workforce.
As a project manager, it is but natural to require your team’s full cooperation for each and every project you work on. And if they are enjoying a collaborative culture of transparency and open communication, have the right mindset and an adequate amount of motivation, full cooperation is something they shouldn’t be hard-pressed to give. As a matter of fact, you probably don’t even have to ask for it.
Beware, however, of falling into the human resource allocation trap – a phenomenon where, because of inadequate planning and/or lack of a solid human resource management solutions technique, you end up unevenly distributing tasks, failing to find the right people for the right job, or forgetting to factor in the irrefutable fact that normal people don’t work 24/7.Here are some resource management solution suggestions to bear in mind:
- Effort, not calendar time. A lot can be done in three days, provided every hour spent at the office is time spent on the task or project at hand. But what about meetings, emergency requests or other unexpected places you may end up spending your time on? According to Karl Wiegers in an article that appeared on ProcessImpact.com, instead of calendar time, it’s better to estimate the project based on effort, in terms of labor-hours associated with each task.
- Training time, learning curve. When trying out new tools or processes, training time and the learning curve can significantly affect your team’s productivity. Expecting people to deliver top-notch results while still finding their way around is setting your team up for trouble, if not expecting way too much.
- Contingency plans. As we all know, a lot of projects don’t go as planned. Shit happens, as they say. Efficient project planning and estimation, therefore, involves anticipating possible contingencies and having mitigating actions in place, if and when do they arise.
Your approach to human resource management solutions can make or break your project. To ensure this approach is made simple and easier to facilitate, Comindware Project’s resource management solutions functionality helps you identify and control resource overload, resolve conflicts in advance, and it even allows for the utilization of an integrated resource database for large teams and even larger projects.
This way, you know that tasks are in the hands of capable people, distributed according to your project’s preset criteria, and that each member is doing his/her fair share to realize a common vision – turning the project into a smashing success.