Has your team ever felt overworked? Has it been hard to find ways to work efficiently? In a world where organizations are moving fast, sometimes employee workload becomes an oversight. If you and your team are staying at the office late to finish projects or lunch breaks are a thing of the past, resource management is something to pay close attention to. There is a way to maximize your team’s performance while keeping them happy and engaged—no late nights required.
Resource management, or resource allocation, is the process of planning and scheduling your resources and activities. Resources can include everything from equipment and financial funds to tech tools and employees—basically, anything that helps you complete your project.
When you’re trying to decide how to manage or allocate your resources, consider a few questions:
Resource allocation in project management isn’t just a nice to have. It’s a must have on every project you’re responsible for. The benefits of deploying resource management practices from the beginning far outweigh the time it takes. In fact, the number of projects your team can handle, along with the quality of each, depend on it. As project leader, resource allocation is your opportunity to optimize efficiency and effectively manage your team’s workload.
Oftentimes we don’t realize our employees are drowning in projects until it’s too late. Production is slow and team members are stressed out. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Resource management allows you to make sure your team members are confident with the amount of work on their plate, as well as the tools they need to accomplish each task. Not only does allocating resources properly keep your projects running smoothly, but it also prevents employee burnout. When resource management is done right, work will be produced at a faster rate, with higher quality, and employees will feel satisfied at the end of the day knowing their workload was right for them.
If you’re not already convinced that resource management is critical to the success of your project, let’s dig a little deeper. Check out these advantages you don’t want to miss out on:
See the whole picture. When you allocate resources effectively you’re able to get a broad view of the project in its entirety. Having every resource associated with your project in one central place gives you an insider’s look and allows you to make changes as needed. This high-level overview helps you connect the dots from resource to task to timeline and decide if someone’s workload is too heavy or light. This is your opportunity to spot potential problems upfront.
Distribute work appropriately. You likely know the strengths and weaknesses of each of your team members. As you’re allocating resources it’s important to keep in mind who will be the most successful with each task or activity. Having a conversation with every person you intend to have work on the project will allow them to be informed and part of the decision-making process. They’ll feel empowered from the start. Be sure you’re using their time effectively by monitoring who’s overloaded on other projects and who has extra bandwidth.
Keep your team on the same page. Being transparent with your team ensures that no one is in the dark. This is important because when everyone knows who’s doing what by when, confusion decreases and team members have clarity around their responsibilities. They can see how their part of the project fits into the overall vision for the team or company. And when a team works well together projects automatically run better—plus they’re more fun to work on!
Set realistic goals. There’s no point in setting goals that you know can’t be reached. Instead, resource management gives you an opportunity to map out what you can realistically get done and by when. Having everything spelled out, including all necessary resources, helps you justify any challenges you anticipate to your boss (or whoever assigned the project). Know what you’re able to accomplish with your current resources and then make a case for more if necessary. Then set goals that actually make sense.
Improve future planning. When you go through the resource allocation process, you’ll get better at it each time. You’ll be able to find gaps and add additional resources next time to execute even faster. This can also help you make a case for more budget or people when a similar project hits your desk while making informed decisions when planning headcount.
How can you become a resource management master? Try these 10 tips to get started.
Resource management should always be a part of your overall project management plan. While it can seem overwhelming at first, allocating the right resources at the right time will make work much easier as you move forward. Take it step by step and commit to using a work management tool, like Asana. Your team will thank you!
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