What You Need to Know
Resource Management Guide
What is resource management (and why does it matter?)
Resource planning is the art of seeing where you have capacity — in the form of time, personnel, or capital — and maximizing its potential impact on your operations. For companies operating on tight margins or managing a massive workload, it’s an imperative part of holistic project management.
Resource allocation in project management allows businesses to adjust resources to match a project timeline with available capacity. Effective resource planners maintain real-time visibility of their team’s workload to have a better understanding of delivery expectations, efficiencies, and more. They know when a team is underutilized, who is pulling more weight than they should, and even when it's time to hire a freelancer to relieve some pressure. This bird’s eye view of everything helps to reduce total production costs, prevent unnecessary delays, and reduce team member burnout.
How do you know when you need resource management help?
When resources aren’t allocated efficiently, it shows up in many ways:
- Workflow bottleneck
- Team members feeling overwhelmed
- Others may feel like they’re waiting around
- Deadlines that feel impossible to meet
- Consistently missed deadlines
- Poor quality deliverable
- Unhappy clients
If you’re regularly experiencing one or more of these issues, chances are you could allocate resources in a more efficient way.
“How do we manage our resources?”
How do you ensure that you’re planning a project from start to finish in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible? Technology is here to help you.
Like most complex business operations, spreadsheets were the most powerful and effective tool in a project manager’s toolbox until recently. Managers would comb through availability, costs, and deadlines to build timelines and allocate work. Of course, using spreadsheets to manage a business in this way is highly labor-intensive, complex, and subject to easy mistakes that impact the quality of the predictions made. In short, managing Excel spreadsheets is a full-time job in itself for a moderate-sized team.
With the creation of powerful project management software, managers have a new, efficient way to interface with the data to create smart, thoughtful plans for resource allocation, while also empowering the organization with visibility and functionality.
Did you know? Only 1 in 4 organizations use any kind of project management software.
Of course, different project management software suites are built for a variety of needs. For managers with complex resource allocation concerns, a project management software that includes resource management options is the way to go. But why is that? Let’s go through the various components of a resource management plan, common challenges when allocating resources, and how to solve them.
Resource planning for a project
When you need to plan for efficiency there’s a lot to keep in mind — and having multiple platforms to track makes things extra challenging.
When a project manager relies on multiple software tools to balance time tracking, task scheduling, and financial management, they’re often put at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to allocating resources.
A project management software with resource planning capabilities can help leaders:
See views of project hours booked for each team member and stay ahead so you can prevent a shortage of resources down the line. When you focus on capacity planning based on tasks, hours, or both, you can get ahead and take control of your resources while avoiding underutilized teams or scope creep.
Stay in the know with visual real-time dashboards that allow you to see the overall capacity of your team as it shifts and changes. Rather than relying on rigid predictions of capacity, managers can balance the workload of each individual to prevent underutilized team members and avoid burnout from unbalanced workloads.
Use project calculations to allow your sales team and project managers to collaborate. By combining project planning with a dynamic understanding of financial resources, project managers can build more refined scopes and more accurate quotes and manage margins before a project begins.
Promote better communication between teams to avoid over-promising time or resources with unrealistic deadlines.
Watch the whole project as it unfolds to better visualize the project from start to finish. With accurate forecasts on time that will be spent by team members and accurate data on how long the project should take to complete, leaders can find efficiencies that result in better workflows.
Managing highly optimized resource allocation
When it comes to actually allocating resources, visibility is key. Using options like spreadsheets or a program that’s separate from your CRM can make it challenging to connect all the dots.
Still, 35% of businesses represented in this study are using Excel for project resource management, and 17% don’t use any software tools at all. That can lead to a number of easily avoidable mistakes and headaches.
Common challenges for companies without adequate resource visibility are:
Without a high-level view of projects, managers and their teams can’t say for sure what is the highest priority based on deadlines and team capacities. The result is too little time and resources allocated to value-creating tasks, or rapid shifts in prioritization that frustrate and disorient team members.
Poor resource allocation leads to overwork, lag time between projects, and other misuses of available capacity. The long-term impact of misunderstanding capacity can be significant, including profit loss, employee burnout, and client churn.
Anticipating growth and building capacity for the long term requires an accurate real-time perspective on available resources. Without streamlined workflows that adequately understand current resources, you may end up overlooking opportunities for long-term development.
On the ground, resource-allocation software allows you to schedule a project, divvy out tasks with confidence, and forecast how long a project will take — including how the hours will land on your team members.
That allows you to avoid bottlenecks in production which can slow your team down and leave some team members overwhelmed and overbooked while others are waiting for their next task.
It’s nearly impossible to hold all the information on availability and bandwidth in your head. Project backlog features available on management software like PSOhub track all tasks in a workflow and allow you to assign them as people come available. That way, you can be ready for the ebbs and flows of commerce without creating costly and frustrating log jams.
What does streamlined resource optimization look like?
A new client is signing a contract for a three-week engagement involving specific deliverables. Let’s see what our project manager, Eva, does next.
- Eva reviews the project with the sales team using advanced metrics to determine an accurate timeline and appropriate rate for the work performed.
- Once the contract is signed, she examines the project to break it down into tasks, and to match each component to associates with the skill sets and bandwidth available for the job. She can easily see who is available and when using resource allocation features in her project management software.
- By comparing the availability of key employees, she is able to produce effective deadlines that don’t overtax workers and avoids bottlenecks.
- Once the project begins, Eva can track progress using a project management software that allows her to anticipate delays, adjust for urgent or priority items, and plan for changes in availability.
- After the deliverable is completed and sent to the client, she can use data generated from the project management software to streamline her workflows and anticipate challenges for similar assignments in the future.
By prioritizing resource allocation in her workflows, Eva has the power to protect her team from overwork while finding efficiencies that improve turnaround times and protect profit margins from delays and costly rework.
How PSOhub can help with resource management
PSOhub’s resource management tools cover an entire project from deal to deadline so you can get both an overview and in-depth understanding of the project timeline, capacity implications for each team, and accurate time estimates for your client.
PSOhub aims to help you understand people, projects, and capacity so you can manage your team efficiently and see what’s ahead.
Some of the most valuable resource management features from PSOhub include:
See pressure points and available capacity quickly. Explore capacity at a glance and plan for project hours with visual workload boards. It’s all in one place.
Inaccurate quotes can hinder growth and put undue pressure on your team to make up margins. With effective in-app project calculations, you can work with your sales team to create accurate quotes. You can even manage client invoicing from PSOhub for one streamlined experience.
Get an in-depth understanding of productivity across metrics. See which project team members are contributing to the most — down to roles, rates, and time.
Manage all activities and resources from a single view for a holistic and agile approach to project management.
No more overbooking! Know who on each team has available capacity and assign them the right tasks.
Balance capacity to prevent burnout on your team. Monitor monthly utilization and make sure no one is overloaded or underutilized.
You have enough on your mind. Move open tasks to the backlog and assign them when capacity becomes available. No more mental notes or missed milestones.
PSOhub is a comprehensive professional services automation (PSA) platform that is built to integrate with existing tech workflows to streamline how you manage projects and collect cash.
It’s designed with project managers in mind and offers advanced resource allocation tools for unmatched project visibility.
- Is available for free, with a no-nonsense pricing model for access to more features.
- Saves time and reduces repetitive work for team members, boosting morale and productivity.
- Offers scale-friendly features like automation, smart invoicing, and mobile time tracking.
- Integrates seamlessly with HubSpot and other CRMs so you don’t have to overhaul your tech stack.
- Offers a powerful reporting dashboard to help you track progress, plan for resource allocation, and optimize your business.
Optimize your resources and increase profitability and start working smarter today with PSOhub.