The two things that have the greatest impact on project success/failure are (1) requirements and (2) human resources. Human resources are not plug-and-play. Approving too many or too few tasks wastes resources, as does task switching. Resources are also wasted if the project manager cannot remove obstacles for project team members, keep everyone on track, and bring the team together.
Projects can be executed on time if team members are able to complete the work. If resources are under the control of someone other than the project manager and can be reallocated without consulting the project manager, the project manager will not be able to finish their job. As long as an organization has two projects that need to share the same resource at overlapping time, the project management software it uses must have the function of multi-project resource management.
Spreadsheets and intuition are definitely not enough to handle the complexities of dynamic resource allocation and resource usage even in a small to medium project, let alone a large project or program (multiple projects). Therefore, the project resource manager can easily tell if the project management software is smart or not.
Common project resource management challenges and solutions:
1. Manual data entry takes people’s time
Even just one resource’s week can be divided multiple times, and then planned, allocated and used on multiple tasks. If there is a resource conflict, the affected resources have to be re-allocated, planned, distributed and utilized. Think of 50 resources, which take 2500 times longer to divide, plan, allocate, and use. More and more employee time will be taken up by manual data entry or other repetitive tasks. On such a large scale, manual tasks become increasingly error-prone.
Resource Management automates these manual tasks, reducing the possibility of errors and freeing up time for other tasks. The result is a leaner and more efficient workforce.
As the business grows, disparate and independent systems paint an increasingly inaccurate view of company resources. This can drain employee productivity and cause a time lag in generating accurate performance data that influence decision-making.
Resource Management consolidates available information across departments and locations, providing real-time visibility into the business performance of the organization. This supports resource planning decisions, allowing employees to focus on more productive tasks.
3. Poor communication leads to inefficiency
Ineffective communication between employees and departments can lead to resource planning issues that impact your company’s bottom line. The resulting misallocation of resources can cause lost orders, project delivery delays, and staff inefficiencies.
Resource Management unifies business functions into one software that inputs and processes information, ultimately improving communication between departments and reducing the time it takes for critical information to reach stakeholders.
Most companies rarely have enough resources to staff all projects at the same time. The result is that projects effectively compete with each other, allocating resources to multiple projects simultaneously. This can lead to bottlenecks, especially if specialized skills are in high demand. To get the best performance and results from your resources, you must manage workloads to avoid over-and under-allocation. Professional services automation software allows you to check the impact of resource allocation changes on the overall plan, ultimately improving your ability to achieve project goals.
With Resource Management, you can first set the rules to completely prevent resource over-allocation during the project planning stage. Second, you can dynamically see the load on each of your project members during the project execution phase, even if other projects cause some of them to be overloaded or under-worked.
5. Resources need to be in the same place to work effectively
The growing popularity of remote work has allowed companies to cast their networks farther afield in search of critical resources. Not working in the same location as the project team can affect the availability of resources, but luckily, the cloud can solve this problem.
Using Resource Management, your team can work together from anywhere, and share critical information and communicate effectively. The complete visibility creates a more coherent workflow and maximizes the efficiency of tracking resources.