Project Resource Workload and Conflict Management


The number one reason for project failure is not lack of skills, but poor project management methodologies. Resource management and allocation are key elements of project management. They play a key role in determining the success of a project. If resources are misallocated or poorly managed, it will always lead to project failure. While this holds true in a single-project environment, it has a very large impact in a multi-project environment.

First, we need to understand these two types of project environments:


The business has no concurrent projects

In this environment, a single project manager has a well-defined set of resources (employees and equipment) for the project. Once the project is over, the manager moves the entire team to the next project. But most of the above environments only appear in project management books and are rarely seen in real life.


The business has multiple projects running at the same time

Most businesses today, regardless of their nature, size and industry, have multiple projects going on at the same time. Multiple project environments have become the norm. The approach to resource management and allocation in a multi-project environment is quite different from that followed in the single-project environment described above.


Q: If the responsibility is to manage a single project, does managing resources only involve single project management?


A: If your project resources are to be shared with other projects, it is concerning multi-project resource management.

Lets look at the challenges that arise when sharing resources between parallel projects.


Limited resources

Gone are the days when companies had enough resources to staff every project. With increased competition and busy deadlines, all employees today must multitask. For example, if your enterprise has 10 concurrent projects, resources are likely to be shared among those projects. This means that your employees work on multiple projects and must perform multiple tasks at the same time.


Overlap and conflict

Scheduling resources across projects may cause a different set of problems because you have the same team members on different teams that are monitored by multiple project managers. When project priorities overlap, the situation becomes more complicated. This not only leads to resource management and allocation conflicts, but also affects output quality and project delivery schedules.


Stress and burnout

The constant tug-of-war between teams over resources can lead to stress and burnout for the best (demand) resources. As a person responsible for resource allocation, you must constantly switch resources from one project to another without impacting project schedules or causing over- or under-allocation of resources. However, switching resources between projects is not an easy task.


Use PMO for resource management to achieve these goals:


Reduce the high volatility of the overall resource usage of the enterprise

High volatility in resource usage wastes resource costs. Enterprises can use  PMO to collect the resource plans of all projects, and check the resource consumption over a period of time (for example, one year or two years), flattening the resource consumption when the project allows, so as to reduce the cost of idle resources after peak usage.

Since the project time is changed due to market or other reasons that affect the peak period of resource usage, the above work must be repeated, which is difficult to do without a tool like  PMO.

Every project manager can avoid resource conflicts

PMO has an enterprise resource library. Each project manager can clearly see the load of the required resources in other projects, and select and allocate resources to their own projects. Enterprises can set rules in  PMO to limit the maximum allocation rate of resources to prevent over-allocation.


Attempt to eliminate resource conflicts between projects

When a project is delayed or time changes, this affects how long some shared resources are available in other projects. At this moment, resource conflicts between projects may occur. When these occur,  PMO will immediately alert the affected projects, and enable affected project managers to re-search and allocate the affected resources.  PMO also provides negotiation tools that allow affected project managers to resolve conflicts through communication and negotiation.

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