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Importance of resource planning in project management


Project management is leading a team to achieve project objectives by applying methods, skills, knowledge, and experience within a specific time frame and budget.

Managing a project and leading it from its initial phase to its final stage with the proper resources without overrunning budget and time can be challenging. One of the ways to go about it is, in addition to detailed planning, a unified resource plan, and a robust project management tool.

But what exactly is resource planning, and how does it impact project management?

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Resource planning identifies, forecasts, and allocates resources to a particular task or project. This is done while considering and respecting the timeframe and budget required to lead that specific task or project.

What are the benefits of resource planning in project management?

Resource management and planning practices enhance productivity, project performance, and profitability. 

Given the fact that projects are unique, as each varies in scope, there are major standard highlights that are considered fundamental for every resource management plan:

  1. Resources: compiling lists of available resources and creating resource management plans helps envision the availability of resources. In this context, resources mean all necessary personnel and material resources to achieve the defined goals. In project management, resources are, for example, equipment, funds, energy, or even people. Hence, resourcing can be more accurate when comparing actual results to planned values.

  2. Cost: recording and tracking your time spent on a project is fundamental, as it helps you track your project in terms of time, money, and work progress. To ensure you work according to the initial plan, record your time and expenses, then analyze and approve your timesheets. In addition, proper time tracking will result in more accurate invoicing, thus again reducing and monitoring costs.

  3. Availability: understanding the availability of each resource to avoid delay or resource conflict. When you track your team’s time on a timesheet, you will have better management, knowing how employees spend their time.

  4. Responsibilities: Communicate clear instructions, so everyone understands their responsibilities.

  5. Dependencies: resources have relationships, and occasionally the project flow might rely on these dependencies, which might cause delays. In such cases, time tracking is a booster, as employees become more motivated when their work efforts are shown transparently.

As simple as resource management may seem, neglecting it can lead to the consequences, such as conflicts in resource scheduling which lead to project delays, poor documentation of project progress causes gaps in knowledge, primarily upon employee departure. In addition, incomplete project resource planning leads to different company and client expectations.

What is the importance of resource planning in project management?

Keep in mind that resource planning can influence the viability of future projects and their timelines, especially when it comes to proper time tracking. Managing projects and resources the old-fashioned way on a spreadsheet is no longer viable in our times, where resources can be spread across the globe, and projects can run 24/7. Using the right tool is vital for any project’s success, especially regarding resource planning.

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