The success of a project depends on how effectively the resources are being allocated and utilised. Organisations should avoid over or under allocation of resources as it can negatively affect the performance of the company and lead to losses. Therefore, it is essential that this matter is dealt with diligently before it is too late to take any suitable action.
Resource allocation in project management is the process of assigning tasks or scheduling the resources available in an effective and economical way. One thing that needs to be realised is that the resources are scarce and determining the timing of these resources within the project schedule needs to be considered.
The assets need to be managed in a manner that supports the goals of an organisation, which includes the management of tangible and intangible assets, and using human capital in the best way. Priorities need to be determined by balancing the competing needs and finding a course of action that maximises the use of limited resources.
While practicing resource allocation, organisations need to establish the goal such as improved productivity or refining brand recognition.
Why is Resource Allocation Important?
Resource allocation determines the number of resources required and allows for effective assignment of resources to a task. With the increasing competition, the operation costs have also gone up and there are very limited resources and budgets, leaving no room for waste or misuse of any asset.
It is easy to manage work in situations where budgets are abundant. However, when looking at the long run performance of the company and about formulating ways of maximising profits, proficient division of work is the key to success. It is essential to know the importance of resource allocation so that mistakes can be avoided.
For instance, considering employees as a resource if a task on hand requires a certain number of people, allocating more will put other projects at risk because there will be fewer people available to focus on them. Ultimately, this will lead to the company not realising its full potential and will not be generating maximum profits. Efficient resource allocation will ensure that the correct number of people is assigned to every task based on their skill set and their availability.
Steps Involved in Resource Allocation
The first step involved in resource allocation is to identify all the resources that are needed for the product to be made. It can include factors like raw material, capital equipment, transportation and other secondary costs like salaries and services. Companies do multiple things at the same time so a lot of foresight and planning needs to be completed to get more done.
One of the tricky aspects of leading a high performing project team is to make sure that everyone is appropriately occupied with projects that play to their strengths. This might mean that from time to time someone will be working on something which doesn’t lie in their area of expertise, but with a little help and guidance, it can prove to be a good learning and development opportunity for them.
However, with varying skills here are some questions that need to be considered before deciding on the order of resource allocation:
- Does the person have the necessary skills to complete the task successfully?
- Does the person have experience in doing something similar before?
- Are they interested enough to work on the task?
- What costs will be associated with the project?
Why do Resource Allocation Efforts Fail?
Unsuccessful strategic management leads to bad performance of a company. Many challenges are faced by a company and its project managers such as poor handling of tasks assigned, leading to costly mistakes which result in overruns and delays.
Some of the reasons include:
- Ineffective coordination and operations of projects
- Delaying tasks unnecessarily
- Not splitting the task and burdening employees
- Not training the employees well
- Not managing suppliers or analysing workflow
- Not using the right software tools
Using Project and Resource Planning Software
Allocation of resources can be done using modern tools and software to identify project tasks, efficiently allocate resources, avoid over allocation and prevent exhausting the employees. Sadly, many companies fail to meet the challenges of resource management. Especially in the IT industry where companies manage hundreds and thousands of projects at the same time, management becomes difficult.
The right software can help you minimise the duration of your project by getting the most out of the resources available. A system worth evaluating can be found at timewax.co.uk because they offer a free trial before you make an investment, which means you can first test it out to see if it benefits your business. Many project management systems have built-in tools for planning and allocating tasks with common features including:
- Multi-platform solution
- Features designed to match your role
- Mobile Apps to have easy access anywhere and everywhere
- iCalender feature to plan entries into your favourite calendar systems such as Outlook and Google Calendar.
- Import master data and transactions from your system
Why Use Planning Software?
- Saves precious time and keeps you updated at all times
- Improves project delivery by assigning the right project to the right person
- Drives revenues and profits by increasing utilisation
How Can Project & Resource Planning Software Help You?
- Manage workforce better
Resource planning software gives you a full and up-to-the-minute visibility of the division of the workforce on a small and large scale. It shows you projects the team members are assigned and the task they are working on. You can also get a better access to the skills and abilities of individuals. This will help avoid assigning any employee excessive workload and wasting their talent as they will be too drained to perform their best.
- Make better decisions
At times, it gets tough to prioritise the tasks of a project on hand and the chances of making mistakes become extremely common, costing the company a fortune. Resource management software takes away this stress and helps you plan based on the urgency. You can also test out scenarios by plugging in variables and studying their impact.
As soon as you define and plan the work manual adjustment to such a huge workload will be painstaking. This is where the software comes in handy. It has various project management solutions with drag and drop feature that makes access and the updating of data simpler and easier.
One minute you may be working on one project and the next thing you know, there is a completely new task that needs urgent attention. In such instances, conventional tools such as the use of Excel and spreadsheets prove to be outdated and useless.
Innovative software solutions are created to improve the resource allocation and management within any organization, regardless of size or nature. Expect to see accurate cost estimation and give your team autonomy and a better understanding of plans, skills and management. Investing in smart project management software will take you leagues closer to growth and success in the highly competitive market.