Operational Excellence

How to Create a Project Resource Management Plan

Written By: Ray Waldron
June 24, 2024
9 min read

Picture this - you start the day and find yourself juggling resources across multiple projects. You struggle to see who's available and where they're allocated. Suddenly, a critical project hits a snag, but you can't find the right person to fix it. Sound familiar?

Without real-time visibility and efficient resource allocation, projects can quickly derail, leaving you scrambling to pick up the pieces. But what if there was a better way? In this blog, we'll explore how innovative resource management solutions can give you the clarity and control you need to keep your projects on track and your team working like a well-oiled machine.

Project resource management is the backbone of successful project delivery. It ensures you have the right people, materials, and tools available when needed. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore what is project resource management and help you with a step-by-step plan to tackle any such challenges.

What is a Project Resource Management Plan?

Project resource management is the process of planning, allocating, and managing the resources needed to complete your project. It includes:

  • People

  • Equipment

  • Materials

  • Facilities.

By managing your project resources, you’ll ensure that you’ve the right resources when you need them. It helps you avoid delays, stay within budget, and achieve your project goals.

Building an effective resource management plan helps you to optimize resource utilization, minimize conflicts, and ensure that your team members are working on the right tasks at the right time.

When you clearly understand your resource capacity and availability, you can make better decisions about project timelines, deliverables, and priorities.

To improve your project resource management, focus on these three pointers:

Resource planning

Identify the specific resources required for each project phase. Consider the skills, experience, and availability you need to complete project tasks. Document these requirements in a resource plan outlining the types and quantities of resources you need for the project.

Resource allocation

Assign resources to project tasks based on their skills, experience, and availability. Use resource allocation techniques, such as resource leveling and smoothing, to ensure efficient use of resources.

Resource tracking

Monitor resource usage, performance, and progress throughout the project. Use tools like timesheets, project and resource management software like Quickbase to track the performance metrics. Regularly communicate with team members to ensure they have the support and guidance they need to finish their tasks.

Resource optimization

Continuously find ways to optimize resource utilization and minimize waste. This involves cross-training team members, reallocating resources based on changing project needs and using the right tech stack to automate tasks.

Steps to Creating Your Project Resource Management Plan

To develop your project resource management plan, start by following these steps:

1. Start with basics

Start by developing a deep understanding of the project and make a note of the details like—project brief, project scope, and work breakdown structure, if available.

You can also go through similar previous projects to get a high-level understanding of how you should move ahead with the project and what kind of resources you will need to move the needle.

2. Identify resource requirements

Break down your project into specific tasks and identify the resources required for each task. Consider the skills, experience, and availability needed to complete the work successfully.

Don't forget to account for non-human resources, such as equipment, materials, and facilities. Once you’re done with this—think about how you’re planning to procure these resources. If you’re a small business, it’s easy to just get the resources.

However, in enterprise-level business—the process can get complex, as there might be set processes and workflows you’ll need to follow.

3. Assess resource availability

Evaluate the availability of both internal and external resources. Consider factors such as existing workload, vacation schedules, and competing project demands. Identify any potential resource gaps or conflicts that may impact your project.

For example, 100 hours of the marketer and 50 hours of the software developer. You also need to consider at what times you’ll need them and when you will be able to release them because they might be engaged in other projects.

4. Develop a resource allocation strategy

Based on your resource requirements and availability assessment, create a plan for allocating resources to project tasks.

Use techniques like resource leveling and smoothing to optimize resource utilization and minimize overallocation. Consider contingency plans for addressing resource shortages or unexpected changes.

Related: How to improve budgeting and resource allocation

5. Establish a resource tracking and reporting system

Determine how you will monitor and report on resource utilization, performance, and progress throughout the project.

Use tools like timesheets, project management software, and dashboards to provide real-time visibility into resource usage and identify any issues or opportunities for improvement.

With Quickbase you can see across your entire operation in a single view and use automation to allocate resources as project needs change.

As you develop your project resource management plan, it's important to be flexible and adaptable. Project circumstances can change quickly, whether due to shifting priorities, unexpected roadblocks, or new opportunities.

By creating a plan that can accommodate these changes, you'll be better prepared to navigate the challenges that arise.

The Importance of Being Adaptable

Here are some tips for building flexibility and adaptability into your resource planning:

  • Use rolling wave planning to elaborate on resource requirements as the project progresses and more information becomes available.

  • Build contingency buffers into your resource estimates for unexpected delays or scope changes.

  • Foster a culture of open communication and collaboration among team members to quickly identify and address resource challenges.

  • Regularly review and adjust your resource plan based on actual project performance and changing circumstances.

Leveraging Technology: Project and Resource Management Software

Project and resource management software helps you plan, allocate, and optimize your resources, ensuring that your projects are delivered on time, within budget, and to the highest quality standards.

When you choose the right project and resource management software it helps you:

  • Get real-time visibility into resource availability, utilization, and performance

  • Automate resource allocation and scheduling processes

  • Collaborate and communicate with team members more effectively

  • Make data-driven decisions based on accurate, up-to-date information

  • Identify and mitigate resource risks and constraints proactively

To take advantage of these benefits, choose a project and resource management software that aligns with your specific needs and goals. Here are some key features to look for:

  • Resource scheduling and allocation

  • Time tracking and reporting

  • Integration with other tools

  • Customization and scalability

When evaluating project and resource management software options, it's important to compare the top tools in the market. Here are some leading solutions to consider:

  • Quickbase: Quickbase is a project and resource management platform that simplifies complex workflows and ensures that resources are efficiently allocated, tracked, and optimized throughout the project lifecycle, enhancing overall productivity and project outcomes.

  • Smartsheet: Smartsheet lets you capture and track plans, resources, and schedules, making it an adaptable tool for managing projects and broader company-wide initiatives.

  • Airtable: With Airtable you can build custom workflows that suit their unique needs. Its flexible platform allows you to manage resources effectively, ensuring that projects are completed on time.

  • Monday.com: Monday.com offers visibility into both short-term and long-term projects. It helps teams maximize their efforts and optimize sales opportunities with efficient tracking and forecasting tools.

Best Practices for Project Resource Management Plans

1. A comprehensive resource management plan

A well-crafted resource management plan should cover all aspects of resource planning, allocation, tracking, and optimization, and is regularly updated to reflect changing project needs and circumstances.

2. Set communication channels

Set clear channels for communication, such as daily stand-up meetings or collaboration platforms, to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

3. Take advantage of resource optimization techniques

Resource leveling includes adjusting project timelines to minimize overallocation and conflicts, while resource smoothing is about adjusting resource assignments to create a more balanced workload.

4. Invest in resource development

Provide ongoing training and support to help team members develop their skills, knowledge, and capabilities..

5. Continuously monitor and optimize performance

Use data and metrics to track resource utilization, productivity, and performance, regularly review this information to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.

Tackling Resource Management Challenges

Despite your best efforts, you may still encounter common resource management challenges, such as conflicting priorities, unexpected changes, or resource shortages. To address these challenges effectively:

  • Prioritize tasks and allocate resources based on their impact on project objectives. Make tough decisions and trade-offs when necessary.

  • Create contingency plans for last-minute issues and any potential risks. Have backup resources, alternatives, or scope adjustments that you can implement quickly if required.

  • Foster a culture of adaptability and resilience. Encourage team members to embrace change, think creatively, and collaborate to find solutions.

  • Leverage external resources, such as contractors or consultants, to fill skill gaps or provide additional capacity when needed.

With Quickbase, you can tackle complex project challenges head-on, just like Consigli Construction did. By leveraging this no-code platform, Consigli quickly created a customizable solution for safety documentation, eliminating inefficiencies and enhancing oversight.

Quickbase allowed us to solve problems we’d already sort of solved, but not well. Then, it started solving other problems and took on a life of its own.
Anthony Chiaradonna
Anthony Chiaradonna
CIO, Consigli Construction

Imagine your field teams using QR codes to fill out safety forms on-site, streamlining the process and empowering your supervisors to manage resource allocation efficiently.

Quickbase's flexibility lets you tailor safety requirements to specific job sites without drowning in paperwork.

You can maintain high safety standards while ensuring the efficient use of resources across all your projects.

Improve Your Project Success with Resource Management Software

Project resource management is a non-negotiable for delivering successful projects on time and within budget. Adopting the right project resource management software will help you stay organized and get all the data you need for the project.

Quickbase is a powerful software that can help you streamline your resource management processes and overcome complex project challenges. Its flexibility and customization options will help you tailor the platform to your specific needs, ensuring that you maintain high standards while efficiently using your resources across all projects.

With Quickbase, you'll be well-equipped to deliver successful projects consistently and drive your organization's growth. Sign up today for a free 30-day trial!

Picture of Associate Content Marketing Manager Ray Waldron set against a lochinvar background
Written By: Ray Waldron

Ray Waldron is an Associate Content Marketing Manager at Quickbase.