Resource Planning

August 28, 2015
In this video, we review how to best select the perfect project team without overworking your team, causing delays or affecting other company projects. FREE Project Management EBOOK for new project managers. DOWNLOAD HERE: http://www.easyprojects.net/ebook/ Don't forget to check out our Blog on project management to learn more: http://www.easyprojects.net/blog/ Video Transcript: Resource Planning - What the heck is it? Let’s take a moment to define resources so we’re on the same page. Simply put, resources are what you have available to complete a task. In the project management world, resources can include everything from time, money, people and equipment. Since we already talked about time and budget planning in our previous lessons, today will talk about managing your people resources. Keep in mind that planning equipment resources is almost identical. Proper resource planning and management ensures that people are not overloaded with work, their time is spent well and your budget is allocated as intelligently as possible. It helps you answer questions like: How will the existing projects be affected by adding a new project? How many additional (external) resources are required to complete a new project without affecting the schedule of others? Are there any highly skilled graphic designers available in two weeks to begin working on our Christmas campaigns? Is anyone overloaded with too much work? Is there anyone who doesn’t have enough work? These questions are important to ask because without knowing the answers, you could end up with a frustrated and overworked team that would like nothing better than to quit their jobs. When resources are not handled correctly there are a series of unfortunate events that can occur: You can accidently overload people with too much work Your project budgets can spiral out of control Your project may suffer many timeline delays It could have a domino effect other projects in the company So, in order to keep everyone happy, it’s important to know what’s going on with your resources. To do this, there are a few things that you need to know first before you start planning for your resources: First, you need to have a pretty decent handle on your overall project planning process. This means that for all of your existing projects: you have to have: Defined activities Defining your activities simply means knowing what tasks need to be completed during the duration of your project. Defined timelines Having a defined timeline will give you an idea of each task’s duration by number of days. Estimated hours Estimating how much effort is required to complete each task is equally important, as you can remember from our previous lessons. Progress When your projects is underway you can keep an eye on estimated hours vs actual hours because you’ll want to make sure your estimates are accurate or if they need adjusting. For example, let’s say you estimated that a task will take 20 hours to complete, you already spent 15 hours and the team member in charge reported that she still has 10 hours of work left to do. You’ll have to adjust estimate and incorporate the extra five hours. Other factors to consider: Holidays, vacations, personal schedule When planning your resources it’s important to remember that people do take vacations, get sick and have other things come up. You need to account for all of these factors too, when building your own resource loading calendar. Assignees Once you have your timelines, estimated hours and the tasks for all your existing and new projects, you can finally look at the skills required to complete new tasks and check the availability of the team members who would be the best fits. You can use traditional whiteboards or spreadsheets to manually design your resource loading calendar, or you can use a project management software that can do all of the resource planning for you.
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