What exactly is resource planning?
For any project to succeed, you need the right allocation of resources. This could be people, budget, time, space or equipment. There are a whole load of resources attached to projects, and it should all be thought through before you start. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself or your Executive before or during your planning meeting:
- Who is going to be on the project team?
- What are their function and responsibilities?
- How long will the project take, and how long will each team member work on the project?
- What meeting space do you need, and can it be booked in advance?
- What equipment do you need for the project? What is the purpose of the material, and how much does it cost?
- How often will the team have to meet again? Can this be planned so that critical milestones are hit?
Along with the list of resources, when you think about how to help your Executive allocate resources on projects, you also need to think about how these resources play out during the project. For example, you should look at each element of the project, each task, and add your resources to that task. The detail should be this granular because there will be times when your resources are required for more than one part of the project and might also be needed on another part. This is called resource dependencies, and you will need to plan when and how your resources are allocated so that one part of the project isn’t delayed unnecessarily because it is dependant on a resource being used elsewhere.
Time is often one of the most crucial resources in any project, mainly if your Executive is involved and has to sign off the project milestones. So, it is also worthwhile creating a resource schedule for your Executive. This can be done on a calendar and shows how long each resource is needed and when it is required. There will always be conflicts over resources, especially if you work in a small team, so this overview will give your Executive all the details they need to move resources around if the project stalls or there is a risk of it stalling.