Most projects require a variety of different resources. Take, for instance, a new coaching program launch. People and budget come to mind – you may want to hire a video editor to work on your lessons, and that’s a financial investment. There’s more to it than human resources and funding though! A project manager is responsible for resource planning – identifying and allocating the resources needed to successfully complete a project – human resources, financial resources and more. Here are the various resources we consider when planning projects:
April 25, 2023
The people involved in a project are essential resources. When determining who would be the best fit to work on a project, project managers consider factors such as the number of team members required, their availability, their skill set and experience, and their fees.
Not everyone is available all the time and so, project managers verify their team’s current schedule and availability before assigning work. Things like family leave, scheduled vacations, and time zones are all things to take into consideration.
Having the most suitable people assigned to a project allows your project manager to organize and delegate tasks effectively so that the project can be done well and on time. Team members need to have the right skills and experience, but their fees need to align with the project’s budget too!
When budget planning, project managers consider the cost of tools, supplies, team member fees, and other expenses related to the project.
Let’s go back to the example of the coaching program launch. In addition to the financial resources needed to hire the video editor, you may also want to purchase a high-quality microphone so that your recordings sound great. You might also book time with your business coach to consult on content development, or your accountability coach to help you stay on track while developing the program. These items should be accounted for in your project budget or allocated to your overall business operating budget.
A project manager can help you flesh out the project budget to ensure that all required resources are included and accounted for and that the available financial resources will be sufficient to effectively complete the project. Whether it’s refreshing your website, curating a monthly newsletter for your clients, or planning the launch of your next book, a project manager can help ease some of the stress that may come with budget planning and management.
Depending on the nature of the project, you may require specific physical resources such as equipment, tools, or facilities.
For example, maybe you have the microphone and other equipment that’s needed to film and record the project but you’re lacking a venue or space to do it in. This is a major physical resource that you’ll have to account for.
What if you were considering an onboarding gift for your new clients? Those gifts would need to be budgeted for in terms of the design, sourcing, and shipping costs. Working with your project manager to identify what resources are necessary will allow you to plan how and when to acquire these items so they are ready when you need them.
Data, information, and knowledge are essential resources to be managed. As project managers, we plan how to gather, store, and use the necessary information for the project.
To best support resource planning, the following documents and methods are usually included at a minimum:
Time is a crucial resource for any project, you can trust that your project manager will plan for how long the project will take and how to allocate time effectively. They will identify the project’s critical milestones, set realistic timelines, and ensure that team members have enough time to complete their tasks.
Your project manager will most likely opt to create a detailed schedule of these timelines and so, being honest and open about any scheduling conflicts or issues with the timeline you may have from the beginning is key! Your project manager can only best estimate and resource plan for time if all known variables are out on the table. Oftentimes, it’s smart to look at the timeline in a 3-point structure: realistic, optimistic, and pessimistic. The realistic timeline is the estimate that is most likely to occur, the optimistic is the best-case scenario, and the pessimistic is the timeline that might have to happen if something goes sideways.
Technology is an essential resource for many projects. Your project manager will consider what hardware, software, and other tools are needed to complete the project successfully. They’ll also plan for how to use technology to communicate and collaborate effectively amongst the team!
Figuring out which software to use and which is best for your situation is key when resource planning. Your project manager will take the time to figure out exactly what tools you need as every project is different and requires different technology.
Your project manager may also already have a communication and collaboration tool in place that they use with other clients. However, there is no shortage of platforms to collaborate on! If you have a preference or already use a specific method to communicate with your team, your project manager may also plan to integrate themselves into that method if it best suits the project.
By considering and planning for these various resources, we can make sure that your project runs smoothly and is completed on time and within budget.