Resource management is a crucial part of any IT project company. Resource management refers to the process of identifying, planning, allocating & optimizing resources as per project demands. Out of all the resources, human resources are the most important aspect of any IT project.
Delivering an IT project successfully demands strategic planning, continuous monitoring, and proactive remediation of unforeseen changes and challenges. A well-devised resource management strategy is elemental to keep track of the project’s roadmap. As a resource manager, you need to deploy a balance resource management strategy to pacify any instance of resource conflicts. You need to detect the gaps in resources while staying within time and budget constraints to complete the market-oriented IT project.
This article offers key insights into the various aspects of resource management. Navigate through the intricacies of resource management, including types, challenges, and skills required for the same. Moreover, you will also learn the importance of resource management software for IT companies to stay competitive in the current age. IT resource management software unlocks opportunities to help you become more agile, tactful, and strategic to improve project margins and make positive impact.
Why Do You Need Resource Management Software?
According to a report published by the Project Management Institute, “only 58% of organizations understand the value of project management.” Moreover, adding to this, the report notes that “only 23% of organizations use standardized project management practices across the entire organization.” Resource management may seem to be a time-intensive activity, but it is well worth the investment. A PwC study covered more than 10,640 projects. And to utter dismay, the study concluded that only a minute percentage of companies, notably 2.5% ended up completing 100% of their projects successfully. The remaining percentage of companies did not end up meeting their objectives and targets or ended up exceeding their budget or timeline.
Resource management software such as Professional Services Automation (PSA) have a range of intelligent tools and features to boost the success rate of your IT project. The main goal of resource management software for IT companies is to provide the big picture overview. These data-driven systems collect the necessary information about the available resources enabling you to allocate effectively. It also allows you to forecast supply-demand scenarios and provides insights into the accuracy of your estimates.
IT resource management software also generates reports enabling you to determine if your resource plan aligns with the objectives, timeline, and budget. Resource management is a critical segment of your project management initiatives. Using the software, you can prevent unplanned expenses, save money, and minimize equipment depreciation. It reduces the challenges and arms you with actionable data and insights to re-route your resource plan and achieve higher performance rates against the KPIs.
What is Resource Management?
Primarily, it is necessary to determine what constitutes resource management in an IT project. A resource is an asset required to carry out a project. It includes people, tools, time, finances, among others. Developing project resourcing strategies is an indispensable step to meet performance goals. Without it, you are likely to lose synchronization and coordination, due to which the project will end running in a haphazard manner.
To fine-tune the IT project and ensure optimization, stakeholders need to develop a consensus on an ideal resource management strategy. Resource management software helps gather necessary data points to define the right techniques and processes for the project at hand. With traceable data, timeline, and budget, it becomes easier to boost the project’s performance profitability.
The Cost of Poor Resource Management
Before delving further into the nuances of resource management, let’s first see what happens due to poor resource management strategy. Due to lack of planning, absence of right data sets, or other discrepancies, an ill-formed resource management pathway can cost you your project’s success. Some of the known setbacks include:
- Improper use of available skillsets
- Reduced performance levels of employees and increased dissatisfaction
- High turnover
- Logistical errors and conflicts between stakeholders
- Under-/over-allocation of resources
- Unnecessary business expenses in the last hour
- Delayed delivery of projects
Leveraging resource management software for IT companies helps you as a resource manager to avoid these potential challenges and outcomes of poor planning. It allows you to make informed decisions to manage assets, time, and money effectively.
What are the Various Steps Involved in Resource Management?
With the basic understanding of the cause-effect scenarios of poor resource management, we shall discuss the critical steps involved in resource management. Undoubtedly, resource management ensures transparency. It ensures optimum control, especially with the use of resource management software for market-relevant deliverables and better opportunities for increased profitability.
Resource management software offers improved visibility into the available resources. It allows you to seamlessly navigate through the underlying steps involved and execute better responses. These include:
- Plan and schedule available resource based on requirement
- Assess available skillsets and evaluate the need for additional skills
- Map the existing allocation of team members and determine its relevance and utilization
- Understanding resource capacity through continuous monitoring of schedules, needs, and timelines
- Prioritizing and administering resources as per current demands for better control over delivery
Here are the various stages of resource management in detail.
- Identify Resources: Instead of generalizing resource requirements for your project, identify the specifics. Determine the specific resources integral to your IT project. It requires research and planning for optimized allocation. If your resource management software for IT companies already has the information regarding your team members’ skillsets, it becomes easier to assign them specific tasks, or determine if you need to onboard new talents.
- Procure Resources: Based on project roadmap and resource requirements, you can use resource management software to determine the availability of resources in your organization. Schedule the project timeline and budget according to which you need to procure resources based on priority to avoid unnecessary upfront expenditures.
- Visualize Resources: IT project management software offers a centralized interface and dashboard to easily visualize resources. It enables you to develop a flexible resource plan and makes information easily accessible for easy coordination and collaboration. You can easily apply insights and monitor the impact of your current resource plan through continuous monitoring.
- Manage Resources: Visualization is a powerful tool to seamlessly manage your resources according to the established metrics. Managing involves a proactive approach to respond to changes and reposition resources as per priority order that contributes to organization’s growth.
- Monitor Resources: Using resource management software for monitoring resources helps you to significantly optimize resource performance. Thus, the team can collaborate efficiently, respond to innovation faster, and deliver more value with less effort.
IT resource management software provides you with real-time visibility over your resources to effectively schedule and allocate it according to the prioritized initiatives.
What are the Benefits of Resource Management?
IT enterprises, be it small, mid, or large, need to implement resource management strategies for their projects. With IT resource management software, resource managers can tailor-build customized techniques for optimum resource usage. Some of the key benefits of resource management include the following:
- Maximum use of deployed assets including physical infrastructure, team, technology, and finances
- Accurately schedule projects to meet budget, timeline, and resource capacity
- Identify problems, loopholes, and vulnerabilities before it creates major challenges
- Improve employee satisfaction thus ensuring better outcomes
- Better relationship between various stakeholders involved
- Improved agility, security, and responsiveness towards the project
Using resource management software seamlessly ensures that all projects have the necessary assets for optimal results. It facilitates enhanced collaboration between team members to stay on the same page through transparent proceedings.
Types of Resource management
Based on the nature of the IT project, resource managers need to custom-build the techniques. Resource management methods typically covers the following:
- Allocation: It ensures optimal use of available resources and those that need to be sourced and procured. Allocating resources based on the project requirement prevents unnecessary expenditures down the line.
- Leveling: Using resource management software for IT companies, you can easily identify the gray areas to determine inefficient use of certain resources. It gives more authority to redefine the resource allocation. Leveling is also helpful for those projects that require more resources that exceed its availability.
- Forecasting: Resource management software comes with intelligent features that gather data from your historical and current data sources. Based on required parameters concerning the project’s scope and key performance indicators (KPIs), it becomes easier to forecast needs and assign resources more judiciously.
Resource Management Best Practices
Meeting the performance standards and ensuring compliance with the established protocols are non-negotiable parameters of any IT project. Such practices need to be incorporated and monitored for resource management as well. Some of the proven best practices for resource management includes the following:
- Resource managers need to understand that resource management is a continuous process. Each IT project is prone to changes and unforeseen challenges as the project proceeds. Accordingly, resource managers need to manage conflicts based on the ongoing and downstream priorities. IT resource management software helps in forecasting such changes for better adaptability and resource optimization.
- Shortage of key resources creates concerns in the IT project. Using the resource data in the resource management software, resource managers need to identify constrained resources crucial for the project. Planning around its availability is important to adhere to the timeline and budget.
- Resource prioritization should not be ignored. It is key to successful completion of tasks. Moreover, prioritizing work across shared resources is important to eliminate unnecessary delays.
- Documenting resource assignments should not be skipped. While it is a time-taking, tedious task, resource management software for IT companies simplifies the task. Updating resource-related data consistently ensures traceability to avoid problems in future. It makes the entire process practical, strategic, and effective.
- Ensuring satisfaction among your human resources is elemental to project success. Keeping them happy results in negligible turnover, thus minimizing costs related to shortage of high-priority talents.
Core Elements of a Resource Plan
While the critical elements that constitute key resources in an IT project have been listed above, let’s discuss each of these assets in brief. A comprehensive resource plan must include the following elements, subject to the project’s requirements.
- People: Irrespective of the wide prevalence of technology, people are an indispensable asset of any IT project. And, certainly it is one of the most expensive resources. IT projects require human resources with specific skillsets and subject matter expertise for successful execution and delivery. Onboarding the right team and ensuring their availability is a core concern.
- Time: The IT market is highly competitive and time-bound in the current digital age. If the project is not delivered timely, it can cost you dearly. Ensuring a strict timeline, tracking time and performance progress are crucial parts of resource management. Maintaining records regarding time spent on projects allows resource managers to track what sections cause unanticipated delays to avoid it in future scenarios.
- Skillsets, Capacity, Availability, and Utilization: A diverse team with required skillsets is required for an IT project to achieve targeted outcome. Instead of assigning a single member with varied tasks, it is better to deploy a team working in different capacities and availabilities. Hence, it ensures that the team members are not diverted from other ongoing projects.
- Technology: Technologies are an integral part of the resource group. It depends on the nature and requirement of the IT project. Integrating IT resource management software works as a centralized interface to manage all your tools.
- Data: Data is one of the underlying resources ever-present during an IT project. Bringing data to use effectively facilities maximum resource utilization, enabling you to match the time and cost constraints. However, it is necessary to focus on the right data sets without being intimidated by the data overload for efficient prioritization. Resource management software allows you to track data based on priority for informed decision-making.
How to Optimize Resource Allocation?
As discussed above, resource allocation is one of the primary and critical stages of resource management. Effective resource allocation boosts project success rates, ensures team collaboration, and leads to better productivity. Moreover, it facilitates the development of quality products for enhanced customer satisfaction, thus enabling resource managers to reduce costs, risks, and waste. The various steps involved in resource allocation includes the following:
- Define your Objectives: Primarily, you need to set realistic goals and determine the objectives of planning your resource roadmap. Why do you need specific resources and to serve what purpose? What are the key metrics against which you need to map resource usage? How do you intend to prioritize resources and what are the various constraints? How does your resource roadmap align with the overall projects’ objectives? Once you answer these questions, it will give you a clear head start in defining the various parameters of resource allocation.
- Assess your Resources: Using resource management software for IT companies, it becomes easier to assess both the current resources and project future demands. As a resource manager, you need to trace the availability of resources in your organization, and those that you need to procure. Map resource capacity, capability, and associated costs. Use resource management software to forecast demand beforehand. It allows you to see the larger picture of your resource roadmap, and even look at the various intricacies related to plausible challenges and opportunities.
- Plan your Allocation: Once the assessment of resources is successfully done, you need to devise and fine-tune your strategy for effective allocation. Balancing supply-demand, meeting time and budget constraints, and ensuring continuous monitoring are key to resource allocation for maximizing value. Moreover, it is likely that resource conflicts may arise due to unforeseen challenges. Resource managers need to effectively communicate with other stakeholders in such circumstances to competitively adjust to such challenges and remediate them at the earliest. Hence, resource management plans should be flexible enough to meet the variability in demands.
- Execute and Review your Allocation: Continuous monitoring of resource management post execution is non-negotiable. Based on the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you defined as per the objectives, trace your allocation performance. Map your resource consumption to avoid any loopholes or gaps, and for seamless management of resource conflicts. Use IT resource management software to trace the outcome of your resource plan. Record feedback from your team-members to continuously optimize the process.
How to Become a Resource Manager?
Resource management job is a specialized field that requires adequate skills, degree or certifications, and experience to procure more high-end roles down the line. It also depends on the career path that you choose to pursue in the field or organization of choice. To become a resource manager, here are some standardized requirements:
- You need to primarily obtain a degree. Typically, employers and organizations tend to hire candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree for the role of resource managers. Be it a communications degree, or that in finance, computer science, communications, or any other degree, if you have a passion and interest, you can apply for this role.
- Employers value hands-on experience in resource management experience. If you have previous experience, it will be a great plus point for you.
- Developing resource management skills is a continuous process. Cultivating skills such as data management, communication, and adaptability gives you solid leverage in enhancing your probability of being hired for the role. Consider adding technical skills to your portfolio such as familiarity with resource management software and tools.
- Get certifications. It enriches your resume and demonstrates your expertise in specific areas enabling you to procure the prospective role.
Undoubtedly successful project delivery depends on effective resource management. As a resource manager, you need to be mindful of the various parameters that govern resource capacity, allocation, and utilization. Hence, based on the project deliverables, you can adequately assign assets and gear the project towards completion. Resource management software for IT companies unlocks opportunities to optimize resource usage with enhanced accountability and efficiency. It allows you to minimize waste of resources to generate higher profit rates. With these key concerns in mind, you can align your strategies for higher return on investments. Exercise better control over your resource plans and avoid conflicts and delays with these insights.
How ProductDossier can Help with Resource Management?
Resources are the most important yet tricky aspect of any IT project. Managing resources requires detailed observation, data-driven decision making, and effective utilization of time and money. This is where ProductDossiser’s PSA comes in.
PSA or Professional Services Automation software is an ideal solution for resource managers. It has a range of adaptable features and capabilities that seamlessly aligns to your project needs. The key capabilities cover effective resource planning, allocation, matching demand-supply, mapping utilization, tracking efforts, and resource release. It also has essential tools for monitoring, analytics, and visualization. Easily forecast the resource roadmap and stay within the time deadline with the resource calendars.
Ensure higher project success rates with PSA. With these holistic capabilities, you gain a competitive edge in resource management to deliver a high-end, market-relevant, and profitable product in a timely manner!
PSA is the ideal software for resource management. With a range of holistic capabilities, it gives you an edge to effectively develop a tailor-built resource plan for your IT project. The various capabilities include resource request/allocation, utilization, forecast, bench management, resource calendars, and skills and competency management. Using these tools, you can easily manage resources to match your project objectives and requirements.
Resource management in IT company refers to pre-planning, identification, allocation, utilization, and monitoring of resources. It is a critical step in project management to match project deliverables, timeline, and budget. Resources constitute of various assets including people, tools, equipment, time, and finances. Each of these resources needs to be managed and streamlined to ensure project success.
Resource planning software is a purpose-built platform with intelligent features that allows you to plan and organize your resources as per the project demands. It enables you to schedule and administer your resources with better precision. You can easily integrate, monitor, and track your resources using this software.