How to Resource Plan

How to Resource Plan

When managing a project or a project portfolio, it’s critical that resources and workload for each are intelligently distributed. Without proper resource allocation, projects can quickly get out of control in terms of expense and duration.

With the right resource planning techniques, effective planning and management of resources in any industry can set you up for success. But before the break down on how provides the perfect tools for resource planning and management, there must be a firm understanding on what resource planning is and how to compose a resource plan.

Resource planning is one of the steps required when writing a business plan where all the resources in a proposed project are identified. This is achieved by creating a summary for managing workload that is comprehensive enough to make sure all the resources that are needed to complete the project are clearly identified. This summary is going to help get a buy-in from the sponsor and team.

Resources can be anything from equipment to project sites to people. Below is a short list of some resources which should be identified when planning a project?

  • Type of team needed
  • Roles and key responsibilities for each team member
  • Number of people required to fill each role
  • What equipment  needed and its purposes
  • Job locations or meeting rooms required
  • Types and number of equipment needed
  • Total amount of material needed

All these can be entered and tracked with the tool found in for more accurate resource planning and management. 

The creation of a project plan is achieved by;

  • Schedule the dates for using the planned resources. That includes when and for how long they are needed, the people assigned to the team, equipment rental, project site rental and anything else.
  • Identify the amount of resources required per project activity. Each day many resources will be used, this part of the plan is used to detail them on a daily basis.
  • Create a detailed resource use schedule. Take those durations and amounts and collect those on a calendar or timeline to make sure the resources are allocated correctly.

In order to include all the information required to have a process in place. Basically, it’s a three-step process of listing, estimating and then constructing. This entire process can be expedited by using tools from resource planning tools to map out projects. Before this is performed, it is best to go through each of those steps in more detail.

Step 1: List the Resources

Simply start a list in the project management software. Write down all the different resources needed. Use the above bullet points as a structure. Who are needed to do the tasks that make up the project and identify all of those roles. That includes full-time, part-time and contractors.

Equipment should be included, the same steps should be performed as were done for the labour component, and identify all the equipment going to be needed to get the project completed. That list should include anything from office equipment such as computers, photocopies and other devices to telecommunications and machinery.

The next item on the list is the materials. What is the non-consumable materials needed to complete the project activities? These can be materials necessary to build physical deliverables, such as IT devices, wood, steel, and concrete.

Step 2: Estimate How Many Resources

Next is to determine how many of the listed resources will be needed throughout the life cycle of the project. For example, how many hours will be needed from the team? Break that down per role. Do the same for equipment. How many pieces of equipment are going to be necessary?

The same goes with material, estimate what amount of material, in terms of square footage, number of units, etc., is going to be necessary for the project. How much hardware is needed to buy, including the required license software?

Get as accurate an estimate as possible, and enter that data into the project management software. If possible, try to note the date the resources are needed and what the consumption rate per day, week or month is.

Step 3: Construct a Resource Schedule

Use the information collected in the first two steps to build a detailed resource schedule in the workload management tool. Also specify the resources required to complete the project, the time-frames for the consumption of each of those resources and the quantity of time each resource is going to require per week and/or month.

Add up the total quantity of resources consumed per week and/or month. Don’t forget to identify the assumptions and constraints which are going to arise through the projects life cycle. Once these steps are completed, the resource plan is good to proceed and the data can be entered into the preferred Project Management tool.

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