Resource Management for Teams
A resource is anything that is needed to execute a task or project — this can be the skill sets of employees or the adoption of software. For example, if you’re planning an event, a few resources include scheduling out staff for the event, planning what vendors to use for promotional materials, investing software that allows attendees to register, and budgeting for everything from giveaways to catering.
Why is resource management important?
Resource management as part of project management is all about doing more with less. Nobody likes waste, especially in business. Resource management is centered around optimization and efficiency. When you know what you need to make a project successful, you can effectively plan out the optimal way to use those resources.
To some companies, optimum efficiency is so important that they hire someone solely devoted to resource management; also known as a resource manager. What does a resource manager do? While project managers are responsible for creating and assigning tasks to get the project done, resource managers are accountable for allocating the resources needed to make the project a success.
What are the advantages to resource management?
- Avoids unforeseen hiccups: By understanding your resources upfront and planning how to use them, you can troubleshoot gaps or problems before they happen.
- Prevents burnout: Effective resource management allows you to avoid “overallocation” or “dependency” of resources by gaining insight into your team’s workload.
- Provides a safety net: Let’s say the project was not successful due to lack of resources (it happens). Resource planning and management establishes that you did everything you could with what you had.
- Builds transparency: Other teams can gain visibility into your team’s bandwidth, and plan accordingly if your team is at maximum capacity or available to take on new projects.
- Measures efficiency: With a high-level understanding of what’s needed to manage and execute an upcoming project, you can effectively plan and measure ROI.
What are some resource management techniques?
1. Resource Allocation
Resource allocation helps you get the most from your available resources. Based on team members’ skills and capacity, resource allocation is the process of tackling projects using the resources you have at your disposal in the most efficient manner possible.
To get a clear view into allocation, project managers will often use resource allocation reports. These can give anywhere from a high-level view to a detailed run down of resource availability — helping you avoid schedule delays and going over budget. The better the reporting capabilities at your disposal, the more transparency and efficiency you will have over your projects.
2. Resource Leveling
Another type of resource management is called resource leveling. This technique aims to discover underused or inefficiently used resources within the organization and work them to your advantage. An example of resource leveling is having a content writer who has experience in graphic design help out the design team by taking on small content tasks that require design work. If a team member can flex their design skills, the design team won’t need to hire a freelancer if they suddenly get flooded with design requests
3. Resource Forecasting
Having a resource management plan is critical to optimizing people, materials, and budget efficiency. Resource forecasting allows you to predict your future resource requirements before a project begins. During the planning stages of a project, resource forecasting determines the project’s scope, possible constraints, unforeseen costs, and potential risks.
To make these predictions, project managers must be extremely familiar with the project lifecycle and objectives, and have an overview of available resources within the organization. Project management software provides this level of visibility, as well as easy access to your projects and resources all in one place.
Selection of Team Players
1. Look for Excellent Communicators
For your team members to be receptive, to understand, and to act on what you tell them to, they’d better be great communicators. They are people who know how to listen, reply, and respect the other conversation participant.
Individuals need to be usually available when you need to reach them, and ready to address your concerns.
2. Seek Members that Are Well-Organized and Self-Disciplined
Two of the qualities that you should always expect from your team members are good organizational skills and self-discipline.
You can cultivate these things by building emotions around them and by engaging in an uncertain process that will gradually lead you towards the mastery of these skills.
Of course, not many people know or apply these things, maybe not even you. However, for a project’s team to be amazing, it needs to be comprised of self-disciplined and well-organized individuals.
3. Find an Exceptional Project Manager or Be One Yourself
Are you the one who’s leading the team? If the answer is yes, you should ask yourself the next few questions:
- Can you lead by example?
- Are you a genuine, compassionate, and patient leader?
- Do you have what it takes to lead your people to success?
- Would the project work better with another project manager?
- Do you have to acquire certain skills and knowledge to improve your leading confidence and to deliver the expected results?
Being the manager of a project is not a simple task, so whether you’re up to it or not is your decision to make.
If you decide that you want to hire a project manager, well, you need to make sure they are a better leader than you so they can truly can bring your project to life and to success.
4. Hire the Best Fit for the Role
Never make exceptions on this. When you hire people, you need to be 100% objective. It doesn’t matter whether the candidate is one of your mother’s friends or your partner.
You should only hire the best fit for the role and for the team. This is ideally a person whose background (experience, skills, and attitude) corresponds to the requirements and expectations that the job role presumes.
5. Look for Resourceful and Influential Individuals
Do you want your team to be resourceful? Then start looking for resourceful individuals. When you want to make a big, delicious cake, you need to ensure that each piece is well dressed in the ingredients and every single component becomes remarkable at one point or another.
Your team should be comprised of some people who have professional connections with different organizations, individuals, and/or clients.
Ideally, they should be influential, meaning that people will recognize them as an authority in their corresponding field.
6. Do Your Research Well All the Time
Proper research will save your project from a lot of trouble along the way. Hiring team members that don’t actually fit the job role and the team will waste your time, money, and energy, and the relationships between you two can often end up in conflict.
Before you hire someone, make sure that you research their online presence, which includes social media and Google. Then you should call the person for an interview and analyze the person in a better style.
Lastly, you can convince yourself by challenging the candidate. Assign them a small test or work sample to see how they may perform in the future.
7. Seek Proactive Members
Pro activity is an essential component of each successful team. Your project heavily depends on the activity of each of your team members’ combined.
Employees that take action on their own are helpful assets.
Seek this in your employees, and your project will run smoother and faster than you would expect.
8. Truly Listen to Your Candidate’s Words
While your candidates are speaking, are you truly listening? Do you genuinely care about what they want to say? Or are you just hoping to hear the things you want to hear?
To start, analyze the candidate’s first interaction pitch. See how they approached you in the beginning. Secondly, assess the discussion you had.
Lastly, listen carefully while the person talks during the interview.
9. Prioritize Skills and Knowledge Over Certifications
Seek skills, knowledge, and experience over certifications. Never choose solely based on certifications, as you risk getting unskilled and inexperienced project members that will only ruin your plans.
The candidate should prove they are capable of being productive by displaying their skills and knowledge, and not just a paper that only states the achievement of finishing college or courses.
10. Find People That Are Willing to Commit to Their Role
For your project to launch and grow successfully, you need people that are willing to commit to work, including risks, setbacks, fear, boredom, and the other negative feelings and situations that can come as a result of hard and smart work.
Gary Michell, an IT Specialist and project manager at Superior Papers, believes that without committed members, every project team sets itself up for failure.
Here’s what he had to note: “During the interview, let candidates know what to expect from the role. Once they have acknowledged, ask them directly whether they feel challenged (and why?) or motivated (and why?) by the project’s goals and by the culture of the company and team that’s going to be present for a probably long time in their lives. Always seek committed individuals!”
Always be careful when choosing your project team members. This is the number one key to a proper business foundation that’ll last and prevail. Each of your employees’ unique contribution counts and matters at the end.
When the line is drawn and the results are visible, you’ll be able to acknowledge the value of your team and the efficiency of your recruiting.