What is Project Resource Planning?
Project management covers a wide range of roles and responsibilities. Keeping everything other than consideration resource planning is done.
Resource planning not only caters non –human resource management but also to human resource organizations. The project resource planning figures out the best possible ways for resource allocation and utilization. In addition to this, it keeps the track of resources being utilized and keeps a check on the capacity of the budget to do further.
Resource planning keeps your team in a good shape by managing their tasks and responsibilities. Most importantly it improves the efficiency of the team by ruling out the chances of overlapping and back-to-back shifts as it keeps the energy of the team preserved that can be utilized at the right time.
Good resource planning keeps the project on the right path and if this will fall apart, your project is likely to go through a disaster.
Resource planning helps to achieve even distribution of resources by planning in the following stages;
- First of all, entire core resources or inventory are measured and their properties are researched.
- In the next stage already identified resources are examined and evaluated for their availability.
- The final stage is the execution of the plan made to occupy these resources in the right manner by making them profitable.
What should a resource plan include?
It is important to know the process of creating a resource plan for a project because it will organize your resources throughout the project cycle and the template will help you to keep the track of regularly utilized resources. The need for resource planning and management is only to preserve the resource instead of burning them due to wrong scheduling. The simple process is explained further;
- Identify all the resources that you have planned for a project including both human and non-human resources. Make proper lists to get the accurate scheduling of these identified resources.
- Both humans and machines have a certain capacity to work and perform efficiently. Just to keep that under consideration timeframes are planned to allow the duration of active hours in which the resource is likely to perform.
- Make a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule for the consumption of resources so that both sides are aware of their tasks. This will help you to get better control over things.
- Calculate the regular hours of shift for each resource so that after those hours overtime can be estimated.
- List down the constraints and assumptions that are likely to hinder the progress of the project by bringing fluctuations in the budget or working schedule of the team.
Make sure that you are planning your resources according to a strategy that will improve the efficiency and profitability of the project. When planning resources keep the local holidays under consideration to avoid any mess as the project progresses.
Heat Maps Reporting for Resource Management
Heat map reporting is an advanced project management technique that gives the visual representation of the project planning that is easier for the reader to understand and comprehend. All the important points in the visual representation are highlighted according to the developed color code.
Heat map reporting can be introduced to a variety of project domains and one such important domain is resource management. You can create meaningful visuals with your formatting skills.
As the project progresses, the heat map reporting points to important information like budget and resource capacity for better management.
A number of templates are available in which you can customize the columns according to the needs of the project. You can also reorganize the data frequency breakdown period by some alterations. The customized formatting makes it more convenient and adaptable for the project managers.
WBS Template Use in Resource Planning
Work breakdown structure is an important part of resource planning. When you start a project you break the project into smaller parts which are easier to schedule and manage.
Work breakdown structure works as a base of resource planning as it carefully organizes a proper schedule of the team.
During the process of work breakdown structure, the team is assigned roles and responsibilities, keeping in view tasks are assigned with the proper details of starting and ending dates.
Not only this, the budget allocation of each task is done separately to keep the budget in check. With the help of a work breakdown structure, shifts are planned and organized in such a way that there is equal distribution of work among the team.
Resource planning covers both human and non-human resources of the project so work breakdown structure helps in developing the template by providing all the necessary information required for resource management and planning.
Resource Management Software VS Excel Template
Resource management gives a project a better shape with extraordinary features. It is a beneficial tool for industrial projects and organizations.
Project managers can use these templates for free in software designed for this purpose. Also excel templates are available with different features to organize and manage your resources conveniently.
Examples of Resource Planning Template
A simple excel template for resource planning can have a different set of columns but one common example is shown in figure 1. It can also help you to keep track of your resources with the help of the status of the ongoing situation of the project. Whereas, there are multiple software performing the resource management job.
Float is one such software that is widely used by project managers because of its easy yet exclusive features. The software is convenient for both beginners and professionals. Mavenlink is another cloud software which is used recently for resource planning. You can create timelines smoothly with the help of this software.
Workforce Planning Template Excel
Workforce planning deals with the scheduling of individual employees to manage the resource to its maximum. It basically creates a plan of action by assigning tasks according to the goals of the project. Dates are added to keep the goals under constant check.
Workforce planning also helps you to identify the need for training of the team so that they can perform better and help your organization to grow. With the help of workforce planning, you can better understand the potential of your team.
Team Capacity Planning Template
Planning and managing your workforce is the target of any project but you may feel that things are not going as per the plan for that reason you can incorporate a capacity planning process to organize your team.
Capacity planning of your team will give you a better insight into your team’s potential. Let your team decide and analyze their capacity to perform efficiently. Once they are aware of their own capacity they are likely to perform better.
Call a team meeting to discuss these points to make a proper work plan. Calculate the total working hours of each member and also the time spent on different tasks.
Make sure that you are doing justice with your responsibilities. Find the suitable capacity plan template and enter the data as you have arranged for your team. In case there are some changes in routine give a prior update to keep the team informed.