Effective Resource Management: 10 Best Practices

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If you aspire to manage projects well, you have to possess many valuable skills and competencies, and the ability to make high-quality resourcing decisions is among the main ones. With that said, you need to pay enough attention to resource management and strive to improve its outcomes in your business. If you’re wondering how to do that, check out this article to explore ten of the best resource management practices existing today and get inspired to excel.

1. Fully Understand the Importance of Resource Management

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IS IMPORTANT. It allows businesses to deliver projects on time, avoid cost overruns, ensure high-quality performance, foresee various problems and gain more control over work processes. It helps them identify what’s needed to complete a project well and indicates how to boost resource efficiency. Effective resource management eliminates waste, promotes sustainability and maximizes profit. With that said, you must recognize the whole importance of this practice for your organization and stay aware of its plentiful benefits — this will motivate you to master resource management more than anything else.

2. Set Up a Dedicated Resource Management Function

Since resource management is crucial to project success, it’s wise to devote enough time and effort to performing it, and the best way to do so is by assigning someone for a full-time role of a Resource Manager. The more competent and experienced a professional you find, the better it is for your business. A dedicated and knowledgeable resource manager will make much smarter resourcing decisions than anyone doing this job part-time and half-heartedly.

3. Agree on a Common Approach to Resource Management

Of course, not every company can afford to hire a full-time Resource Manager. Instead, you may prefer to let specialists from different business units manage all the resourcing issues on their own. However, in this situation, you need to establish a unified resource management system for everyone to comply with.

Why? Without such a system, individual decisions will be prone to subjectivity. It will be much harder to justify and evaluate them objectively, and in case something goes wrong, you will have to invest much more effort in locating the roots of the problem and fixing it. Adopt a common approach to resource management, and you will avoid that. Plus, you’ll reduce the risk to quality of your decision making by a considerable degree.

4. Keep Your Goal(s) in Mind

The ultimate aim of resource management is to help you attain a certain goal and do it in the most optimal way possible. Hence, during the processes of resource analysis, estimation and procurement, you should always remember what you aspire to achieve. Having a clear vision of the desired results, you’ll be able to prioritize the most valuable resources with ease and allocate your materials, people and finances more effectively than without any goal at all (or with a poorly defined one).

5. Design a Thorough Work Plan

It’s rather impossible to understand how many resources you need if you don’t have a thought-through to-do list. Hence, you must define your work scope and create a detailed work breakdown structure outlining each and every task that should be completed on the way to success. With a comprehensive picture of all the activities, it gets so much easier to forecast and make realistic calculations of resources required. Plus, going over a thorough plan, you’ll be able to distinguish important tasks from less significant ones and set the right priorities in terms of work performance and resource allocation.

6. Estimate Resources as Accurately as Possible

As the process that helps to predict the exact amount of necessary resources, estimation plays a vital role in project management. In fact, without knowing how many materials and talents you need in order to complete a task, you can’t really proceed to working on it. Otherwise, you may stop half way through due to an unconsidered resource shortage or, on the contrary, end up acquiring too many items that won’t be used even once during project realization. Hence, it’s pivotal to get as-accurate-as-possible forecasts during the planning stage. And the only way to do so is by applying appropriate techniques and using high-quality evidence. With realistic estimates in hand, you’re bound to allocate resources more efficiently.

7. Stay Flexible

Resource management is an ongoing process. It doesn’t stop once a plan is developed and resources are acquired. It continues even after the actual work has begun since you have to monitor the use of resources and keep a vigilant eye on their current availability. Besides, you need to stay responsive to the environmental changes. You have to understand that following a rigid plan is not always the best solution — sometimes you have no other choice but to adapt initial strategies and formulas to external circumstances as they evolve and get transformed. In the everchanging, unstable environment, flexibility is one of the major determinants of success.

8. Employ Efficient Control Practices and Tools

When monitoring the current use of resources, you can identify potential shortages and address them timely. Besides, keeping a record of data on resource utilization, you gain a chance to see how well your team is complying with initial plans and evaluate the quality of your management decisions. Therefore, applying effective control practices and progress tracking instruments is always beneficial.

For better results, you may also refer to the help of smart software tools, such as actiTIME. This piece of software allows users to collect time tracking and project performance data. Plus, it will notify you whenever you’re approaching a deadline or face the risk of estimate overruns. These features promote better adherence to original project schedules and enable users to see how well they dispose of working time.

9. Threat Resources as an Investment

Resources are profit-generating assets. Depending on the way you look at them and manage them, you can either maximize your income or go through a massive loss. Considering this, it’s not a bad decision to invest in those types of resources that can help you increase the quality of output, boost competitiveness and, in the end, make more money. Think which resources are of the greatest value for your business and focus on treating them the right way.

10. Evaluate Your Resource Management Outcomes

Mistakes happen. Not a single person can guarantee that their choices lead to the best outcomes possible. But it doesn’t mean we should let mistakes repeat themselves. Instead, we may take an opportunity to learn from them and fill in the gaps in knowledge. That’s why you need to assess how well you manage your resources on the ongoing basis, recognize your mistakes and find effective methods to avoid the same ones next time around. Such evaluation completes the resource management circle just perfectly and allows managers to master this practice over a relatively short period.

Originally published at actitime.com

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