Assume you have a vital necessity to complete a large piece of complex work just perfectly. How are you going to attain this goal? The first thought for many of us would be to focus on productivity — to utilize your skills and energy to their maximum capacity. And it’s true, of course. But if we dig deeper, we see that the baseline of success in this case is adequate resource management because it is what ensures your resources are used effectively and wisely.
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT is the process of planning and allocating organizational (or personal) resources the best way possible — in a way that helps you attain your objectives within an optimal timeframe and doesn’t entail unnecessary expenses or compromise the quality of work.
Scheduling and budgeting are part of resource management. However, this practice comprises so much more, and in this article, we will discuss all the things that resource management is about and look into the benefits it provides for businesses, project managers and individuals.
Types of Resources to Manage
Resource is a valuable asset owned by a company or a person. It is a possession or a quality that could be easily drawn upon in order to serve a particular purpose or support an activity whenever such a need arises.
There are two major types of resources: tangible and intangible. The first group includes all sorts of PHYSICAL ASSETS:
Financial resources provide the means to run a business, maintain its operations, develop new products and successfully release them. In other words, money is a backbone of any productive activity, both commercial and non-commercial. Therefore, it’s pivotal to allocate finances in a manner that sustains essential business functions in the long term and guarantees a steady inflow of income.
To produce goods and render services, you need to purchase and apply the right tools. Besides, by using advanced technologies, such as VR and AI, you may increase process efficiency, reduce costs, promote innovation and boost business competitiveness. Hence, technology is always an excellent investment to consider.
Land and facilities.
Any productive process occupies physical space, and the way you manage that space largely defines the speed of performance, the quality of final outputs and the amount of business expenses. Think of the following: Is it easier to work and avoid accidents in a cluttered and cramped environment or in a spacious and ergonomic one? How about occupancy costs? Do you have an opportunity to rent out a cheaper facility or use up a free office space more efficiently? Answering questions like these is an intrinsic part of resource management as well.
Inventory and materials.
You should have a clear understanding of the production scope and identify how many materials you need to produce a certain number of goods or services. Basically, this area of resource management is concerned with the analysis of material requirements, procurement, storage and placement of both raw production components and finished items.
When it comes to intangible resources, they include such NON-PHYSICAL ASSETS as:
Skills and talents.
Of course, human resources have physical embodiment, yet they are valuable to your business and projects mainly thanks to their multiple talents and competencies. These intangible qualities and features are the real things that keep the wheel turning (and not just in the intellectual kinds of occupation but in physical labor too). Lack of talent, proficiency and expertise mean sloppy work and little to no progress. Do you see what it means?
We can’t enjoy more than 24 hours during the day. Therefore, we have no other choice but to think how to utilize available time well. We must prioritize tasks, design clear action plans and develop realistic schedules — time management (and resource management) is all about that.
This type of resources includes copyrights, patents, unique inventions and many other intangible creations of the human mind that help you stand out among competitors and generate profit. Like any other kind of asset, intellectual property may become an amazing investment. If managed wisely, it can be a tremendous source of support in the quest for business success.
5 Main Resource Management Activities
As we can see, resource management addresses a vast diversity of performance areas at once. But as the process, it can be easily reduced to no more than five core activities:
- Planning — The development of a clear and holistic project picture: your goals, objectives, key project components and deliverables.
- Forecasting — The prediction of the amount of resources required to complete a task or a project. Forecasting is deeply interrelated with planning as such. You can’t engage in one activity without paying attention to the other. You can’t estimate time accurately if you don’t comprehend task complexity, and you can’t predict the correct number of costs your project is going to incur when you don’t understand how much time you will work on it. Then, with estimates and forecasts at hand, you will inevitably modify your initial plans until a realistic and manageable program of action is formed.
- Procurement — The act of sourcing and obtaining the required materials and services in accordance with your forecasts, project needs and objectives.
- Allocation — Following the designed resource management plan, you have to assign your employees, time, money, technology, etc. in a way that enables your business to attain all the desired goals.
- Control — After resources are allocated and the work has begun, you need to monitor the use of allocated resources and register all the relevant data. By keeping track of where your resources go and how fast they deplete, you’ll be able to identify the risk of shortage promptly and see if your approach to resource management is valid and effective in the first place.
To perform these activities, you may refer to the help of specialized software tools, and actiTIME is a great example. It allows users to keep a record of working time, track estimates and comply with schedules. Besides, this tool has a simple scope management functionality that lets you plan workloads by creating tasks and assigning them to responsible team members. With actiTIME, resource management and time management become much easier.
Originally published at actitime.com