What Is Resource Management?

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What Is Resource Management?
Resource management is the practice of planning, scheduling, and allocating people, money, and technology to a project or program. In essence, it is the process of allocating resources to achieve the greatest organizational value. Good resource management results in the right resources being available at the right time for the right work.

Resources are essential to reach your goal, whether that be completing a task or a project or helping you analyze what is necessary to do so. Resources are finances, staff, physical space, equipment, technology, and time. The goal of resource management is to use the best combination of resources to satisfy requirements while also realizing these same resources are likely in demand elsewhere in the business.

Gartner believes that successful initiative completion rides on balancing available resources against demand, saying, “Leaders must enable careful initiative prioritization, prevent resource overload, and promote flexible completion timing to maximize value delivery.”

To understand how to best utilize shared and limited resources, you need visibility into demand and capacity, as well as required skills for particular work versus available skills. You must consider schedules, budgets, and alignment with corporate strategy to make sure you are prioritizing resources across the portfolio to maximize its value. All of this and more fits under the resource management umbrella.

The Basics of Resource Management
Resource management is critical for organizations to ensure they are optimizing and allocating resources to the right initiatives – the initiatives that are aligned to corporate strategy and bring the most value. By minimizing waste and duplication, streamlining and automating processes, and maximizing and speeding throughput, the enterprise is in a better position to respond quickly to customer demands and be nimble to change. Program and project delivery demand better resource management.

Regardless of work methodology, leaders seeking to practice effective resource management must balance demand with capacity while also understanding the needs of the business to prioritize, plan, and schedule work with the right teams, people, and skill sets. Gartner says that the opportunity and challenge for leaders is to “respond and move from a static to an agile planning approach, one that can continually reshape the workforce to incorporate changes in business and skill needs.”

With increasing demand and change, continuously delivering value with resources is not easy, even for the most mature organizations. It is a common and constant challenge for the enterprise: Making sure there are enough of the right resources and funding on hand to complete work well and on time. And that is where evolved resource management can help.

Why Is Resource Management Important?

Resource management is all about transparency so you can see, monitor, and attain what is required to deliver projects. It also enables you to minimize both idle time and overutilization of resources. With full visibility both work and resources, you can more effectively schedule, plan, and manage your resources, aligning them with the right projects at the right time.

It is easy to see the importance of resource management by understanding the disadvantage of not having it. Without the right data, resource managers have little control over their projects and no way of understanding:

Planning and scheduling – Understanding what resources are available and when
Available and required skills – Assessing the skills of each person and whether additional skills (or people) need to be added
Resource utilization – Knowing where people are already committed and if those allocations are appropriate
Resource capacity – Understanding true capacity to do work, recognizing that not all time can be utilized
Resource prioritization and allocation – Identifying those prioritized initiatives that the most attention and possibly specialized skills
Resource management ensures resource managers have on-demand, real-time visibility into people and other resources so they can have greater control over delivery.

When you execute resource management properly, you can help your organization reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and boost productivity.

You also reduce risk, seeing potential resource conflicts early on for more responsive mitigation, typically by reprioritizing projects or resources.

In this fast-evolving, high-demand world, these benefits are exactly what the enterprise is looking for and one that the Project Management Office (PMO) and / or resource managers can deliver if given the right tools and process to follow.

Keep in mind that resources are not only the people; resources are also the:

Technology / tools needed to enable people to execute tasks

Budget required to fund the project
Locations and specialized equipment
Resource management also demands a close inspection of schedules and timelines. It is important to bring all of these elements together with the goals of the business.

Benefits of Resource Management

For many organizations, resource management seems like an elusive goal where success is just out of reach. A common misconception is that resource management requires a large investment and a radical shift in process and culture.

Organizations that focus on establishing or improving their resource management capability reap benefits nearly immediately. While these benefits may vary depending on the organization and the steps taken, it is common to discover that projects are more frequently delivered on time and on budget.

When you have the data you need to plan and schedule, you can allocate people based on their skills and availability. Managers are able to set the right expectations with their customers when they understand current workloads, timelines, priorities, and budgets.

Instead of saying yes to everything with no regard to capacity, resource managers can more accurately schedule projects based on realistic, real-time data. Resource managers can make smarter decisions about how to staff their teams, both in terms of headcount and required skills to execute current and upcoming projects.

There is another key benefit derived from having the right resources working on the right projects at the right time: happier employees. A common challenge companies face is having too few people to work on too many projects.

Over-utilized employees quickly become frustrated and disheartened. They feel overwhelmed with their workloads, which frequently results in disengagement, decreased productivity, and poor performance.

With more predictability and consistency, attainable workloads, and optimally utilized skill sets, employees are more apt to feel valued and satisfied.

Resource management helps organizations optimize people, providing insight into their workloads, availability, project time requirements, skills, and more.

Organizations can arm their managers with what they need to appropriately and fairly allocate projects to the right resources.

For the majority of companies, the biggest project cost is people. If the wrong people are working on the wrong projects, costs escalate, while delivery declines.

Resource management brings control to the chaos, ensuring managers are equipped to maximize resources and reduce unnecessary costs. You have the data you need to understand project and personnel costs for more accurate budgeting and planning. You are also able to maintain an ideal team of people – optimizing resources across projects based on skills and capacity.

Ultimately, the greatest benefit of resource management is the effective and efficient delivery of projects to the end customer. Customer satisfaction improves when teams are able to fulfill project requests on time and as expected. Confidence in the ability to execute projects builds momentum, becoming a differentiator and providing a strategic advantage.

Resource Management Techniques
While resources span multiple categories, people are the most complex to manage because there are so many elements that play into how they can best be optimized, including skill sets, availability, location and cost. Organizations use the following resource management techniques to maximize resource efficiency, often relying on software to provide transparency to help leaders make smarter resource decisions.

Resource Allocation

Resource allocation involves more than just assigning resources to projects. It considers the skills your team brings to the table along with their availability. Allocation reports will enable you to filter resources by skills and capacity so you can not only see who is available now but also when certain skills will be available in the future for better planning and fewer delays.

Resource Utilization

Resource utilization is a resource management technique that enables you to gain visibility into the capacity of your team over a period of time and identify whether resources are being over or underutilized. This is critical because studies show that resources who are overutilized frequently experience burnout. Utilization reports reveal where resources are spending their time so you can see if there are opportunities to improve their effectiveness, productivity, and performance while keeping their workloads manageable.

Resource Leveling

Resource leveling is used to balance demand and supply. It is an important process to maximize resources across one or more projects based on their skills, getting the most value out of the resources you already have before you consider adding headcount or hiring a contractor.

People often have different skill sets, many of which are underutilized. The goal of this resource management technique is to understand all of the skills your people have and where they may be able to fill gaps so you can minimize your resource spend.

Resource Forecasting
As important as resource management is to ensure current projects run smoothly with the appropriate resources, the real benefit comes with being able to plan ahead to keep resources balanced across current and future projects. You must know current capacity, as well as upcoming projects and their requirements. Resource forecasting enables you to make predictions, identify potential conflicts, and prioritize resources on a timeline.

Stages of Resource Management

When you are in the project planning stage, you need to know what specific resources will be required to execute and deliver the project to the end customer. Determining your resource requirements, including people / skills and budget, is the first stage of resource management.

The second stage is to mobilize your team, considering the distinct skills the project requires at each stage in its lifecycle and available people with those skills. If you determine you are missing certain skill sets, this is where you will decide whether you have the budget to hire outside people who bring those skills. All required resources will be allocated at this stage.

The next stage of resource management is to manage the resources you have assembled, clearly defining and communicating roles and responsibilities. A collaboration tool will keep teams on the same page with transparent communication, enabling team members and managers alike to have an instant snapshot into who is working on what and when throughout the project’s lifecycle.

The final stage of resource management is monitoring resources for progress, efficiency, and effectiveness in delivering their expected project contribution. There will almost always be opportunities for improvement as you seek to continually optimize resources to deliver the highest value to the business.

Resource Management in Project Portfolio Management
Resource management within the context of project portfolio management (PPM) enables organizations so managers gain a level of control that would not otherwise be possible. If there is no or poor resource management, projects and initiatives are more likely to fail because of a lack of money or people, or because resources are focused on the wrong areas. It is one of the primary reasons projects go astray.

When organizations misallocate resources, other initiatives suffer from inattention or having the wrong resources assigned to them.

Poor resource management quickly spirals out of control, handicapping project execution at every level.

For CIOs, program managers, PMO leaders, and others, poor resource management can mean missing out on opportunities. And it is not just a matter of falling short of needed resources. Poor resource management can also lead to an overallocation of people and funding, and people in these roles will be held accountable by finance leadership and the C-suite when that happens.

Resource Management Software Tools
Resource management software helps you address a number of pain points related to managing their money and people. These challenges might include such issues as work overload, scope creep, and project failures due to time constraints.

Key challenges associated with resource management that you might face and that software can address include:

Managing and prioritizing project work requests and setting appropriate expectations with key stakeholders
Managing resource capacity versus demand for that capacity and understanding who is available to take on new work and when
Understanding what roles and / or skill sets are needed, either internally or through new hires, in order to fulfill stakeholder commitments
Ensuring that available resources are working on the highest priority projects that are best aligned with the strategic goals of the organization
Optimizing scheduling for when the appropriate resources are available to work on projects
When evaluating resource management solutions, you should look for particular features and capabilities. At a basic level, solutions should enable:

The capture and planning of work with resource assignments so managers can prioritize, avoid over-utilization of resources, and forecast resource costs

The ability to monitor the execution of work and quickly respond to changing priorities
The tracking and measurement of progress and costs to ensure the proper balance of work aligned to your strategies
More specifically, resource management software should have:

The ability to recommend how companies use resource capacity to deliver the highest business value

What-if scenario planning to help determine whether the organization can absorb and adjust to changes in the plan
A centralized resource view to review, approve, modify, and schedule resources
A standardized resource request workflow for project managers and resource managers to communicate and collaborate

Address the Pain Points

Organizations in a variety of industries leverage resource management tools to address challenges and more effectively allocate their project resources. Here are some real-world examples:

Growing pains

A building materials company that designs and manufactures insulation products was quickly growing through acquisitions and global expansion. One of the challenges the company faced was the need to establish governance for new product development.

The faster the business grew, the more difficult it was to control processes and scale. As a result, the development of the product portfolio was slower than it should have been, and costs were running too high. Much of this was due to a lack of visibility into reliable data and resource capacity.

Along with governance, resource management was a challenge. The company had the talent in place but did not always know what these resources were doing or what they were capable of doing. Some areas experienced bottlenecks while others had underutilized resources. And with facilities and resources in multiple locations around the world, communication and collaboration suffered.

The organization was pulling resources in many directions at once, and without visibility into where funding was going, it was difficult to discern margins and determine return on investment. The company had lost the ability to take on the innovative products it was known for quickly enough to keep its edge in the marketplace.

To address these resource management challenges, the company created a department to concentrate solely on product ideation and development and deployed a project portfolio management solution to manage data, process, and resources. The PPM tool quickly became a valuable diagnostic solution to identify risks, costs, conflicts, and resource issues.

By tapping into skills from under-utilized resources, the company can now develop products faster and at a reduced cost. The PPM software shows the company where the gaps and problems are in simple-to-read reports for ongoing analysis of scope, schedule, and budget estimates.

Using the technology, the company was able to reclaim its competitive edge as it manages the next generation of product development. Among the key benefits of addressing these resource management issues are that the company is developing the right products by the right people on budget and on time.

Case study: Facing multiple challenges

A company that sells children’s apparel worldwide through a multiple-channel business model made it a strategic and operational priority to revamp its IT project and resource management efforts to continue business growth.

IT had multiple project lists maintained separately by various business units, with no governance in how to select or create projects or tracking of project costs or resource requirements. This made regulatory compliance virtually impossible.

Managers and IT resources had no way to identify which projects were the most valuable for the company. This created associated resource management issues; since IT staff was being expensed on software projects that depreciated over multiple years, there was a mismatch of project costs, and auditors were concerned about improper annual expenses.

Furthermore, each workgroup within the company had a different set of “run the business activities,” creating more than 100 different activity types. There was no way to determine how IT personnel were actually spending their time.

In addition, several groups were involved in almost every project with minimal coordination between projects. It was impossible to forecast resource capacity issues, and this created constant resource conflict issues.

The organization deployed a resource management solution to address its multiple challenges and support business growth. The solution provides a simple workflow and project structure that was missing, and the company can now define project tiers to establish priorities.

The use of comprehensive time tracking enforces standard rate roles for all project members, based on salary ranges. All IT project members are allocated to projects and tasks, all managers and users are trained on new activities, and new reports are created for managers and activities.

Due to improved processes and planning, the company has seen more than $2 million in capital savings and $2.6 million in expense savings.

Resource management enabled the company to improve the prioritization of work and resources with a six- to 12-month view of resource planning activities.

Case study: Lacking visibility into resources

A health insurance provider lacked an integrated view of demand and capacity and found it difficult to prioritize and communicate pipeline demand without restraining resources. The company wanted to improve the resource management, work management, investment planning, and reporting.

Governance was important, as was being able to forecast demand and capacity for accurate investment planning. With a half dozen internal delivery partners, the firm needed to look at how to best broaden its view to understand supply, demand, capacity, and systems.

The company deployed resource management software to balance demand from multiple sources and assign work to resources to ensure that they can complete the most valuable projects.

With the solution, the company can make the best use of its resources and focus on projects that align best with its strategic plan. The insurance firm now focuses on optimizing resource capacity, ensuring resources are tackling the right mix of work at the right time.

Previously, the company struggled with data in various spreadsheets. Resource management was nearly impossible in static documentation that was always seemingly out-of-date or incorrect. Using integrated investment and capacity planning capabilities, the company is confident that it can strategically staff teams to maximize value and productivity. It is distributing staff and resources based on project prioritization.

Granular reports give resource managers actual and forecast detail by portfolio and project and staffed / unstaffed work information so that they can identify resource gaps. Status detail at every level provides managers with the data they need to ensure capacity can meet demand now and 18 months in the future.

Using their configuration of resource management software, the firm can forecast demand 12 to 24 months ahead and use that information to allocate resources weekly. It is better defining roles, with more detail to provide greater insight into capacity and demand. Among the key benefits:

Optimized resources by focusing staff on efficiency and value

Prioritized work that aligns to roadmaps for better visibility
Maximized portfolio and staff productivity with the use of investment planning
Integrated plans to measure capacity and demand
Prioritized demand by capacity and role

Resource management has become an integral part of any business today. It has emerged as an independent discipline after organizations became complex with matrix structure and expanded in multiple geographies.

Efficient project resource management provides centralized data into a single repository and provides a single version of the truth.
Its components include resource scheduling, resource forecasting & planning, capacity planning, business intelligence/reporting, integration with other related applications, and more.
This blog explains all its necessary concepts and aims to steer you through a successful journey as a resource manager.
1. Definition of Resource Management
Resource Management is the process of planning, scheduling, forecasting, and optimizing the entire resource lifecycle for successful project delivery. It helps unleash the maximum potential of each resource, improve business profitability, and beat market volatility.

2. Importance of Resource Management

Resource management plays a significant role in improving a business’s profitability and sustainability. Let’s highlight how enterprise resource management can help in contributing to both the top line and bottom line of any business.
1. Minimize project resource costs significantly
According to Deloitte, “Cost reduction takes precedence over other business initiatives.”
With enterprise-wide visibility, resource managers can utilize cost-effective global resources from low-cost locations. Having the right mix of local and global resources helps in reducing project costs. Allocating the right resource for the right project enables them to complete the delivery within time and budget. Resource managers can control costs by distributing key resources uniformly across all projects instead of a high-priority project.
2. Improving effective/billable resource utilization
Resource management software helps managers forecast the workforce’s utilization in advance. Accordingly, resources can be mobilized from non-billable to billable and strategic work. Sometimes when resources are rolled off from projects, there isn’t any suitable work to engage them. So, eventually, these resources end up on the bench. Resource managers can initially engage these resources in non-billable work before quickly assigning them to suitable billable/strategic projects
3. Bridge the capacity vs. demand gap proactively
Demand forecasting, a function of project resource management, allows managers to foresee the resource demand ahead of time. It enables them to assess and analyze the skills gap within the existing capacity. After identifying the shortages and excesses, resource managers can formulate an action plan to proactively bridge the capacity vs demand gap proactively.
4. Use scarce resources effectively in a matrix organization
The resource management process brings transparency in communication and hence facilitates to effectively share highly skilled resources in a matrix organization. The scarce resources can be utilized across different projects rather than one high-priority project. The shared services model will also form teams cutting across multiple geographies for 24 * 7 support operations.
5. Monitor and improve organization health index
Employees look up to their leaders for their professional development. Failing to motivate and provide career development opportunities will predominantly lead to reduced engagement, productivity, and unplanned attrition. Regular monitoring of their skills and performances is beneficial to help them improve and add more value to the organization.
Let’s dive deep into the major components and concepts of resource management,
3. Resource Management Concepts & its Components
1. Resource scheduling
Resource scheduling involves identifying and allocating resources for a specific period to different project tasks. These tasks can be anything from billable, non-billable, or BAU work.
With a centralized Gantt chart view of the enterprise, resource scheduling eliminates silos of spreadsheets. It also facilitates you to deploy the competent resources to the right job to finish the project within budget and time.
2. Resource utilization
Resource utilization measures the amount of time spent by the employees on different project tasks against their availability. It is a key performance indicator in the modern business landscape as it directly influences the firm’s bottom line.
Utilization can be measured in terms of :
1. Overall resource utilization
2. Billable utilization
3. Strategic utilization
4. Non-billable utilization
Resource Managers can proactively mobilize resources from non-billable to billable/ strategic tasks and maximize their billable utilization.
3. Resource forecasting
Resource forecasting helps managers predict resource utilization levels in advance and foresee the resources likely to end up on the bench. In addition to these, they can also stay forewarned of the required capacity for pipeline projects.
Leveraging this information, one can
1. Mobilize the resources to billable tasks from non-billable or BAU activities.
2. Ensure effective bench management
3. Bridge the capacity and demand gap
4. Resource and capacity planning
Resource planning is the comprehensive process of planning, forecasting, allocating, and utilizing the workforce most efficiently and intelligently. Resource capacity planning is an undertaking to analyze and bridge the capacity and demand gap well ahead of the curve.
These two components are vital to ensure that none of the project vacancies go unfilled or excess capacity gets wasted. Simply put, resource and capacity planning maximize optimal utilization and timely project deliveries.
5. Business intelligence and reports
Business intelligence provides actionable insights by performing extensive data analysis. Using real-time data, individualized reports, and dashboards on important resource management metrics are generated. These reports strengthen the managers’ decision-making abilities and allow them to monitor the overall resource health index.
Now that we are aware of the significant components and resource management concepts. Let’s understand what skills can help a manager ace this multi-layered process,

4. Resource management skills that every manager should have

Resource managers have multiple responsibilities to account for when managing the most significant investment of the firm. From understanding the talent pool to being the key link between PMOs and the workforce, they have a lot on their to-do list.
Here’s a list of must-have skills for a manager to streamline this complex process:
1. Communication skills
Resource managers are accountable for fulfilling resource requests from project managers by assigning the job to the right resource. Since they act as mediators in this process, it’s imperative to have exemplary communication skills. It will enable them to explain the roles and responsibilities to the resources better while also making reasoning with the project managers seamless.
2. Conflict resolution
Often multiple project managers end up requesting similar-skilled resources. In this case, if the project prioritization criteria are not in place, it may lead to conflicts. Also, a lack of transparency in defining goals and objectives can lead to resources being clueless, which can also result in discrepancies. It’s the job of a resource manager to intervene, set the expectations right, and ensure that everyone is on the same page to keep the work going. This is why conflict resolution skill is a mandate.

3. Domain knowledge

Since the onus is on resource managers to allocate the right resource to the right job, it’s important that they understand the skillset very well. If a resource manager with no engineering knowledge is working for an engineering firm, it will put forth resource planning challenges in the long run. For this, they must have domain expertise to get more clarity.
4. Proactive planning
Every project manager aims to complete the project within time and budget, which makes forward planning a critical aspect. Since success highly relies on the workforce, resource managers need to be extremely proactive to fulfill the demand. They should be quick-witted to make calculated decisions about implementing the right resourcing treatments.
5. Negotiation skills
Resource planning is a complex job and brings forward a myriad of challenges for the resource manager. For example, a project manager has requested an employee with advanced-level technical skills. If one skill is missing and it’s expensive to hire another resource, managers have to convince the project owners. In such cases, managers must be able to negotiate well and get the job done.
6. Risk management
What if a resource takes prolonged unplanned leaves? What happens if there is unplanned attrition? A running project can come to a halt. How would a resource manager tackle this situation? If they have a backup plan in place, these situations will seem easy to deal with. Risks are inevitable in the project landscape. Thus, resource managers should hone their risk management skills with forward planning to keep the project going.
These are some of the imperative skills for a resource manager. Let’s now understand what kinds of businesses require resource management.
5. Types of Businesses that Require Enterprise Resource Management?
Organizations with a matrix-based set-up, cross-functional teams, and a shared-services model require enterprise resource management. The level of complexity to which they adopt the business processes depends on their size and functions. Today resource management is part of every organization’s DNA.
Industries such as IT services, construction & engineering, audit & accounting, and professional services organizations, etc. have implemented robust resource management processes.
Other crucial factors that constitute the need for resource management are firms working on multiple projects in ad-hoc environments. It means that they are exposed to several changing variables like project priorities, resource availabilities, and budget constraints.
These complexities demand enterprise-wide visibility and real-time updates to help the managers stay informed at all times. They need to manage their resources diligently and finish the projects within budget and time. Therefore, organizations need to invest in resource management solutions for effectively utilizing their resources irrespective of the industry type.
Formulating a resource management framework is only half the battle won. It is equally important to implement this strategy using an appropriate resource management tool to suit organizational needs. Otherwise, poor resource management will have an adverse effect on the entire resource pool and the firm’s reputation.
6. Consequences of Poor Resource Management Strategy
1. Increased project costs
Incompetent allocation or booking high-cost resources instead of the low-cost but similarly skilled workforce spikes project budget. Since the resources’ skills and competencies are not leveraged most effectively, project costs will increase, causing unnecessary budget overruns.
2. Reduced employee performance
Poor employee performance is the first and foremost indicator of sub-optimal resource management. Unrealistic expectations, over-allocations, or bookings without considering employee interests and skills can contribute to reduced engagement and productivity. It will adversely affect the project’s quality and lower down employee morale.
3. High employee turnover
Employees feel disengaged and dissatisfied when their strengths and skills are not exploited at their best. Over-utilization due to unrealistic deadlines can lead to employee burnout. These circumstances can compel your valued talent pool to look for opportunities elsewhere, which will gradually increase employee turnover.
4. Delays in meeting project deadlines
Without visibility of team members and their skill set, resources may get allocated to projects that do not match their competencies. It can result in delivery delays as significant time will be spent to learn on the job before becoming productive. Delays in meeting deadlines also blow up project costs.
5. Client dissatisfaction and loss of business
Inefficient resource management practices lead to poor resource allocation, which causes teams to put in longer hours for meeting project goals. Tight deadlines and a heavy workload can put the team under pressure, thereby increasing the likelihood of errors. Delayed delivery, compromised quality, and budget spike jeopardize project health resulting in client dissatisfaction and eventually business loss.
The decision-makers must therefore formulate an efficient resource management plan to avoid facing these consequences. Managers can formulate this plan using advanced resource management software.
7. Resource Management trends to look forward to
The emergence of innovative and advanced technology has created a paradigm shift in the ways resources are managed. Modern tools are developed using Business Intelligence that provides precise insights into resource metrics and promotes data-driven decisions.
Here is the list of trends you will witness in the near future:
1. Going beyond simple scheduling and planning tools
Most of the resource managers implement basic scheduling and planning tools to allocate tasks to resources. However, as mentioned earlier, resource management goes beyond these concepts and covers a lot more. Thus, firms will soon start investing in a holistic tool that maintains a single version of the truth across the enterprise and provides all features under one roof.
2. Replacing guesstimations with real-time forecasting to plan future projects
Resource managers still deploy resourcing treatments based on mere assumptions and guesstimations. A modern tool will replace that with real-time forecasting. Managers will get precise foresight into project resource demands, resource availability, utilization, and more.
3. Using Business Intelligence to derive reports and maximize utilization
Modern software is integrated with business intelligence that derives information from the data and provides intuitive reports in real-time. Managers can use these reports to their advantage to assess and improve various metrics. For instance, they can maximize productive utilization of the workforce, which will enhance their productivity.
4. Switching from emails to a well-formulated resource requisition workflow
Project and resource managers still send endless trails of emails to get the required resources. Resource management software will change this by helping you form a resource requisition workflow. The first-come, first-serve basis will become obsolete, and priority projects will take precedence. Moreover, it will form an audit trail that will give absolute transparency to the stakeholders and management.
5. Implementing modeling & simulation to form the best-fit resource plan
Creating a resource plan involves a lot of analysis to eliminate potential bottlenecks in the future. An advanced tool brings a compelling feature ‘what-if analysis’ into the picture. Resource managers can leverage it to simulate different variables, form the best-fit resource plan and mitigate against the potential risks.
6. Empowering employees to choose their areas of interest
Businesses have restructured to become employee-centric which helps them grow professionally while the project needs are taken care of. To stay one step ahead, managers can now create an open seat for relevant project positions and allow employees to choose their areas of interest. It will enable them to diversify their portfolio, hone their skills, and escalate productivity.
7. Introducing a well-defined out-rotation policy for employee retention
When a critical resource is working on one project, managers tend to deploy the same resource to similar projects in the future. It creates a limitation for the employees as they don’t get to work on multi-faceted projects. Thus, resource managers must formulate a well-defined out-rotation policy that will provide fair chances to every employee to polish their expertise.
These are some of the resource management trends that will facilitate managers to unleash the maximum potential of their workforce and maintain a competitive edge.
What is Resource Management?
Resource management is the process by which businesses plan, schedule, and allocate people, money, and other various resources effectively. Those resources can be intangible such as people and time and tangible such as equipment, materials, and finances.
Resource management involves planning so that the right resources are assigned to the right tasks. Managing resources involves schedules and budgets for people, projects, equipment, and supplies.
While it is often used in reference to project management, it applies to many other areas of business management. A small business, in particular, will pay attention to resource management in a number of areas.
Resource Management Areas
• Finances – Can it meet current expenses or afford to invest in new equipment or staff training?
• Staffing – Does it have the right people for the work at hand? Will it need to hire if it gets that new client and if so, what skills will those people need to have?
• Physical space – Is the company’s office or manufacturing space configured so that other resources can be managed for maximum efficiency?
• Equipment – Does it have the tools needed to do what’s required?
• Technology – What does the business need to succeed and should financial resources be reallocated to fund what’s missing?
When used in reference to project management, resource management often applies to resource leveling and smoothing.
Resource Leveling
Resource leveling is designed to avoid shortages or excess inventory by keeping the stock of resources at a level that avoids both problems. Specialized software can help determine that level.
It’s also used in references to the time it takes to complete a project. With leveling, the start and finish dates are adjusted so that they mesh with resource availability. Leveling might extend the project timeline.
Resource Smoothing
Resource smoothing is a scheduling technique that attempts to meet a specified deadline while avoiding peaks and valleys on the resources. The goal is a constant use of resources over time.
At its simplest level for small businesses, resource management is about making sure that a company is using its talents and materials wisely and effectively.

Resource management is acquiring, allocating and managing the resources, such as individuals and their skills, finances, technology, materials, machinery and natural resources required for a project. Resource management ensures that internal and external resources are used effectively on time and to budget. Resources may be obtained internally from the host organisation or procured from external sources.

The APM Body of Knowledge defines resource management as 'the acquisition and deployment of the internal and external resources required to deliver the project, programme or portfolio’.
The project professional must identify the resources required to deliver the work, as part of planning, and determine when the resources will be required, through scheduling. This forms an essential part of the project management plan.
What are resources?
According to the APM Body of Knowledge, ‘the resources needed to deliver a project, programme or portfolio include people, financial resources, machinery, materials, technology, property and anything else required to deliver the work. Resources may be obtained internally from the host organisation or procured from external sources’. They can also be consumable and/or re-usable.
Why is resource management important?
Defining of resources and their availability, linked with planning of resource demands and related reporting, allows for effective use of limited resources. Standardisation of procedures and processes also saves resources being wasted and finances being spent on the wrong things – a significant cost-saving factor. All of the above contribute to the overall success of the project.
What is the best way to manage project resources?
The best ways to manage resources effectively is to follow the three step process set out below:
• Allocation
• Aggregation
• Scheduling
Allocation involves identifying what resources are needed to complete the work, ie. the quantity required or the amount of effort required. Aggregation of resources on a daily, weekly or monthly basis shows the total amount consumed at any point in time. Resource scheduling is used to calculate the resources required to deliver the work and when they will be required.
Once you know the resource allocation and understand the consumption, you can then manage the schedule more effectively. In some instances you may need to apply specific scheduling techniques to ensure the project meets its objectives. These include: resource smoothing (used when time constraints take priority) and resource levelling, which is creating a balance of the resource stock, ie. reducing excess and shortages when the availability of resources. Sometimes both techniques may need to be used. The fully-resourced schedule has to be achievable and have the support of the management team.

What Is Organizational Behavior?

All businesses have an internal culture that is unique to their company. Each employee contributes not only a certain skill set but also a personality with inherent values and beliefs, and those values and beliefs will determine how they will interact in work groups, with other employees, and toward management. Organizational Behavior (OB) is the multidisciplinary study of the employee interactions and the organizational processes that seek to create more efficient and cohesive organizations.

In the field of Organizational Behavior, researchers have found that scientific approaches can be applied to personnel management to bring out the best in employees and improve the overall success of an organization. Researchers in the disciplinary fields of psychology, sociology, social psychology, anthropology, political science and economics have all contributed to the research of Organizational Behavior.

Why Is Organizational Behavior Important?

During their careers, most people have worked for a company where people didn’t get along, where no one knew what the expectations were, or where the boss failed to promote teamwork. The company most likely lacked a strong OB model.

Organizational behavior can help employees navigate a business’s culture as well as help managers better understand how that culture helps or hinders employee productivity and retention. OB can also help managers evaluate a potential job candidate’s skills and personality during the hiring process, allowing human resources to find the best fit for departments within the company. While there is never one exact way to assess these things, OB theory offers a set of guidelines to help organizations create a positive and vibrant internal culture.
One of the main goals of OB is to understand what motivates employees. How organizations measure job satisfaction varies, but most common metrics include a fair and equitable reward system, compelling work, enjoyable working conditions and good supervisors. By understanding what motivates employees, managers can adjust their policies to increase job satisfaction, thereby increasing productivity.

OB not only helps employees understand themselves better, it also offers a roadmap for managers to improve all aspects of their organizations:

Improve job performance.
Increase job satisfaction.
Promote innovation.
Encourage leadership.
Improve customer service.
Encourage ethical behavior.
Create a positive work environment.
Depending on the challenges and desired outcomes, managers may use different tactics such as reorganizing workgroups, changing performance evaluations or modifying compensation structures. Understanding what motivates employees also plays a large part in how managers adjust company procedures or policies.
Not only does organizational behavior provide a roadmap for human resources and supervisors to manage more effectively, it also helps employees navigate an organization’s culture.
When a strong model of OB is in place, employees can understand themselves better and know how they can best flourish inside an organization. And managers are better able to predict how employees might react under differing circumstances and adjust accordingly.
Creating a culture where relationships are cooperative, employees feel valued and companies flourish is at the heart of organizational behavior.

What Is Organizational Behavior (OB)?

Organizational behavior is the academic study of how people interact within groups. The principles of the study of organizational behavior are applied primarily in attempts to make businesses operate more effectively.

Understanding Organizational Behavior (OB)

The study of organizational behavior includes areas of research dedicated to improving job performance, increasing job satisfaction, promoting innovation, and encouraging leadership. Each has its own recommended actions, such as reorganizing groups, modifying compensation structures, or changing methods of performance evaluation.

Organizational Behavior Origins

The study of organizational behavior has its roots in the late 1920s, when the Western Electric Company launched a now-famous series of studies of the behavior of workers at its Hawthorne Works plant in Cicero, Ill

Researchers there set out to determine whether workers could be made to be more productive if their environment was upgraded with better lighting and other design improvements. To their surprise, the researchers found that the environment was less important than social factors. It was more important, for example, that people got along with their co-workers and felt their bosses appreciated them.

Those initial findings inspired a series of wide-ranging studies between 1924 and 1933.1

They included the effects on productivity of work breaks, isolation, and lighting, among many other factors.

The Hawthorne Effect—which describes the way test subjects' behavior may change when they know they are being observed—is the best-known study of organizational behavior. Researchers are taught to consider whether or not (and to what degree) the Hawthorne Effect may skew their findings on human behavior.

Organizational behavior was not fully recognized by the American Psychological Association as a field of academic study until the 1970s.However, the Hawthorne research is credited for validating organizational behavior as a legitimate field of study, and it's the foundation of the human resources (HR) profession as we now know it.

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