An inside look into resource management
Blog: Monday Project Management Blog
If you want to go on sunny vacation — don’t we all — you’ve got to make sure you’ve got all the right equipment before you head off.
That means sourcing all the stuff you need to maximize your relaxation, such as a new swimming suit, sunblock — let’s be responsible, here — maybe a good book… You get the idea.
The point is: you need to make sure you’ve got everything you’re going to need before you go — otherwise, your holiday might get scuppered by some unwelcome disruptions.
Well, the same rule applies for project management.
Only instead of packing your suitcase, you’ve got to plan, allocate, and manage resources to make sure your team can get the job done.
That’s where resource management comes in.
This article will explain what resource management is, why it’s important, what a resource manager does, different types of resource management, and how you can manage your team’s resources using monday.com.
What is resource management and why is it important?
Resource management is the process in which you plan, schedule, and allocate resources.
For all intents and purposes, a resource can literally be anything that you need to get your task or project done. For example, a resource could be a person, an app, a building, cash, a hot dog — like, literally anything.
But generally speaking, project managers tend to divide “anything” into 2 distinct categories: tangible resources and intangible resources.
- Tangible resources are anything that you can see or that you can touch. This could include labor, money, machinery, property, software, or anything else like that.
- Intangible resources are a little bit abstract. An intangible resource might be intellectual property (like a technology patent), an idea, or a particular set of skills that you’re going to need to get the job done.
OK, so we know what resource management is. But why is resource management important?
Simply put, resource management helps you get more tasks done with less stuff.
We all know waste is bad. So, we all want to use our resources as efficiently as we can so that we can hold on to them and reuse them as much as possible. Well, that’s where resource management steps in.
By planning and assessing precisely what you need to complete a task, you can allocate your resources more efficiently.
For example, if you’re going to host a big event and you’re trying to plan how many tacos you need to feed everybody lunch, you don’t just close your eyes and point to a number, right?
You’re going to tally up how many guests are coming, assign a reasonable portion to each individual, and then budget for a couple extra emergency tacos in case 1 falls on the floor or somebody brings a plus-one.
That way you don’t end up with 100 extra tacos at the end of your event that have been paid for and will now have to get trashed.
That’s resource management in action. It saves your team time, money, and hassle from management.
Generally speaking, resource management is going to be handled by a — drumroll, please — resource manager.
A resource manager is a lot like a project manager with 1 key difference: while project managers focus on creating and assigning tasks to get a job done, resource managers are responsible for allocating the resources required to complete those tasks.
If you’ve got a small team, your project manager and resource management might be the same person. It’s just important to bear in mind that these are 2 totally different hats that somebody’s got to wear.
What are the benefits of resource management?
Resource management might sound like a dull extra step in an already long project process — but trust us on this one. Resource management is absolutely critical if you want to optimize your assets and make sure you’ve got enough stuff to reach the finish line.
But there are a few other benefits you can expect to gain from deploying a bit of resource management.
First of all, resource management helps you avoid unforeseen hiccups.
By developing a firm understanding of what you’ve got to work with and how those resources can be used, you’ll be able to forecast any potential problems before they even happen. That will save you a major headache later.
Next, resource management helps prevent team burnout.
If you’re managing your resources effectively, you should be able to steer clear of an overallocation of dependency of resources that will stifle your team’s productivity.
Resource management ensures everybody on your team has what they need, when they need it. That will help keep everybody on your team happy as a clam.
Resource management also gives you a safety net in case things head south.
Let’s say your project is unsuccessful due to a lack of resources. It happens to everybody. But, if you can demonstrate you appropriately planned and managed your resources, other stakeholders will know that you did absolutely everything possible with what you were given.
Finally, resource management builds efficiency.
By managing your resources and keeping tabs on allocation, you can develop a better understanding of how your team consumes resources. That data will then assist you in doing an even better job planning efficiently for your next project.
Ready to learn more about the benefits of resource management and how a Work OS can help you get the job done? We’ll explain everything for you here.
3 common resources you’ve got to manage
OK, so we’ve already talked about tangible and intangible resources.
The truth is, you can sit around for 10 days and dream up different examples of the types of resources. But generally speaking, as a project manager (or resource manager), there are normally going to be 3 different types of resources that will occupy lots of your time.
Let’s break those big ones down.
Managing human resources
Human resource (HR) is just a super corporate way to say “people”. Your human resources are the members of your team that you can deploy to carry out tasks within your projects.
HR can include a pretty broad spectrum of management tasks, from job recruitment and time management, to measuring your workers’ performance and their workload against KPIs.
Lucky for you, monday.com does all of that (and a whole lot more).
With monday.com, you can get a clear visual view of all your job recruitment, and see where each candidate stands.
You can also create forms to capture job applications from your company website, use our time tracking tool to make sure existing members of the team are using their time efficiently, and use a range of graphs to get an overview of your employee performances, set goals, and give feedback.
We’ve got a few different HR templates to choose from, and they’re all designed to supercharge your human resource management.
Managing materials is all about the physical tangible resources that your team needs to complete a task.
In other words, we’re talking about natural resources like timber, office stuff like ballpoint pens, event lanyards, mugs, laptops — any physical item that your team needs to use as part of a wider task.
If you’ve got a pretty big project, you might find yourself with too many materials to keep track of on a spreadsheet. That’s where a Work OS (operating system) like monday.com comes in handy.
Our map views enable everybody to see material locations on a map and share labels for different material types on your workflow templates. And if you choose a timeline view, you’ll be able to instantly see the precise status of a material resource at any given moment.
No, we’re not talking about your dating life. When resource managers talk about relationship management, they’re specifically talking about managing professional working relationships with vendors, contractors, and subcontractors.
Sound familiar? Then you might want to check out monday.com, because relationship management is one of our things.
You can use monday.com to collaborate with a number of external clients and vendors, sharing forms, and enabling limited secure access to particular elements of a workflow.
We’ve even got a Vendor List template that can help you track and manage your master list of everybody you’re doing business with.
What are different types of resource management?
There are 3 main types of resource management you’re going to want to be aware of: resource allocation, resource leveling and resource forecasting.
- Resource allocation is all about getting the most out of all your available resources. This means assessing all the resources at your disposal, analyzing how they can be used most efficiently, and then deploying those resources accordingly to help your team get to work.
- Resource leveling is a method managers use to uncover resources that are being underused or used inefficiently. By weaseling out underused resources, you can redeploy those resources and optimize your efficiency.
- Resource forecasting is a way to try and predict what your resource requirements are going to be in the future. This is a critical part of resource planning, as accurate forecasting will mean you waste less and get the job done faster and cheaper.
To make all these predictions, you’ve got to be super familiar with your project life cycle and have a firm grasp of the resource availability within your organization.
That’s where a Work OS comes in. A Work OS can provide this level of visibility, as well as easy access to your projects and resources all in one place.
And if you want to learn more about resource allocation and how a Work OS can make it way easier, you’re in the right place.
How can monday.com help you with resource management?
If you’re trying to stretch a tiny amount of resources across a huge list of tasks, you’re going to need a management tool as flexible as you are.
Our Resource Management template allows you to plan your asset allocation without accidentally assigning the same resource to too many tasks at once.
We help you put all your resources front and center so you can see what’s being used, how long for, and who’s responsible in real-time.
In addition to loads of workflow views (like Gantt chart) and integrations, you’re also going to get:
- Excel export and import function so you can instantly export your template to Excel with just one click. On the flip side, you can easily import your Excel spreadsheet and turn it into a sleek monday.com board in just a couple of clicks.
- Map views that let everybody see asset locations on a map. That means everybody knows where to find a resource all the time.
- A resource-centric display that shows you the precise status of the resource as a snapshot so you don’t have to try and track stuff down through complicated file paths.
Sounds pretty great, right? We think so, too. But don’t take our word for it. Try it free now.
At this point, you get the idea: resource management is pretty important if you want to get your projects done. It’s the process of planning, scheduling, and allocating your resources, and it helps you avoid all sorts of unforeseen problems.
After all, by knowing how much stuff you’ve got beforehand and what you need that stuff to do, you’ll be able to troubleshoot any issues before they even show their ugly faces.
And if you want to make sure your project team is totally prepared and minimizing waste, you need to be using a Work OS like monday.com.
monday.com’s Resource Management template allows you to expertly plot out your asset allocation and place your resources front and center so that you always know exactly who’s using what and why.
This template is great if you’re a single individual managing multiple resources — and it’s absolutely essential if you’re managing a team.
So, are you ready to try it for yourself? Yeah, we thought so.