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Masooma Memon

What an Effective Resource Management Process Looks Like (A Complete Rundown)

How do you move from okay, to good, to great? Let's dive into what it takes to design and implement an effective resource management process.

An effective resource management process gives you a holistic picture of your organization’s skill pool, employee availability, and utilization rate. It also centralizes all past, current, and future project data to give you a complete overview of your project pipeline and performance.

All this makes it easy to optimize resources (preventing resource wastage), improve employee retention (helping keep burnout at bay), and grow business revenue (by making data-informed decisions).

Not to mention, strategic resource management also fosters cross-functional collaboration — giving you a competitive edge.

Not sure how to create such an efficient process? This guide gives you the insider process to take resource management to the next level.

The importance of an effective resource management process

Streamlining resource management pays dividends. Broadly, you can improve three key areas that will, in turn, deliver many benefits: 

Increased visibility

Robust resource management software centralizes data, making it accessible for optimizing processes. 

This includes data pertaining to employees. For instance, their skills, real capacity and availability, interests, and day rate. 

Once you start tracking performance, you can also get an overview of available resources and utilization rate — helping you improve capacity planning and optimize utilization. 

Runn's People Planner provides the visibility you need to improve your resource management process.

Resourcefulness (including cost control)

An efficient resource management process improves resource planning, capacity forecasting, and resource allocation.

It also gives you a birds-eye view of your pipeline and useful project data to improve project planning.

All of this facilitates better risk management, helping you become more resourceful and reduce resource wastage.

For example, data accessibility facilitates better project scheduling. You can find the right-fit people (using a skills inventory) and make sure the selected team members are available to reduce cost-driving delays and overruns in project completion. 

Improved data quality and consistency

Disparate data collection in spreadsheets is one of the leading challenges plaguing organizations.

The lack of accessibility and consistency makes the data useless, preventing you from making data-backed decisions.

Strategic resource management solves this for you. It consolidates data in a single source of truth. Plus, it auto-updates data so you’ve eyes on capacity and utilization rates. 

Needless to say, the resulting data quality improves project management, resource utilization (even employee retention), and resourcefulness.

Read on ➡️ Quality Data & Resource Management: A Match Made in Heaven

Challenges in setting up an effective resource management process

No amount of advice and tips on resource management best practices will help you unless you deal with the initial obstacles in your path.

These can vary from securing buy-in to handling resistance to change. Here’s an overview of the challenges to expect with quick tips to beat them:

1. Securing senior buy-in 

Growing expenses in this current (read: poor) economy means getting the green light from your C-suite isn’t going to be a piece of cake.

Our advice? Start small. Instead of making a big budget ask, request for approval of a 6-month human resource management pilot program.

From there, work to show as many as results as you can to make a solid case for investment in streamlining resource management. Here are some ideas for low-hanging fruit to go after for running a successful pilot.

2. Overcoming resistance 

Even as the C-suite gives you a go-ahead, you’ll encounter resistance from employees. This stems from resistance to change — doing things differently than the way they’re familiar with doing them.

Additionally, without much communication from your end, it can be hard for employees to understand how the change will help them.

For example, let’s say you ask employees to track their time to see who is working on what and when to improve resource capacity planning. But this can leave them feeling micromanaged. 

The solution? Explain the benefit of the requested change for employees.

Keep in mind, the way you frame benefits makes a significant difference. To enlist ground-up support, share how the change would benefit the person — not you, your objectives of optimizing utilization, or the organization’s goals.

Here’s more:

3. De-siloing data 

Integrating data from disparate sources is another concern. You’ll have to overcome technical barriers while making sure the data is compatible.

This isn’t possible with inter-departmental and cross-team collaboration.

As you devise your change management plan (in the step above), set consistent guidelines on how to collate and continue tracking data across different systems. 

4. Centralizing skills and capacity in one system

Different teams typically use different approaches and tools to manage resources. Naturally, this adds to the challenge to your plate as you centralize resource data and tracking in a single good resource management system.

The right way to go about here? Aspire to reach a level of resource management centralization.

There are different ways you can approach this. Some organizations go for a highly centralized approach, while a decentralized system works for others. A hybrid approach that takes elements of both can also be very effective.

Learn more ➡️ Understanding the Different Resource Management Models

Go through the pros and cons of each approach to decide which aligns with your organizational structure and requirements. Then create a blueprint to implement the level of centralization.

5. Establishing governance procedures 

Centralizing data and aligning folks on using the same software is only half the picture.

The other half constitutes creating governance guidelines covering policies and rules ensuring data integrity, compliance, and security. This helps standardize your data management practices and lets you implement controls for monitoring and enforcing adherence to these standards.

Remember to get detailed here. Define roles and responsibilities on top of guidelines so there’s no ambiguity around who is responsible for what.

6. Creating data hygiene

Yet another challenge you’ll encounter as you centralize resource management data involves keeping it all up to date.

For instance, keeping your employee skills database updated.

The continuous influx of new information and the sheer volume of data can make maintaining data hygiene a pain. But it's an important nut to crack, as standardized, up-to-date, high quality data is instrumental for effective resource management.

Our recommendation here is you focus on implementing practices to make sure the data is clean, accurate, and reliable.

For example, create checklists to regulate data validation and updating.

This helps you eliminate duplicates, errors, and inconsistencies. In turn, improving the effectiveness of your decision-making and resource management processes. 

7 steps to design an effective resource management process

Here’s your blueprint:

Step 1: Tie resource management to specific business goals

Before you begin, understand the organization’s current and future objectives. 

Is it standing out as an innovative leader in the market? Is it growing employee retention to cut back on hiring for the coming years? Or is it market expansion and growing profitability? 

You’ll find the most accurate answer by talking to the C-suite and understanding their vision for the organization. Ask them where the business is currently headed and where they’d like to see it in the coming years.

Based on the business objectives you uncover, sketch a plan to ensure resource management helps contribute to these organizational goals.

For instance, if the long-term goal is to build a reputation for expertise and excellence within your niche, focus efforts on hiring, retaining, and optimally utilizing top talent. Example areas of focus here would include developing a skills pool, conducting a skills gap analysis, reviewing capacity before assigning projects, and the like.

Remember: it’s only when you strategize this way that you can create a results-driving plan and eventually, show stakeholders the positive impact that resource management is leaving.

Step 2: Understand the people and what drives them

Understanding what motivates employees is key to creating a change management plan. The plan, in turn, is crucial for:

  • Planning a people-first resource management program
  • Building ground-up support for your program
  • Getting the program successfully off the ground 

Ideally, work with different project managers to learn ways you can incentivize different employees. 

If you’re a small team, consider paying attention to what drives people in their one-on-one sessions with you. Periodically surveying employees to learn what’s important to them is another good way to learn about them.

Step 3: Select a robust resource management software that meets your needs

A resource management platform centralizes all data, making it accessible and giving you thorough visibility into your resource pool.

In turn, this improves resource allocation, capacity planning, organizational skills development, and employee utilization.

You can also tap into your past data to plan projects better. For instance, project reports in the software can show you how long it actually takes individuals to complete a specific task. Using the info, you can better plan milestone timelines for projects.

Not sure your company is ready to invest in software for implementing your resource management process? Use this resource management software buyers guide to get the buy-in you need.

And when you’re ready, here’s a short list of leading resource management tools to start exploring.

As you select your software, be sure to choose one that offers you a central people repository showing employee-related metrics such as:

  • Utilization percentage 
  • Available (employee) hours
  • Weekly summaries of availability and utilization percentage

It should also let you group employees by their role, team, skills, and employment type. All this speeds up decision-making and lets you manage resources effectively and efficiently.

Step 4: Create a change management plan and SOPs

We’ve already touched on the need for change management for successful implementation of your resource management process. By the time you reach this step, put all the theoretical advice into practice.

Essentially, your change management blueprint should define how you’ll provide training and support implementation. It should also set guidelines for standardizing the new process and workflows. 

Not to mention, you’ll need a game plan for how you’ll drive adoption for the resource management software you select. 

Here’s a full 11-step breakdown for creating a successful change management plan.

Step 5: Make thorough resource management plans

A resource management plan defines how you’ll acquire, use, manage, and monitor the resources you need for a specific project.


You need resource plans to have a consistent plan of action for managing resources effectively for different projects. These plans also help maximize resource utilization, minimize wastage, and reduce budget and schedule variance.

To this end, each plan should address the following: 

  • What resources does a specific plan need for its success? Highlight the roles and skills/competencies you need here. Also, add on when you need these resources by and for how long. 
  • How will you get these resources? Specify if you have internal resources available or if you need to hire them full-time or on contract. Then, work out how you’ll secure these resources.
  • What will be the roles and responsibilities of individuals in the project team? Define who will be responsible for what and by when. Also, create a reporting and authority structure (think: what level of authority does each member have?)
  • How will you manage resources? Determine your budget and how you’ll allocate it. Plus, identify ways to maximize resource potential and utilization.

Step 6: Standardize a resource request workflow

A resource request workflow provides a centralized, standard process for requesting and approving resources for projects. 

Its aim? To make it easy for organizations to allocate resources to various projects in a way that deliverable/service quality is guaranteed, and the business benefits the most. 

Depending on your team size and organizational requirements, your resource request workflow can be as short as three steps or as long as needed. Here’s an example:

 Again, creating a resource request workflow alone is not enough. Make sure you also train employees to stick with the workflow.

Step 7: Decide on metrics & KPIs

Lastly, select the metrics you’ll track to monitor your resource management process’s performance. These metrics will depend on the business objectives you want to unlock with your resource management process. 

Some examples of metrics you can track include:

  • Billable utilization rate. A percentage measure of the time employees spend on billable tasks.
  • Resource utilization rate. A percentage measure of how actively employees are working on productive tasks versus sitting on the bench.
  • Resource availability. This metric shows you which resources are available to take on new projects, easing resource planning for you.
  • Project completion time. This is the time it takes to complete projects — an effective measure of how long it takes teams to deliver projects, useful for planning project resources effectively. 

Take your resource management to the next level

Having a well-defined, proper resource management process in place delivers exceptional ROI. 

To recap, start small with a short pilot project that shows stakeholders the benefits of streamlining resource management. 

But remember, the key to showing a positive impact is centralizing data. It’s only then that you can make data accessible for using it to plan projects more efficiently, optimize capacity and utilization, and more. 

Ready to start centralizing data to master effective resource management? Learn how software and spreadsheets compare for allocating and tracking resources among other things. 

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