In a Nutshell, What Are Project Resources?

Without resources, a project is like a car without fuel. Learn what project resources are and how to classify them.
Steven Male

As you set out your project plan, you realize that there is one key element that affects your project's success: resources. These resources include people, equipment, facilities, information, materials, and financial capital - and they are all vital if your project is to be completed successfully.

In other words, resources are what your project needs to ensure its success. Exactly what those resources are will differ depending on your project. For example, if you manage the construction of a building, your resources will include architects, skilled laborers, cement mixers, tractors, etc.

On the other hand, if you manage a wedding, resources will consist of cooks, event planners, sound equipment, chairs, tents, flowers, renting a garden or halls, food, etc.

Planning, allocating, and scheduling resources is known as resource management.

Classification of project resources

Project resources can be classified into human, financial, as wells as time and materials resources.

Human resources go beyond the people managed by the HR department. They include all people involved in completing the project, such as:

  • Project manager – The individual responsible for overseeing the completion of the project and reporting progress to the stakeholders.
  • Project team – The individuals who work together to complete the deliverables of a project.
  • Subject matter experts - Any consultants or external human resources that will be involved in an important aspect of the project for their expertise or technical skills.
  • Stakeholders – Individuals or groups interested in the outcome of a project. Stakeholders may include customers, investors, or partners.

Material resources are all items key to project success, including:

  • Equipment – Tools or machinery needed to complete the project. Examples include computers, printers, or manufacturing equipment.
  • Office/boarding space – This may be temporary space used during construction or temporary house workers while they complete their tasks.
  • Communication tools – Technology such as phones, fax machines, email accounts, or wireless networks for communication with team members and stakeholders during a project.

Financial resources are usually defined before the project begins, and are designed to cover the project costs. They include:

  • Project grants - This is money the federal government gives to individuals, local government, or state.
  • Finance funds - This includes getting finances for the project ahead. Companies and individuals can get financing from banks.
  • Project budget - These are the estimated projected cost estimates to run a successful project. The budget includes labor, operating, materials, and material procurements.

Why do project resources matter?

Project resources are key to moving the project in the right direction. After all, with fewer resources, you will have to put in a lot more effort to get results. Project managers should track resources for several reasons.

  • First, tracking project resources allows the PM to see when issues arise within the project and what impact those issues will have on the completion date. Managing resources correctly will help you manage resource scarcity and adjust the schedule.
  • The second reason for tracking project resources is so that you can identify when there are resource imbalances in your schedule. For example, if a project has too many resources assigned to one task and not enough assigned to another task, you can reallocate those resources before it becomes an issue on the schedule.
  • A third reason is that it allows you to keep your team members informed about their workloads and where they stand in meeting deadlines. When your team knows how much work they have and how intense their workloads will be, they can plan accordingly and make sure that they meet their deadlines. Poor resource planning of essential resources may bring a project to a halt and cause delays.

One of the most common problems faced by project managers is resource allocation. You need resources for every task on your schedule, but they may not always be available at the right times.

The best way to plan for excellent project execution is by checking resource availability and managing resources professionally. Resource availability is crucial to getting your project done by mapping resources on hand and avoiding gaps by identifying them earlier on.

It’s essential to plan and ensure that your members have enough time, appropriate expertise, and suitable skills to complete their tasks within limited time constraints.

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How to track the availability of project resources

One of the most critical tasks in resource management is to track the availability of project resources. The best way to do this is by using a resource calendar. Project resources can be scheduled, planned, and controlled using resource management software like Runn.

By giving you an overview of the work schedule of individual team members across multiple projects, resource calendars help you manage resources and start resource capacity planning. You can use resource calendars in conjunction with task calendars to specify project team members' working and nonworking times.

Resource scheduling software tools allow you to plan ahead and take control over the availability of project resources. These software tools help monitor which resources are under-or over-utilized and create a way to help you diversify resources across multiple projects and department boundaries.

When you base your project schedule on resource calendars, you will have more accurate estimates of when tasks will be completed. In addition, you'll be able to quickly identify which resources you need to assign to certain tasks to ensure the project is completed within the deadline.

Key Takeaway

As a project manager, you are responsible for resource management and ensuring that all items necessary for the entire project are available when needed. In fact, it is one of the most important management skills you can have. In addition, you must understand how human resource planning and project resource management fit together, to ensure you reach your business goals.

Project resources are the means you need to produce a project deliverable - whether a physical or digital service or product. Aligning your resources with optimized project portfolio management will not only centralize all the methods used in analyzing project processes but also maximize the value of your equipment, financial, and most importantly, human resources.

By properly identifying and allocating personnel resources and using the appropriate resource management software tools to monitor their availability and capacity, you are on your way to completing a project successfully.

Take the stress out of managing your project resources. Book a demo with Runn HERE!

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