Back to all posts
Libby Marks

Raising the Bar: A Guide to Resource Management Maturity

How mature are resource management processes in your organization? Where are you on the resource management maturity model? And how can you improve?

Imagine your business if every individual is assigned to exactly the right project at exactly the right time. People are productively engaged with work they love. Projects are completed on time and budget. And every project moves you ever closer to your strategic goals…

If that feels like a distant dream, you are probably at the lower end of the resource management maturity model. But nil desperandum. The only way is up. And we’re here to help you climb the levels.

Dive into the secrets of high-performing project-based businesses – those with the highest resource management maturity level. 

Discover how they optimize resources and project outcomes, forecast with confidence, and seize every opportunity – and you can too – with our RM maturity best practices. 

What is resource management maturity?

Resource management maturity is a measure of how advanced your resource management processes are. It’s concerned with things like

  • How strategically you allocate people to projects
  • Whether your resource management is organic or highly structured
  • What tools you use for resource management
  • Whether your efforts are centralized or siloed

A high level of resource management maturity means you’re more strategic about planning, sourcing, and using your project resources – in this case, your human resources – and that you apply best practices to achieve great things together 💪

Benefits of resource management maturity

Resource management maturity helps increase resource utilization, maximize your return on resource investment, improve project outcomes, boost staff satisfaction, and so much more. It’s basically the well-known benefits of centralized resource management with the volume turned up to max.

Higher efficiency

As organizations mature in resource management, they become better at allocating project resources where they are most needed. This reduces waste, idle time, and redundancies – and maximizes utilization and operational efficiency.

Lower costs 

A higher level of resource management maturity encompasses resourcing and recruitment activities. It can help identify significant cost savings – for example by reducing overstaffing, assessing resource cost as part of the resource scheduling process, or by upskilling in-house staff instead of hiring externally. 

Enhanced agility 

The more mature your resource management processes, the better you’ll be able to respond to opportunities and challenges. This is because you have the people, skills, and insights you need to make confident decisions and take decisive action.

Lower risk 

Resource management maturity is like having a Magic 8 ball for your business. You can forecast the future with confidence, mitigating risk. Everything from preventing project clashes to forecasting long-term resource supply and demand. 

Optimized operations 

Effective resource management is crucial for successful project delivery. Mature organizations are better equipped to assign the right resources to projects –  based on skills, availability, and strategic priorities.

Employee engagement 

RM maturity benefits employees too – bringing more balanced workloads, professional development, and meaningful work. This increases engagement and satisfaction, and supports recruitment and retention goals. 

All of this adds up to a competitive advantage – hitting that Goldilocks spot of the right people working on the right projects at the right time – and creating an environment where people’s talents are put to the best use.

The five stages of resource management maturity

Runn's Resource Management Maturity Model

The Resource Management Institute’s Resource Management Maturity Model is a very useful tool for assessing your level of maturity when it comes to allocating and optimizing human resources. 

According to the RMI, there are five levels of resource management maturity. However, as it is a proprietary method reserved for RMI members, we’re not going to reproduce it here. If you’re a member of the RMI, do check it out

If you’re not a member of the RMI, here’s our own take on resource management maturity assessment – inspired by the RMI’s approach. 

resource management maturity

Level 1 – Standing

Reactive and ad hoc

You are held back by reactive resource management and have no resource management process in place. You assign resources to a project when it comes in – based on who is available at the time. Ad hoc allocations are based on individual team or project needs, with little reference to the wider needs of the organization. For example, if two projects of different business value need the same resource, there is no prioritization process – it’s first come, first served. 

  • Reactive staffing after projects agreed
  • No central resource pool or skills inventory
  • No visibility into future supply or demand
  • Tools - if used - aren’t fit for purpose
  • No documented processes

Level 2 – Walking

Emerging proactivity

You recognize that project resources are limited and you need to prioritize how you use them. You have basic resource management processes in place, in an attempt to gain more control and improve visibility. For example, a spreadsheet of resources and their allocations that allows you to allocate based on resource availability and skill. These baby steps are a good start but, in a dynamic environment, day-to-day management and forward planning continue to be a challenge.

  • Basic skills inventory available 
  • Resource allocation at team level – people ‘belong’ to individual teams
  • Limited visibility into future supply and demand
  • Tools aren’t fit for purpose and are siloed from other systems
  • Processes are documented but not standardized 

Level 3 – Running

Advancing practice

You have established proactive resource management practices, supported by appropriate tools and methodologies. You know that resource management goes beyond simply assigning people to projects. You have good visibility into demand, capacity, allocations, and resource utilization. Allocations are prioritized according to business needs and based on clear criteria. Insights into capacity and utilization inform workforce planning and ensure predictable project delivery.

  • Central resource pool/skills inventory
  • Staffing considered before projects agreed
  • Standardized processes - eg for resource approval, prioritization, and change
  • Resource management software in use - improving visibility into capacity, demand, financials

Level 4 – Sprinting

Centralized function

Resource management is elevated to a centralized function – perhaps in the form of a Resource Management Office (RMO). This allows for central oversight of how people are prioritized and allocated to projects across the entire organization. Plus, enables the dissemination of resource management best practices, the training of resource managers, etc.  

  • Resource pool and skills inventory – centrally managed and regularly updated
  • Centralized processes to align with strategy - portfolio prioritization
  • Appropriate resource management software in use – integrated with other systems
  • Data and insights allow for confident forecasting up to 6 months ahead 
  • RM used to identify hiring and staff development opportunities 

Level 5 – Flying

Strategic function

Resource management is recognized as a strategic business function and is represented in the C-suite. It is fully aligned with the organization’s strategy. Resource management data is used to inform strategic direction – for example, around expansion, diversification, growth, etc – and RM practices are integral to achieving overarching business objectives. 

  • Skills inventory used to align employee aspirations with development opportunities
  • All new projects have a resourcing plan – and soft-booked resources – before being agreed 
  • Centralized scenario planning used to optimize resource assignments across the business 
  • Using dashboards for real-time reporting and analytics – giving high forecasting confidence 
  • Measures in place to continually improve processes

10 signs that you need to level up resource management maturity

If you recognize your resource management maturity as level 1 or 2 above, you know you have room for improvement. This is an exciting opportunity for your organization to raise its resource management game and reap the many business benefits.

If you’re still not sure where you sit on the spectrum, here are 10 telltale signs you need to improve your resource management maturity. 

1. Reactive resourcing

You always feel on the backfoot, reacting to situations as they arise instead of planning in advance. As a result, projects get messy and people are allocated in an ad hoc way.  In hindsight, you often feel you could have allocated resources more efficiently.

2. Spreadsheet stress 

You’re managing your resources in Excel or Google Sheets. It seemed like a good solution at the time but you have limited visibility into allocation, capacity, and availability. Information is frequently out of date, making it hard to allocate the right people to the right project. 

➡️ Related: Discover the benefits of Runn vs spreadsheets for ambitious resource managers

3. Frequent clashes 

Your teams argue over who should have access to key resources – making resource planning for multiple projects difficult. Resource management maturity improves prioritization and strategic alignment, so there are fewer clashes – and allocations deliver key business value.

4. Blown budgets and deadlines 

You frequently go over budget or overschedule, because you don’t have access to the right people you need when you need them. Improving your RM processes will reduce bottlenecks and improve allocation accuracy. 

5. Poor project outcomes 

You’re disappointing clients with sub-par projects. Improved visibility and centralized resource allocation will help get the right people working on the right projects – so you can deliver projects that delight your customers. 

6. Bored or burned-out employees 

You’ve got some employees twiddling their thumbs because there’s not enough work, while others are overstretched and stressed because they have too much. Improving your RM maturity helps you create more balanced workloads.

7. Hitting icebergs

If there’s an iceberg up ahead, you hit it. Immature RM means you lack visibility into future problems – like seasonal fluctuation in demand. Improving capacity planning and demand management helps you spot icebergs and sail safely past.

No one wants to find themselves unprepared when an iceberg appears on the horizon. Even with the most basic information, such as scheduling several months or weeks into the future, having insights and making decisions based on this information can significantly benefit both the organization and the team members." - Christine Robinson, former Managing Director of Resource Management at Baker Tilly, speaking in our Resourcing for Success: Best Practices Every Resource Manager Should Know webinar. 

8. Missed opportunities 

You’re missing opportunities because you’re not confident you can handle new projects. Advanced RM techniques – paired with real-time resource data – mean you always know if you have the people, skills, and capacity to take on more work. 

9. Siloed systems 

Your teams work in isolation and there’s no central approach to resource management. Data is siloed so decision-making is slow or ill-informed. And there are pockets of best practices around the organization but no way to share the knowledge. 

10. Hidden gems 

You’ve got talented people that other teams would LOVE access to… but no one knows they exist. There’s no central resource pool that shares team members’ skills, interests, and professional development aims. 

How to develop resource management maturity

Realizing there’s room for improvement in your resource management maturity? Want to progress to a higher plain of people management? Here are some ways you can start to level up your resourcing practices – based on the RMI’s seven factors of RM maturity. 

Skills inventory

If you don’t already have a skills inventory, it’s time to start one. A skills inventory is an (ideally centralized) source of information about your workforce and their skills. Done right, it lets you find people with the perfect mix of skills, interests, ambitions, and availability for your project.

Best practices

  • Create a centralized skills inventory – one that covers the entire organization 
  • Use standardized terminology and sufficient detail - eg ‘Java’ not just ‘programming’ 
  • Include career aspirations – to help align people with development opportunities
  • Ensure it is updated regularly with new skills, training, and experience 


Move away from reactive resourcing and get strategic about staffing. Bridge the gap between sales and delivery to ensure every project has a resourcing plan before the deal is closed. And leverage resource management data – like resource utilization rates – to inform recruitment and upskilling strategies. 

Best practices

  • View people as a centralized resource – move away people belonging to a particular team
  • Decide on an appropriate recruitment strategy – lag, lead, or match – and use RM demand data to inform timing 
  • Aim for all projects to have a resourcing plan before sales close the deal 


Ensure you’ve always got the people you need for the projects coming up – and that they’re financially viable to pursue – with better forecasting. Implement and integrate appropriate resource management software to provide easy access to data for scenario, capacity, and financial planning.

Best practices

  • Implement a resource management platform that provides real-time data 
  • Move from spreadsheets to data dashboards to improve access to information and insights 
  • Have cross-departmental meetings between sales, operations, HR etc – to forecast resource demand and meet it

Sourcing and development

Gain a competitive advantage through strategic recruitment and staff development, based on resource management data. Progress from reactively staffing projects once they’re been won, to proactively recruiting people in anticipation of future demand. This will ensure you can start projects promptly and deliver your promises to clients – while reducing costs associated with external hires or last-minute appointments.

Best practices

  • Leverage RM data to pinpoint hiring and staff training opportunities
  • Strategically use projects to develop and upskill in-house talent
  • Create a ‘warm’ candidate pipeline to reduce time from vacancy to appointment
  • Establish relationships with trusted contractors to increase agility and capacity


If you’re still using spreadsheets for resource management, you won’t be able to advance your resource management maturity. Excel is like a pot that’s too small for the plant – it stunts growth. To improve your RM maturity, you need a fit-for-purpose resource management platform. One that’s simple, scalable, and centralized.

Best practices

  • Implement a centralized enterprise-grade resource management solution – like Runn
  • Choose an intuitive system to encourage widespread adoption and use - here’s our best RM picks
  • Integrate with other systems – like HR – to streamline workflows and minimize duplication 


Governance is about who’s responsible for establishing, standardizing, and enforcing resource management practices in your organization. In low-maturity organizations, there is very little documentation or standardization. In the most mature organizations, there is a high level of centralization and control. You need to decide what’s appropriate for your business – to strike the right balance between efficiency and autonomy. 

Best practices

  • Standardize resource management processes – document them and deliver training in them
  • Monitor compliance with RM processes to ensure they’re being applied correctly 
  • Establish KPIs for RM performance - monitor and manage 


The final factor is where resource management sits in your organization. This depends on the size and nature of your business. In a small business, there may be minimal structure – with no formal resource managers. In a large business or enterprise, RM may be highly organized with dedicated staff and teams.

Best practices

  • Consider whether your business would benefit from introducing resource managers 
  • Explore the pros and cons of introducing a Resource Management Office (RMO)
  • Understand/make the case for your resourcing team/RMO to be involved at C-suite level  

Raise your resource management maturity with Runn 

Increase your project management maturity instantly with a free 14-day trial of Runn - and it’s so simple to use that you can start today.

Simply sign up with your email address and start exploring Runn’s full functionality:

  • Create project plans and allocate resources
  • View, search, and filter resources based on role, skills, expertise, and more
  • View capacity, resource utilization, and availability at a glance
  • Easily conduct scenario and capacity planning
  • Visualize data easily through personalized dashboards
  • And more – of course

Use our trial data to have fun and explore. Or upload your own data to see exactly what Runn can do for you.

No credit card, no commitment, no need to cancel. Get started now ➡️

Enjoy the post? Sign up for the latest strategies, stories and product updates.

You might also like

Try Runn today for free!

Join over 10k users worldwide.
Start scheduling in less than 10 minutes.
No credit card needed