Guide to resource planning in project management

Guide to resource planning in project management

Resource planning involves identifying and organizing the capital required for a project’s successful completion. It includes properly allocating the correct amount of time, equipment, and materials needed for a job, as well as assigning the right tasks to team members based on their skillset.

A detailed resource plan can maximize efficiency by ensuring optimal resource allocation and utilization, preventing waste while keeping team members from being overburdened by taking into consideration employee capacity. It’s a crucial step in delivering projects within budget and on time.

Project managers responsible for planning must ensure that resources align with a given budget and schedule. By organizing teams effectively and consistently tracking progress based on resource use, a project is more likely to be kept on track for completion.

Decisions made during project resource planning can greatly impact the project’s outcome, which is why it’s important to correctly map out a project’s available resources.

The benefits of resource planning

Resource planning in project management has many advantages. Here are a few of the ways that construction firms benefit from it.

It saves money

Planning allows for more accurate budgeting, which in turn saves money and accelerates cash flow by reducing expenses and increasing profit margins.

Identifying the amount of materials and equipment needed beforehand, for example, prevents excess resources from being ordered and allocated, which can result in construction waste and monetary loss. A project manager aware of a team’s productivity levels can also arrange for more reliable output, which prevents having to hire additional workers.

Resource planning creates greater accuracy in budgeting and cost management, preventing overruns.

Increased efficiency and productivity

Project resource planning maximizes productivity by making use of resources in the most efficient way possible. Workers who have the right amount of available equipment and materials can streamline task completion, resulting in greater productivity. Optimized labor also ensures that work is allocated evenly to prevent overwork and avoid team burnout.

Better predictability for future projects

Not only does proper planning build stronger teams by keeping employees informed and in the loop about what’s to be expected, but a project manager that learns about ideal resource utilization rates will be better prepared for future projects of similar scopes and scales. This can result in better planning and predictability.

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How to start project resource planning

With all that said, here’s how to start planning, allocating, and tracking your project’s resources.

Modernize your project management process

Construction firms using outdated project management tools like spreadsheets will likely find their workers struggling as projects become more numerous and complex, teams expand, and unexpected issues crop up from time to time.

It often takes a significant amount of time to create and keep spreadsheets updated, cutting into time that could be spent more productively. Plus, it’s less than ideal for keeping all your files and documents organized.

Modernizing your operations with project management systems can make resource planning more efficient, centralizing all information into one accessible location. You’ll also be able to easily monitor expenses and scheduling, and view outstanding tasks to be completed.

Figure out the work that needs to be completed

The first step in resource planning in project management is to first establish the scope of work that needs to be completed, as well as how long it will take.

Breaking down work into smaller tasks can help with estimating how many people will be needed. The amount of time required to complete a task should be based on industry standards, but it’s not uncommon for project managers to base this on previous experience or past projects.

The main questions that you’re looking to answer are:

  • How much labor, equipment, and materials will be needed to cover the scope of work?
  • What amount of your project’s budget is realistically available to cover the cost of resources?

Begin securing resources

Once you’ve determined how much capital will be needed and how much of the project’s budget is available for resource allocation, you can start securing contractors according to the skills needed for the project, as well as the required equipment and materials.

Now would be the time to begin drafting contracts. Some factors to consider when assembling your project team during project resource planning include:

  • What criteria you’ll use to select the best contractors
  • What type of contract will be required
  • Contract start and end dates
  • The number of total workdays and a worker’s availability

During this stage, you should also develop ways to measure productivity and performance.

Communicate and hold meetings

Resource planning in project management relies heavily on communication. Holding resource management meetings ensures that the proper roles and responsibilities are assigned, and that everyone is on the same page with policies and procedures.

Rented tools, for example, need to be returned in the same condition that they were received, so it’s important that everyone is following the same procedures on equipment use. Other policies such as facility maintenance may also be helpful to establish.

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Bridgit, a project manager’s solution to resource planning

Resource planning plays a major role throughout a construction project’s life cycle. With so many factors to consider, it can be hard to know where to begin. Modern technological solutions make planning easier.

Bridgit Bench is an all-in-one construction project management solution that simplifies the process of mapping out and tracking your project teams.

You can manage human capital from Bridgit Bench’s organizational dashboard and plan your workforce strategically. Our platform allows you to realize the full potential of your employees, growing and retaining top talent through our people intelligence features.

You’ll also gain access to valuable insights, such as whether project roles are unfilled. View workforce utilization rates and filter results any time by title, region, or your own parameters to better prioritize allocations.

Bridgit ensures you’re putting the right people on the job—see each person’s skills, certifications, experience, project history, and professional goals in just a few clicks. You can also sort, search, and filter your entire team to find exactly who you’re looking for.

Improve your construction firm’s resource planning by choosing Bridgit today!

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Michel Richer

Michel Richer is the Manager of Content and Product Marketing at Bridgit. He started in the construction industry early on with a local restoration company. Michel is driven to propel the construction industry forward by helping to eliminate outdated, ineffective processes.

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