Scheduling resources into projects means using your company’s resources more efficiently and smartly in a highly competitive and volatile global marketplace.
To make the most of available resources, it is critical to follow the resource management plan and avoid any wastage that could impact the final outcome of the project.
What is resource scheduling?
Scheduling means identifying and allocating resources for a specific period to various types of activities.
I project manager estimate resource requirements needed to meet the end results and resource allocation is performed based on these.
Each project is an integration of several activities that require certain niche skills to yield tangible results.
It is up to the project manager and ensuring that the right resource is working on the right task at the right moment.
If the resource’s skills are not aligned with the project activities, or if the activity is being performed at the wrong time, the quality of the project will be jeopardized and unsatisfactory results will be achieved.
Therefore, it is imperative that the project manager keep a close eye on workforce availability. For example, if a critical resource is booked for several projects at once, that resource may be at risk of burnout.
Moreover, every project has its own defined timeline, and it is the project manager’s responsibility to ensure that the project is delivered on time while meeting project constraints and within within budget.
Best practices for efficient project resource scheduling
Resource scheduling is not just about filling the gap by planning or allocating resources to projects, it is more than that.
A thorough resource scheduling solution includes enterprise-wide resource planning, utilization management, tracking actual values, etc.
Best practices for efficiently scheduling project resources include:
- Creating a work breakdown structure that defines all the essential elements of the project and outlines task dependencies alongside required skills. Once the details are sorted out, project managers or coordinators can schedule resources with the right skills for the project activities.
- Resource optimization techniques to better manage projects. These might be, for example, resource leveling or resource smoothing.
- Centralize resource planning: in order to centralize resource planning, there should be one schedule for the entire company from which each project manager can get information. This enables planning and scheduling to be performed in real time by multiple stakeholders and ensures that there is no double booking of a resource.
- Track skills in real time so you can assign the right people to the right tasks. Individuals are assigned to the right project based on skills, experience, qualifications, location, cost ratio, etc. This information needs to be up-to-date at all times so that you have a clear and factual picture of the situation.
How does scheduling resources benefit organizations?
An effective resource scheduling system will yield huge benefits within a company:
- Maintains and raises project quality
Having the right person with the right skills is fundamental to ensuring that a project is finished on time and with proper quality. Without an efficient scheduling, the project manager will allocate underqualified or inadequate resources to the tasks, which may lead to budget and schedule overruns, compromising project quality and resulting in low client satisfaction.
- Enables proactive capacity planning with data-driven forecasting
You can predict resource demand for a project to identify resource shortages or over-allocations. You can then adjust project timelines, retrain current employees, or hire a contingent workforce in advance.
- Improves profitability
Billable resource utilization is a key KPI for a company to provide profitability and sustainability.
Choosing a resource scheduling software
Many projects can benefit from project management software such as Twproject, which includes a section dedicated to scheduling projects and resources in greater detail.
This allows stakeholders to easily visualize the entire project lifecycle planning process and, in detail, resource scheduling.
The software you will choose varies depending on your project planning methods, but you must ensure that you will be able to produce Gantt charts easily and efficiently.
Also, with this type of software, you can centralize your company’s resource planning; a point we previously mentioned as a best practice in resource scheduling.
Over budget or over deadline for a project are the main problems that many companies face.
This occurs primarily due to last-minute error corrections-because they were not timely noticed-and improvements that often take longer than initially anticipated.
Projects that were on the right track suddenly fall behind schedule, resulting in costing much more than expected, not to mention the quality of results that the client finds unsatisfactory.
Planning and scheduling a project’s resources is therefore a great way to avoid these problems.