Resource Planning in Project Management

Resource Planning in Project Management

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Do you think that Project Planning is all about mapping tasks? If so, Project Planning denotes more than just mapping tasks. It also means ensuring you have the right team to complete the tasks. When you manage a project, you should have foresight. This foresight is essential to know the resources required and when they are required. 

You should also have the organization navigate the schedules and commitments that lock them down. Resource Planning plays a crucial role in project management.

Resource Planning – The Definition:

Resource Planning in Project Management can play a pivotal role. But, you should first understand what is a Resource Plan all about.

Resource Planning is the process of allocating tasks to team members. This allocation will happen to team members not as such but based on their capability and skill set. Whoever you feel fit for a particular task will get that task in the project. In turn, it will be possible to improve the efficiency of each team member. This can happen by helping teams manage their capacity and budget. 

Now, you know what Resource Planning is. So, what is a Resource Plan? You can compare it to a document containing the complete Resource Planning you have done for effective Project Management. A well-created Resource Plan will specify the exact quantities of the essential resources that can be stored. It can also denote resources like labor or machinery that cannot be stored. 

Why Should You Have Resource Planning?

Resource Planning in Project Management deals with the most basic ingredient in the success of the project – the team members. Indeed, this can be the most crucial reason for Resource Planning. Nevertheless, four other reasons make Resource Planning crucial:

To Prevent Under-utilization:

How successfully you utilize the resources as a Project Manager will ensure proper Project Management. A resource that is just sitting is a resource that is not making money for your organization. So, the utilization rate is one of the most crucial metrics you should keep track of. This measures the amount of time every team member spends on valuable work. This encompasses both internal and project administrative work.

The utilization rate is the hours worked divided by the total available work hours. Do you wish that your organization could get more money from the same resources? If so, you can do one of the following:

  • Get the resources to work more
  • Charge more for each resource

The first option is the best for most organizations. Most resources, like report generation, waste time on work that cannot be billed. Using this time to improve software and automation will improve the chances of making more money overnight. 

Further, it is also much simpler to sell than to get clients to pay more. Resource planning makes this possible. You can match resource availability and performance, ensuring that no resource is underutilized.

To Prevent Over Allocation of Resources:

Let us consider that you are running a factory. There is a great chance that you will come across one or more situations that demand 100% usage of all your machines. But, as a Project Manager, you should remember one thing for sure. People are not machines. When you dump them with huge work, you will experience a drop in their morale. It can ill affect the quality of their work.

In particular, organizations functioning in the creative domain face issues such as over-allocation.  The reason is that it is hard to estimate creative work. For instance, you can allocate five hours of work. On the other hand, it can take 15 hours to complete the work in practicality. In this case, creativity will fill in the gaps.

Overallocating work can affect morale and lead to overoptimization. Let us consider that everyone is working at 95-100% capacity. When suddenly one of the resources goes on sick leave or vacation, the entire project can suffer. 

Now, you know what is a Resource Plan. It can help prevent over-allocation. It will do it by constantly monitoring the utilization and availability rate. You can set a benchmark for resource utilization at 80%. When the resource requirement increases beyond this limit, you have two options in front of you. They are hiring more resources; the other option is outsourcing the work to third parties.

To Plan Your Hiring:

Further, a Resource Plan becomes essential to planning your hiring. You should decide on the kind of resources to hire. This becomes possible with the tips given below:

  • Go for utilization-focused hiring: Following this technique, you can evaluate the capacity allocation for different tasks based on skills and project types. Let us consider that you find that the graphic designers in your team are always near 90% utilization. In this case, it would be good to hire more designers.
  • Sales-focused hiring: When you follow this technique, you can judge the projects in the pipeline. Accordingly, you can presume the demand and plan your hiring.
  • Strategic Hiring: With this approach, you will hire more resources in a particular area where you wish project expansion to happen. For instance, you can hire more machine learning/artificial intelligence engineers to brand your business as an AI specialist service.
  • Follow your Gut Instinct. This approach lets you decide based on business performance, overall strategy, and industry trends.

To Reduce Resource and Task Dependencies:

We consider that you currently have four ongoing web design projects. Before your developers start coding, each of these projects needs detailed mockups.

Let us consider that all your designers are fully occupied. In this case, you must hand over the mock-up creation to a single designer. Let us again assume that this person gets sick. Unfortunately, when this happens, all the mock-ups will remain half-finished. All four projects get stuck on a stage. This type of issue can arise when multiple projects rely on a single resource or when more than one project uses deliverables.

As a Project Manager, you are responsible for reducing these types of single-resource dependency. Resource planning makes this possible. Charging all resources and task availability allows you to spot these weak points more quickly. It is better to reassign a resource that is overspread or working on too many tasks. When you do this, you can greatly reduce risk.

How To Create a Resource Plan?

Now, you know the importance of Project Resource Planning. But, your question will be how to create the best plan. Here is a step-by-step guide to building a Resource Plan:

Plan to Project:

In the plan-to-project phase, you should decide which project management team should handle next. This is also when you will identify and request the resources required for the project. Along with the list of resources, you will have to lay out every task related to the project. Also, at this stage, you should decide on the tasks that will take much longer than others. Also, decide on the projects to be front-loaded, if any.

Nearly 34% of teams work more than the official hours to complete the assigned work and 80% or more of the time. It is better to consider every task required to complete the project so that nothing is left unaccounted for. 

Hold a Resource Management Meeting:

Meetings are essential to resource management processes. When you think about an expensive trip to a vacation spot with your friends, you can make it a success only when things are planned correctly. The same rule applies to Resource Planning as well.

Nearly 62% of leaders consider resource scheduling the biggest challenge in Project Management. So, you should hold a resource management meeting to ensure everyone moves in the same direction. Only then can you ensure that everyone follows the appropriate metrics.

This involves identifying the resources required for the project. If you are juggling more than a single project with many crossover teams, it might mean you will have to compromise on allocating those resources with team leaders. When you arrive at these decisions, it is crucial to have a point of reference for all stakeholders engaged in providing help with the resource management techniques. 


Your Resource Plan in Project Management should encompass other essential elements such as matching resources to tasks, setting a budget, tracking time, forecasting future plans, and performing post-project analysis. These components ensure that resources are efficiently utilized, costs are managed effectively, and project timelines are met. Additionally, maintaining a flexible approach to the plan allows for adjustments to be made as necessary, ensuring adaptability to changing project requirements and circumstances. By integrating these practices into your Resource Plan, you can enhance project management effectiveness and ultimately contribute to the success of your projects. Simpliaxis offers project management courses that cover these crucial aspects, empowering professionals to excel in their project management endeavors.

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