How to Allocate Resources in project management efficiently

Learning how to allocate resources effectively is a critical aspect of project management. It involves assigning the available resources – including human talent, machinery, tools, materials, and budget – most efficiently and effectively to complete the project successfully. 

In contrast, poorly allocated resources can lead to missed deadlines, increased costs, and unsatisfied stakeholders. And in the worst-case scenario, it can lead to a complete failure of the project.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to allocate resources in project management effectively.

How to allocate resources efficiently in project management

1. Understand the project’s scope and requirements 

Before getting into resource allocation, you need a clear understanding of the project’s scope. You can start by asking yourself: Is this project big or small? Would it be a long or short project? 

Resource allocation

Additionally, you should consider and include these criteria in your questions: 

  • Objectives or goals of the project.
  • Deliverables.
  • Tasks and subtasks required to meet these deliverables.

Once you have answered these questions, you can make the right decision and allocate your resources accordingly to complete the project. 

Besides the project’s scope, you should also consider the requirements to fulfill the above project scope. These requirements usually include: 

  • Estimating the time needed.
  • Identifying the skills or equipment required.
  • Estimating the budget or cost associated.

For example, if your project involves developing a new eCommerce website, you will need a team of frontend developers, backend engineers, copywriters, and even QA testers to ensure fulfilling the website’s functionality requirements. 

Remember, the clearer your project’s scope and requirements are, the better you can allocate resources. Therefore, you should not rush and take time to understand the big picture of your project before conducting any resource allocation. 

2. Assess the availability of your resources

The next step in the guide on how to allocate resources is to estimate and assess the availability of needed resources. You can list down the needed resources such as time, budget, people, equipment, or anything else you need to complete the tasks. 

Normally, your organization should have already had some resources ready to be used while others will need to be purchased later or rented. Keep in mind, that you need to have resources available in order to allocate them. 

Not only that, you should also check if those existing resources are truly available, or free to use, for your project. There are circumstances when these resources are being occupied or already allocated for other projects.

Therefore, you should make a list of required resources for your project and check if they are truly available and “free” to use. 

3. Prioritize your tasks in the project 

Next, you will need to prioritize your tasks within the project. 

If your project is a big one, it will undoubtedly have tons of tasks and subtasks, and not all of them will belong to the top priority in your to-do list. That’s why you need to prioritize your project tasks to allocate resources more efficiently. 

You can start prioritizing your tasks based on: 

  • Their impact on the project’s outcome.
  • Their dependency relationships with other tasks.
  • Any set deadlines or milestones.

This practice will also empower you to effectively allocate your precious resources. By removing or lowering the priority of unnecessary tasks, you can concentrate on and invest more resources in more crucial tasks that will ensure the completion of your project. 

Looking for a way to prioritize your tasks on Jira?

Why not try Routemap’s prioritization table and matrix?

4. Start allocating resources

Now that you have everything ready, from a clear picture of tasks to resource availability, you can assign resources and work on the project. 

You can also make a resource allocation plan to keep things effective. Moreover, you can use this plan to outline the list of resources needed for your project.

Here are some suggestions you can make in the plan: 

  • Assign team members based on their skill sets, ensuring that no one is overloaded or underutilized.
  • Schedule equipment usage.
  • Distribute the budget across tasks, keeping a reserve for contingencies.

Besides, you should look back at the project scope to ensure that your allocation plan aligns with it.  

5. Monitor and make adjustments accordingly 

It would become problematic if you just focus on the project’s process and don’t know how your resource allocation plan is happening. In an agile environment, things can change quickly without you even realizing it. 

Therefore, you should always keep yourself informed of your resource status. You can regularly check the utilization of resources and monitor the project’s progress while comparing it to the planned allocation.

Additionally, it is crucial to be aware of the resource status, especially the human resource. If discrepancies arise (like a team member falling ill or a task taking longer than expected), you should adjust resource allocations accordingly.

6. Utilize tools for resource allocation

Undoubtedly, you are not working on just one project. There will be times when you have to handle multiple projects with the same resource amount. 

No matter how well you have planned, you cannot avoid every change to your project. Especially with limited existing resources, you will have to figure out how to re-allocate them efficiently.

So, how can you do it? The best possible way is to use a resource management tool! You can manage your resources more effectively and allocate them reasonably across all current projects. 

For example, you can give AssetIT a try if your organization is working on the Jira platform. It is an effective tool to help you monitor and manage all available assets and resources and allocate them to each project accordingly. 

Moreover, you can try software like ProScheduler and TimePlanner to manage and allocate other resources such as time and personnel. 

These tools can help you visualize resource allocation, adjust allocations in real time, and predict potential bottlenecks or shortages. So, why not take advantage of such tools to make your resource allocation a bit easier? 

7. Expect the unexpected

As mentioned earlier, there will be unexpected changes during the process. It is simply the nature of working on projects in a fast-paced environment. 

Besides, every project comes with its own set of risks as well. Therefore, you should consider such risks in advance and be prepared for the unexpected. 

It is advisable to identify potential risks that might affect resource availability or task completion. Then, you can develop a contingency plan that outlines how to adjust resources should these risks materialize.

8. Regularly communicate with your team on allocation

Up to this point, we have talked about how things can change in a short amount of time and negatively affect your resource allocation and projects as a whole. Although there are tools to help you decrease these chances, one of the most effective ways, and FREE, is to communicate with your members on allocation regularly

Communicating regularly is an answer  to how to allocate resources

Human resources is considerably your most valuable asset in any project, and you must do your best to keep this resource aligned with your project scope and requirements.

Firstly, you need to ensure that all team members know their tasks, timelines, and the resources they have. Next, you should maintain open lines of communication to address any issues or concerns promptly.

And don’t forget to update stakeholders regularly to keep them in the loop about resource utilization and project progress.

With these practices, you can keep your team members and stakeholders aligned while handling project tasks effectively.  

9. Conduct a post-project assessment

Now that the project is complete, and all hard work has been paid, it’s time to run a post-project assessment. This will help you and your team to look back and see what did or did not work. 

During this evaluation, you should identify what went well in terms of resource allocation and what didn’t. Moreover, you can gather feedback from team members and stakeholders to see if your allocating resource plan is effective or not.

And ultimately, you can use these insights for better resource allocation in future projects.

Final thoughts on how to allocate resources

Allocating resources is a dynamic process that requires careful planning, continuous monitoring, and adjustments as necessary. When done effectively, it can ensure that a project is completed on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. 

By following the steps on how to allocate resources in project management above and leveraging the right tools, project managers can master the art and science of resource allocation.

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