Can resource management be defined in one sentence?
Simply put, resource management is the process by which businesses manage their various resources effectively.
However, to have a full understanding we need to look into it a bit more. Solid resource management planning consists of maximizing efficiency when it comes to resource consumption and overseeing their utilization from start to finish. It is only fair to say that resource management is the mechanism of pre-planning, scheduling, and allocating resources to maximize competence and performance.
Why is effective resource management so important?
Now that we’ve concluded that resource management is all about doing more with less – it’s time to think about some of its most valuable benefits.
Centered on optimization and efficiency, no resource management can be put into motion until the entire team understands what they need to do to make a project successful. In other words, they need to fully understand how to plan resources efficiently.
For starters, thoughtful resource planning helps prevent “unforeseen hiccups”. If time was set aside to look into the project needs, team structure, and specific client demands, the likelihood of unexpected setbacks goes down significantly.
Also, a good resource plan provides a basis for future analysis. Tracking our resources over time can show us if there is seasonality in the way they are used, how often mistakes are made, in which types of projects slip-ups happen most often, and where the most improvement is needed.
What is a resource plan?
A resource plan summarizes all resources needed to complete a project.
The focus isn’t just on meeting external project demands, it also helps maintain a healthy balance between HR planning and business costs. By following a systematic resource allocation process, you ensure the resources you need are available when you need them.
There are 6 steps for creating a comprehensive resource management plan:
- Determining what resources are needed for the project
This information can come from project and resource knowledge or by using previous successful lookalike projects as a guide. Using previous successful projects as templates not only helps eliminate upfront project management work but also helps to better predict success in your current project.
In this step, we can use a Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS) as a way to organize the needed resources. RBS is done in a form of a list of resources that are required for the project execution.
- Matching the resources to the appropriate tasks
Effective resource management means that we’re able to align project needs with the resources best-equipped to manage those needs.
This step becomes that much more important if the company is executing more than one project at a time. Mismatching in this case can lead to not just one project slipping, but a domino effect across the portfolio.
- Assessing the right amount of time for utilization of resources
The profitability of the company relies on the most efficient use of resources. Project managers must avoid overscheduling their resources, otherwise, deadlines may be missed and the quality of work suffers.
- Scheduling resources with the complete scope of work in mind
This is an important step in resource management because it helps predict project completion more accurately, as well as manage more than one project at the same time.
- Anticipate making adjustments along the way
As with any other activity where many factors are involved, changes are bound to happen.
However, when it comes to changes in resource demand or utilization it’s that much more important to keep track of why and when they happened. This information can save us a lot of time and money in the future if we’re able to avoid making the same mistakes we’ve made previously.
- Post-project analysis
As we’ve mentioned, having a record of previous projects and resource plans can be of significant help with all future planning. This means reduced costs of ordering, storing, restocking assets, or hiring new people mid-project.
Project Manager vs. Resource Manager
While it might seem that some of the Resource Managers and Project managers tasks overlap, they have very different roles within the company:
- Project Managers operate on a project-level: they manage a single project (or several) and are responsible for resources and deadlines within that scope.
- Resource Managers operate on a company-level: they’re responsible for allocating appropriate resources to multiple projects and processes across the organization
A resource manager works continuously as they’re typically involved in all of the projects happening at a given company. They are responsible for resource planning and allocation, as well as communicating with other departments that are in charge of acquiring them.
RMs collaborate with multiple teams within organizations:
- HR – they work together closely to hire appropriate people and define their roles while keeping in mind the number of projects they’ll be allocated to
- PMO – defining duties for particular employees within a project
- Sales – planning team capacity and forecasting resource needs to be based on the planned number of deals
Resource Management in the Telco industry
The telecommunications business is not only a capital-intensive industry but, also, one in which management skills, competencies, and the capabilities of qualified people are key drivers in accelerating the expansion and sustainability of the businesses.
The goal of resource management in this industry is to create such a management system that ensures the growth of quality of telecommunications services and the reduction of their costs simultaneously.
Human Resource Management
Let’s start with people. In the Telco industry, human resource planning is one of the most important activities. The fast changes and constant development in the information technology sector affect the Telco industry’s need for highly talented, skilled, and educated human resource capital.
Its major responsibilities include:
- attracting a qualified workforce, which involves human resource planning, recruitment, and selection
- developing a qualified workforce, which involves employee orientation, training and development (T&D), and performance appraisal
- maintaining a qualified workforce, which involves career development, work-life balance, compensation and benefits, retention and turnover, and labor-management relations
Telecom asset and inventory management
With growing competition and client demands, business results and performance depend on accurate, integrated inventory management.
Networks include physical equipment and infrastructure and, increasingly, logical and virtual resources and infrastructure. This means that there are many moving parts to keep an eye on during project execution.
The 2 sections of asset management are key:
- Asset Tracking – monitoring and locating assets, while also including the status of each asset to ensure utilization to its optimum limit.
- Asset Maintenance – closely inspecting assets to find out any possible issues, to avoid chances of sudden failure
Asset tracking, however, differs from inventory tracking in that asset tracking is the process of monitoring the value of items owned by a business, along with specific details on each item regarding its location, ownership, and maintenance schedule, whereas inventory tracking is associated with keeping an accurate record of items that are held in stock for sale to customers.
Both play an important role when it comes to successful project completion.
Why effective resource management matters?
The first thing that a better resource management system brings is using the historical maintenance record for setting up standard operating procedures, identifying operational bottlenecks, and knowledge transfer.
By following a systematic resource allocation process, companies also ensure the resources are readily available when needed. An upfront resource allocation plan helps avoid resource conflicts with other teams too. This in turn helps create better teamwork and more cohesion between project managers.