Chapter 8. Resource Management
Resource management is the efficient and effective deployment of an organization’s resources when they are needed. We can classify the resources into three main categories:
- Human resources (HRs)
- Project team members (core team)
- HRs outside the core team required for project activities
- Physical resources
- Materials (Raw materials, supplies, consumables)
- IT hardware
- IT software
- Cloud computing resources
- Contractors and subcontractors
Every activity in our activity list needs to have resources assigned to it. Before we can assign resources to the project, we need to know their availability. To assess resource availability, a project manager needs information about what resources we can use on our project when they’re available to us, and the conditions of their availability. This is why a WBS (see Chapter 4) and an activity list (see Chapter 7) are critical in our project to plan for the resources.
The most important resource to a project is its people—the project team. We discussed the development and management of project teams in section 6.7 of Chapter 6. Projects have a core team that includes a project manager and key members with functional expertise. There may be also administrative personnel and members who assist the project manager. Core team members provide continuity and “corporate memory” throughout the project, particularly to external hires who may not be as familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the organization’s previous projects. Projects require specific expertise at specific moments in the schedule, depending on the milestones being delivered or the given phase of the project. An organization can host several strategic projects concurrently over the course of a budget year, which means that its employees can be working on more than one project at a time. Alternatively, an employee may be seconded away from his or her role within an organization to become part of a project team because of particular expertise. Moreover, projects often require talent and resources that can only be acquired via contract work and third-party vendors. Procuring and coordinating these human resources, in tandem with managing the time aspect of the project, is critical to overall success.