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Implementing proper resource management is crucial to your projects—if team members are overallocated, underutilized, or assigned deliverables that don’t play to their strengths, you’re setting them up for failure.

Team members may not feel motivated to perform their best work. The quality of project deliverables could slip. The team may find it difficult to meet project timelines. They may hesitate to take time off (like PTO or sick days), leading to burnout and compromising mental health, productivity, and performance.

In this article, I’ll address the reasons why resource management, including resource planning, resource allocation, and effective resource utilization, is critical for project success.

10 Reasons Effective Resource Management Is Important

the 10 benefits of resource management
Here are the main reasons that it's important to get resource management right.

Here are some of the main benefits of resource management.

1. Increases Transparency

If everyone on the team knows what they are supposed to be working on, it builds greater trust between the project manager and the project team, with stakeholders, and among project team members. 

In a remote or hybrid work environment, resource management software can communicate work assignments asynchronously and in real time so that team members can start their days with a plan and pivot as needs crop up. They can also understand what other team members are working on to foster collaboration.

2. Minimizes Idle Time

Idle time significantly reduces profitability and productivity. While no team member can be productive 100% of the time, each person should be productive more than they’re idle.

Using the right resources and scheduling procedures can make sure everyone has enough deliverables to work on. This is particularly important in a hybrid setting.

Proper resource management ensures that team members are clear about where they should be spending their time, without wasting cycles waiting for direction from a meeting or manager.

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3. Increases Understanding Of Resource Availability & Needs

Resource forecasting helps you understand what’s available to your team in real time and how that informs capacity planning in the future. When you can predict available resources moving forward, you can tailor your resource requests, including budget requests, appropriately.

4. Reveals A True Picture Of Team Member Skill Sets

This allows you to place employees where they’ll be most valuable, productive, and fulfilled. It also lets you see where skill gaps exist within your team so you can hire new employees or find the right contractors to fill those roles for current or future projects.

5. Streamlines Workflows

Creating plans that help you in your quest for effectively allocating resources also helps to streamline workflows. When your team members have the information and tools they need to complete projects or tasks successfully, your project runs more smoothly.

Consider using robust project management software or resource management software to optimize your workflows. These programs are excellent for scheduling and tracking team member time, project financials, and deliverable deadlines throughout the project life cycle.

Streamlining and documenting workflows also makes it easier for teams to operate asynchronously in a remote or hybrid setting without having to wait for real time input from other team members.

6. Empowers More Confident Decision-Making

When you understand the available project resources (and the ones you’re capable of securing), you can feel more confident in your resource management plan. Metrics take the guesswork out of important decisions.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to plan two projects that will be launched soon. Since these projects are underway at the same time, they’ll be using company resources simultaneously. With good resource management, you’ll know what employees, funds, and tools are available for that time frame so you can allocate resources accordingly.

Additionally, if you track resource usage across your projects, you’ll be able to compare your resource estimates with project actuals to get smarter about future resource planning, including budget requests.

7. Reduces Overhead Costs and Increases Profits

Implementing resource management techniques can reduce project costs by maximizing available resources and preventing overspending.

Workers’ overtime hours cost more than regular ones, and purchasing supplies or tools at the last second can sometimes be more expensive. And, in remote environments, it can be easier than ever to onboard new staff to address excess resource capacity. Planning ahead to avoid these types of situations can lower project costs.

If your company previously suffered from poor resource management, you may even see an increase in profits by reducing overhead costs and helping your projects and initiatives run more efficiently.

8. Creates a Happier, More Fulfilled Team

You want your team members to be happy in their roles. Stressed, overworked team members are more prone to burnout, which can cause them to perform poorly or even quit.

With resource management:

  • You can staff new projects based on estimated level of effort, so team members aren’t overworked.
  • You can align team members’ skills and interests with project assignments, improving motivation.

9. Improves Staffing for Projects and Programs

By better understanding project and program resource requirements and how well you meet them, you can keep them better staffed. Better-staffed projects and programs create less stressed employees and ensure deadlines are met or exceeded.

Understanding the unique skills of employees (as well as what they find challenging) is a crucial part of managing resources. Placing the right employees with the right skills increases the likelihood of successful project outcomes, including high-quality deliverables and adherence to project timelines.

10. Helps Meet Deadlines

Having the right skill sets, tools, and supplies means deadlines are met more efficiently. Delivering projects when (or before) stakeholders expect them is critical to building trust and growing your business.

You can use resource management techniques to compare project timelines across your project portfolio and ensure you have sufficient funds, equipment, and people to carry out the work successfully. Instead of blindly agreeing to timelines, you now have the data you need to feel confident that you can realize them.

Importance of Resource Management Software

Resource management software helps take the guesswork out of project planning. You can certainly manually align project timelines, budgets, and staffing and hope that you’ll be able to: a) spot the shortfalls and b) do the mental gymnastics required to remember who on your team has what skill set.

Or, you can use resource management tools to forecast out and notify you in advance about criteria that you specify (e.g., funding dips below a certain level, your subject matter expert is double-booked on another project midway through your current one.) Guesswork gone.

What’s Next?

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Sarah M. Hoban
By Sarah M. Hoban

Sarah is a project manager and strategy consultant with 15 years of experience leading cross-functional teams to execute complex multi-million dollar projects. She excels at diagnosing, prioritizing, and solving organizational challenges and cultivating strong relationships to improve how teams do business. Sarah is passionate about productivity, leadership, building community, and her home state of New Jersey.