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Effective Resource Management

Posted on | March 1, 2008 | Comments Off on Effective Resource Management

Managing project human resources, the single most critical resource, is one of the most difficult tasks PMs have. Shared resources, or resources of either a functional type of organization or a weak or balanced matrix organization, compound the already complex task since these types of organizations have the least control of resources.

This serious challenge is more evident when resources are lined up for simultaneous and/or successive projects; the dreaded resource allocation syndrome. Here are the top 5 challenges I believe PMs face today in managing resources:

• Geographically dispersed project teams

• Over booked and mismanaged resources

• The constraint of not having resources available when needed

• Resources working on lower priority projects

• Resources working on lower priority tasks

One way to overcome these challenges is by having a PMO group with the right enterprise project management system tool. Their enterprise view of resource allocation, improves the odds of knowing what the resources are working on and when they will become available thus avoiding bottlenecks. Without the coordination of a PMO, managers make decisions in isolation from the big picture.

The right tool must have real-time resource allocation and assignment and long-term staff planning. This visibility is critical to having the resource at the right time for the right project and working on the higher priority tasks.

The supply chain management (also called logistics) discipline has managed to put in place a process in which resources of all kinds are efficiently used at the time they are needed across multiple locations.

Maybe the project management profession should look closely at how supply chain management has resolved the challenge to ensure resources arrive as required and just in time. After all, all the PM wants is that the project is completed within the defined scope, cost and time. Don’t you think so…? Well, I do.

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