5 common resource planning problems and how to solve them
Effective planning of resources is one of the key drivers of business success.In our article best practice tips for managing your people and their skills we shared some advice to help you manage and support your team and their skills to deliver high-quality projects on time and within budget.
While this can go a long way to helping you plan your people and resources effectively, unfortunately the business world is full of potential resource planning problems, which, if not nipped in the bud, can threaten to derail your best laid project plans. Solving these problems can be extremely challenging, as each can have tens, or even hundreds, of interconnected constraints. However by following resource management best-practice alongside project resource management software can lead to successful resource planning and management.
Powerful yet easy-to-use project resource management software is one way to help businesses of every size break free and solve these problems in the optimum way. In this article we look at 5 of the most common resource planning problems and offer suggestions on how you can solve them.
1. Manual data entry is eating up your time
As your company expands, more and more of your employees’ time will be eaten up by manual data entry or other repetitive tasks. On such a large scale, manual tasks become increasingly error prone.
Project resource management software automates these manual tasks, reducing the likelihood of mistakes and freeing up staff for other tasks. The result is a more streamlined and productive workforce.
2. Stand-alone software systems are slowing you down
As the business grows, the disparate, stand-alone systems paint an increasingly inaccurate picture of the company’s resources. This can be a drain on employee productivity and lead to a time-lag in producing accurate performance data that impacts decision making.
Project resource management software can consolidate the information available across departments and locations to provide real-time business performance visibility across the organisation. This informs resource planning decisions and allows employees to focus on more productive tasks.
3. Efficiency is suffering due to poor communication
Ineffective communication between employees and departments can lead to resource planning problems that affect your business’s bottom line. The resulting misallocation of resources can lead to lost orders, the late delivery of projects and unproductive employees.
The right project resource management software can unite the business functions, becoming the one piece of software for inputting and processing information. The result is improved communication between departments and a reduction in the time key information takes to reach the relevant parties.
4. Projects are competing for resources
Most companies rarely have sufficient resources to staff all projects concurrently. The result is that projects effectively compete against each other, with resources assigned to a number of projects at the same time. This can cause bottlenecks, particularly where specialist skills are in high demand.
To get the best performance and results from your resources, you must manage workloads to avoid over- and under-allocations. Professional services automation software allows you to see the effects of changes to the allocation of resources on the overall schedule. The result is an improved ability to meet your project goals.
5. Resources need to be in the same location to work effectively
Remote working is growing in popularity, allowing businesses to cast their net further afield to find key resources. Not working in the same location as the project team can impact on the effectiveness of your resources, but thankfully the cloud can solve this problem.
Cloud resource planning tools allow your team to work together from any location, sharing key information and communicating effectively. This complete visibility creates more coherent workflows and allows resources to be tracked with maximum efficiency.
How to solve 5 common resource planning problems
- Automate data entry tasks
- Consolidate and integrate your software systems
- Improve departmental communication
- Implement software to improve workload management
- Employ cloud resource planning tools to enable effective sharing and communication of key information